Stress represents, for most people, one of the most usual components of contemporary life, to the point of being accepted as one of the inevitable realities of our existence. In a sense this is essentially true. Research carried out since the 1930s has conferred to this phenomenon those characteristics of universality that are peculiar to it and have examined its multiple implications for human psychology and physiology. Nonetheless, it is obvious to everyone that stress today causes serious disruption to a considerable part of the population of the so-called “developed countries”. Discomfort that endure for a long time, sometimes for a lifetime, causing multiple disorders and complex diseases that deteriorate in a dramatic way the quality of life.
The word stress is currently used in common parlance to indicate a situation of malaise and tension. Being stressed is usually associated with disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, irritability, fatigue, depression. In fact, stress is definitely an important factor that can influence our state of health, and modern scientific research shows more and more how profound its effects are on the human organism. To cite a couple of important examples we remember that it is now recognized that our emotional state and the efficiency of the immune system can be negatively influenced by stress.
However, stress is not always seen as something to be avoided. In fact, modern tendency is to distinguish stress in positive called “eustress and in negative” distress. “Positive stress is represented by all those physical, physiological and psychological stimuli, which all together represent the small joys and sorrows of life and which have as a result to keep us in good health.It is only when we are subjected to stressful situations too intense or of excessive long duration that physical and psychical problems occur, in this case the systems (both physiological and psychological), of which nature has endowed to bring us back to a situation of equilibrium, they are no longer sufficient and to a situation of exhaustion it will be essential to oppose rest, tranquility, and recovery of energy.
Stress is a reaction of the organism to an extreme or important effort.
Generally, stress activates a hormonal and nervous process based on a state of alert, which explains the increase in heart rate and state of alertness. Sometimes, stress can be beneficial (preparation of an examination, reaction to a dangerous substance, …) but unfortunately can also lead to bad situations (bad stress), which can cause ulcers or even different mental problems (tiredness, turbulence of sleep, depression)
Stress rests, among other things, on the activation of the hypophyseal-hypothalamus-adrenal gland system that leads to an important secretion of cortisol (formation starting from ACTH). The sympathetic system (a system that allows the body to be awake and close to stress), in particular with the famous adrenaline hormone, is also very involved in the development of stress.
Here are some common causes that can cause stress:
- repetitive occasional nervousness
- work and its problems in general: overload, burn-out, bullying, exams, tensions, …
- relationship problems (sentimental, …)
- emotional shock (mourning, …)
- lack of time to perform a task
- lack of rest (holidays, relaxation weekends, …)
- social problems (isolation, loneliness, debts, financial problems, …)
- difficult sleep (installation of a vicious circle, because this can in turn be the cause and consequence of stress)
- mental illnesses like: depression, anxiety, anguish, …
- excessive dependence or consumption of certain products such as: coffee, alcohol, tobacco, drugs
Possible symptoms of stress can be:
- digestive problems: ulcers, nausea and vomiting.
- irritability (we get nervous quickly)
- heart problems (acceleration of heart rhythm and / or increase in tension (hypertension)
- different sleep disorders (insomnia)
- psychic disorders: nervousness, anguish, excessive fears (phobias), depression
- cycle disorders (menstrual problems for a woman)
- appearance of dandruff (especially for men)
- hair loss
- concentration problems (eg at school)
- development or reappearance of infectious diseases such as cold sores, genital herpes, throat ilmal, colds, …
- sexual problems: erectile disorders, loss of desire (libido problems)
- bad breath (due to a dehydration of the mouth caused by stress)
Before starting a therapy, it is preferable to seek, with the help of the medical specialist, the cause that causes you stress, try to understand well the situations that place in stressful states and try to remedy (for example by decreasing the overload of work).
However, there are also remedies for stress, the drugs available to treat stress are:
These are mainly natural plant-based treatments (eg Valerian).
B. Stimulants, food supplements or restorers
These drugs are mainly used in periods of examination or overwork, these are: vitamins, minerals: mainly magnesium, omega-3 or aminate acids.
The following medicinal plants have been shown to be effective in treating stress and nervousness
- valerian, comes in the form of tablets, herbal tea or drops.
- passionflower, comes in the form of herbal tea, bath solution or capsules.
- lavender, comes in the form of herbal tea, baths or capsules.
- hops, comes in the form of herbal tea or capsules.
- lime tree, comes in the form of herbal tea or capsules.
- melissa, comes in the form of herbal tea or capsules.
- Kawa Kawa is an effective plant to relieve anxiety, many Kawa Kawa preparations are on the market, while it is more difficult to find the plant to make herbal teas, you can then take capsules or drops based on kawa kawa, the dose it is 2-3 capsules a day or 30-50 drops 2-3 times a day.
If you prefer an herbal tea you can choose among the herbs listed as Melissa, Passiflora, Hawthorn, Lavender (for example a combination in equal parts of these 4 is very effective) but also linden, orange flowers, hops, are all plants you can use in infusion, a tablespoon full in a cup of boiling water, infusion 15-20 minutes.
Other medicinal plants or natural products can also be used against stress and nervousness such as: petasite or cod liver oil extract, especially for the presence of Omega 3.
Phytotherapy is perhaps one of the oldest forms of treatment invented by mankind, in fact it provides for the use of plants or extracts of them for the treatment of diseases or for a general well-being of the organism.
The information on this page is for informational purposes only. The sole purpose is to maintain the value and the nature of the free information available online, hence the easy availability of information. If you are in doubt or think to have experienced or you are currently experiencing some stress of any kind we would suggest always first to contact your doctor or a specialist in this field.
Sarah is part of the Team ELC and she helps people discover what makes their life happy, meaningful, and full of ease. She is a writer, meditator and loves painting, an art she happily gets to practice a lot in her spare time.