According to the American Psychological Association, 77% of people experience physical symptoms of their stress on a regular basis, with job pressure as the leading cause for it. Money comes as the second leading cause of stress.
Meanwhile, 48% of the population admits to being negatively impacted by stress in their personal lives and careers. The most common responses to stress include irritability and nervousness.
Stress levels vary depending on the person experiencing it. In the same way, coping mechanisms also differ according to how a person can best manage their stressors. Here are 5 Stress Zones, or ways by which people are affected by stress, as well as ways to deal with each of them.
The Performance Zone
In this zone, stress still works to your advantage. The demands of your studies or your work serve as challenges which propel you to work harder and strive to be a better version of yourself every time.
Stress levels are very manageable and are easily dealt with at this stage. Keep focusing on your strengths and treating external pressures as bits of motivation to do better and achieve more. Pinpoint your stressors and process them well. Take control of your environment and be open to recalibrate your thoughts.
The Fatigue Zone
When pressures start to appear heavier than expected, stress levels may rise at an unmanageable level already. As it remains unchecked and slowly builds up into an invisible giant stress ball, it will take a toll on you, and you will notice a decline in your performance.
At this stage, be careful not to depend overly on coping mechanisms such as stress eating, alcohol, or caffeine intake. It might help if you would slow down a little bit or even take a brief pause. Spend time for relaxation and for the things you enjoy.
The Exhaustion Zone
At this point, stress is no longer just a feeling or emotion that could eventually go away with time or a little rest. Here, stress becomes a constant part of your life already. The most common manifestation of this zone is aggression towards other people.
Stressed people often lash out at others in a desperate need to find an outlet for their stress. To better cope with exhaustion, pick up positivity from others instead of releasing the negativity to them. Nothing beats enjoying the good company of good people around.
The Ill-Health Zone
Now, stress manifests itself as an attack to your actual physical health. You start experiencing symptoms such as a rise in blood pressure, headaches, migraines, or muscle pains.
Others have also experienced mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. This is when you will need the help of medical experts – both in your physical illness and in your mental health issues. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Keep going and moving in your life, but rest if you must.
The Panic Zone
At the panic zone, stressed people start to believe that things have gone way out of hand. Even in the midst of people who could help, things don’t seem to work out positively. Here, the stress that once seemed normal would suddenly show itself in panic attacks, physical and mental burnout, and even breakdowns.
At this point, it would make a huge difference to get rid of the stressor entirely. Only upon the release from the stressful situation could you start anew and gain fresh perspective to start coping.
Stress can happen to anyone, and it can hit you at any time. Sometimes, what previously seemed like a regular part of your daily routine can turn out into something more serious and life-threatening. Hence, it is crucial that you don’t take stress sitting down.
There are various ways by which stress could be dealt with. Depending on the level, even online platforms like BetterHelp provide solutions for it. So when you know you’re in stress, don’t be discouraged. There are always ways to overcome it.