Learning to Cope and Manage Stress by Identifying Stress Symptoms

Stress management is an ongoing process involving the identification of stress triggers, learning the coinciding stress symptoms that occur, and developing healthy coping skills to manage these symptoms. In other words, stress management involves learning the body’s reaction to stress and utilizing healthy coping skills to provide relief and manage the stress symptoms before exhaustion sets in.

Physiological Response to Stress

When experiencing a stressful situation, the body is thrown into high gear in preparation to deal with the stressor. The fight-or-flight response is a common term used to explain this process of physiological arousal. The response is triggered by the sympathetic nervous system which stimulates stress hormones that prepare the body for action.

Physiology of StressThere are three main stages in the body’s response to stress; these are alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. The alarm stage is being experienced during the fight-or-flight response as the nervous system becomes engaged in preparation for managing the stressor. The alarm stage then leads to the resistance stage where a person begins to adjust and deal with the stressor, and lastly if one is unable to cope or manage the recurring or persistent stress, exhaustion sets in and the individual become overwhelmed.

There are numerous health implications from experiencing repeated stress and the accompanying exhaustion. For this reason, learning to identify and build resistance to stress is vitally important. A starting point for dealing with stress is to recognize in what form it appears. There are typically certain stress symptoms that are common amongst people that can be focused on in preparation for managing stress.

Understanding Stress Symptoms

Recognizing stress symptoms provides the means to deal with the stress early and effectively before exhaustion sets in. Stress symptoms vary from person to person and can be in different domains of life. For instance, exhaustion symptoms can be anywhere from emotional, physical, mental, relational or spiritual.

People may experience fatigue or a headache or become irritable and easily frustrated. Conflict can start to develop in relationships, or the feeling of emptiness and loss of meaning can ensue. Stress is reflected in many ways, and it is important to learn how to read bodily signs for these early signals of distress.

Many life events produce stress, so it is also important to consider the context and circumstances of stress. What situations cause the most stress and what feelings are produced by these situations? What is it specifically about these situations that are triggering stress? Is it the place, the person, the activity, or a mix of all three?

Even positive experiences can be stressful, such as planning a wedding or elaborate holiday gathering. These discrete stressors are important to recognize and deal with to prevent the build-up of unnecessary stress that leads to exhaustion.

Coping with Stress

Coping skills provide a means to deal with ongoing difficulties and make it possible to resiliently move forward in life. Learning to match coping skills with the apparent symptoms can provide a way to better manage stress.

Exercise to beat stessIf physical stress symptoms are present the use of exercise or deep breathing can be helpful. If mental and emotional symptoms are encountered getting support through talking or meditating could be ideal. Learning how to relax the body or relax the mind according to the symptoms being experienced provides a good basis for applying coping skills. Also, learning what coping skills work best for each or what coping skills are accessible depending on our limitations can provide a reasonable counter to troubling stress symptoms.

Coping strategies are not static, and people may need to adapt and alter what strategy is used according to the resources available. The important thing is that coping skills are healthy and do not exacerbate the problem; such as turning to drugs and alcohol for a quick fix to cope with stress.

It is important to note that stress can be beneficial and is essential for growth. Stress can provide the motivation and energy to follow through on important tasks, and as long as people know how to manage stress and work with it effectively, setbacks and frustration can be dealt with more productively.

Aromatherapy to Relieve Stress and Insomnia

Some cases of insomnia are short-term and related to easily identifiable causes such as ingesting too much caffeine or sugar. However, some cases can last longer, creating a destructive cycle of nighttime sleeplessness and daytime fogginess.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to support healing and to enhance daily life. Essential oils are concentrated compounds distilled from various parts of plants, including flowers, roots, bark, and leaves. It is the essence of the plant that ends up in those small amber glass bottles of oil. Each essential oil has its special healing property. Some scents can invigorate, some can soothe the mind, and some can help to heal sore muscles or skin conditions. And thankfully, some can help to bring relief from insomnia and reduce the effects of stress on the physical and emotional body.

Aromatherapy Can Encourage Restful Sleep

The following essential oils all have soothing properties. Put a few drops neat (undiluted) on a handkerchief or tissue and place under the pillow. Or experiment with a blend of up to three of the oils.

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile – both Roman and German
  • Clary Sage
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Rose Geranium
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang

Aromatherapy against insomniaEssential Oil Blends for a Comforting Night Time Ritual

A favorite essential oil can be used on its own or blended with up to two other compatible essential oils. A well-put-together blend will bring forth the healing properties of each ingredient as well as a new synergistic healing property of the whole.

After the blend is made, it can be used as is or added to a carrier, or base, oil and used in a variety of aromatherapy methods. Sunflower, grapeseed, and jojoba oils are all good carrier oil choices. A safe ratio to use is eight drops of essential oil in four teaspoons (20 ml) of carrier oil.

Always use the highest quality aromatherapy products possible. Using the best quality of both carrier (base) oil and essential oil will result in a purer product with a longer shelf life. While experimenting with blends, always make tiny amounts at first.

Aromatherapy Methods to Treat Insomnia

To a warm bath add three drops lavender, two drops rose geranium and two drops of ylang-ylang essential oils. Before getting in, swish the bath water around with the hand to disperse the oils. Soak for 15 minutes to get maximum aromatherapy benefits.

Scent nighttime air in the bedroom by adding ten drops of lavender essential oil to 2 cups (454 ml) of distilled water in a fine mist spray bottle. This can be used to spray linens and pillows as well.

Create a soothing massage oil by blending up to three essential oils in a carrier oil. Use the ratio mentioned above. Massage onto temples, hands, and feet or back before going to bed.

  • Blend #1 – four drops lavender, four drops chamomile,.
  • Blend #2 – four drops chamomile, three drops clary sage, two drops bergamot
  • Blend #3 – two drops sandalwood, four drops rose geranium, two drops vetiver

Make a steam inhalation using a bowl of hot water into which 2-3 drops of essential oils have been added. Place your head over the bowl with eyes closed and tent with a towel. Deeply but gently inhale the comforting, aromatic warmth. Do this for a maximum of 15 minutes, taking a break whenever necessary.

A Few Cautions

The information we presented is not considered as a substitution for a professional medical opinion. Pregnant ladies and children should not use these herbal remedies. Except under the supervision of an experienced aromatherapist. Please avoid using plant oils on open wounds or take these internally without medical supervision.

Using aromatherapy is a great way to ease the symptoms of restlessness and insomnia, but remember to look at other stress-reducing tools as well. Yoga, meditation, healthy eating habits and daily doses of good old fresh air can all add up to better sleeping patterns. It’s always best to treat the cause of a condition rather than the symptoms. Sweet dreams!

Preventing Irritation After Wearing Contact Lens

When contacts irritate eyelids, most of the time taking them out, cleaning and disinfecting them, and waiting it out for a day or two will cause the eyelid irritation to resolve itself. But sometimes when contacts irritate eyelids, the resulting problems are more serious. There are some different kinds of eyelid irritation. Some of the most common are:

  • Blepharitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal irritation
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Episcleritis
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage

Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelid margins, where the eyelashes are located. Symptoms of blepharitis include itching, redness, and irritation of the eyelids, and sometimes a “gritty” sensation. Lubricating drops do little or nothing to relieve blepharitis. The two main types of blepharitis are seborrheic blepharitis and staphylococcal blepharitis. Seborrheic blepharitis is the most common and is generally not caused when contacts irritate eyelids. It usually involves not only the eyelids, but the scalp, eyebrows, and ears.

Staphylococcal blepharitis is a staph infection of the edge of the eyelid. The lashes may mat together, and the patient may feel as if there’s a foreign body in the eye. Doctors may prescribe topical antibiotics for this type of blepharitis, but unfortunately, it usually doesn’t help much. In many cases, recovery is a matter of removing contact lenses and waiting for the infection to pass while practicing daily eyelid hygiene with warm wet compresses and careful removal of debris.

Relax your eyes to avoid exposing it to infectionConjunctivitis can easily result when contacts irritate eyelids. Sometimes called “pinkeye,” conjunctivitis leads to redness, irritation, and excessive watering of the eye. An allergy or infection cause it. Common pus-producing bacteria cause bacterial conjunctivitis. Eyes will be crusty and irritated, and there may be pus discharge. There is usually a definite feeling of there being a foreign object in the eye. Often, bacterial conjunctivitis is dormant for three days before showing up in the eye. It is easily spread on towels and washcloths. It usually resolves itself without treatment, though occasionally antibiotics are used.

Chemical eyelid irritation can also trigger conjunctivitis. This occurs when a person is allergic to the cleaning and storage solutions used in cleaning contact lenses. Giant papillary conjunctivitis is “allergic” conjunctivitis caused by repeated physical irritation of the conjunctiva, which can result when contacts irritate eyelids. The patient must avoid wearing contact lenses until the condition resolves.

Corneal irritation is also known as keratitis. It occurs when the cornea of the eye (the transparent membrane over the iris) develops inflammation. It is usually painful and results in temporary visual impairment. When contacts irritate eyelids, corneal irritation can develop. These cases often involve the buildup of Gram-negative bacteria on the contacts.

Contacts can cause corneal abrasionCorneal irritation must often be treated with antibiotics, either topical or oral. In severe cases, intravenous antibiotics must be used. Contact lenses must not be used until corneal irritation has had a chance to resolve completely. Anyone with symptoms of corneal irritation should see a doctor.

Sometimes when contacts irritate eyelids, the result is a corneal ulcer. This is an open sore on the cornea. Eyelid irritation may aggravate tiny rips in the corneal surface and cause an infected ulcer to develop. The rips in the cornea may be caused by a scratch or trauma to the eye. Contact lenses on top of one of these tiny rips may allow bacteria to build up, resulting in an ulcer.

Symptoms of a corneal ulcer include eye pain, irritation, and watering, and in some cases a visible white or grayish spot on the cornea. Vision may be blurry, and there may be the pain when looking at bright lights. Cool compresses, meticulous hand and eye hygiene, and over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (paracetamol) can help with the pain. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics and prescription pain medication. In severe or unremitting cases, the only treatment may be a surgical corneal transplant.

Episcleritis is an inflammation of the episcleral tissue. This tissue lies between the sclera (the white part of the eye) and the conjunctiva. It can result when contacts irritate eyelids. Usually, episcleritis is mild and goes away on its own within 7 to 10 days. It can be recurrent, however. With simple episcleritis, recurrence usually occurs at one to three-month intervals. Stress, hormonal changes, and allergies may be a factor in recurrent episcleritis. Many, if not most people with episcleritis do not seek medical treatment.

Episcleritis isn’t as painful as corneal irritation or ulcers, but there may be annoying discharge and sensitivity to lights. In some cases, episcleritis may be caused by systemic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, so in some cases, contact lens-based eyelid irritation may not be to blame. Treatment generally involves eye and hand hygiene and sometimes wetting drops to help relieve discomfort. Prolonged cases may require the use of corticosteroids or dexamethasone sodium phosphate.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage shows up as a bright red patch on the white of the eye. The area has many fragile blood vessels that can easily be broken or ruptured, and this results in blood leaking into the space between the sclera and the conjunctiva (the membrane over the white of the eye). The condition can result when contacts irritate eyelids. Though it looks painful, it usually is not.

A subconjunctival hemorrhage usually heals itself without treatment, though eyelid irritation, when caused by contact lenses, means that contact lenses should be avoided until the condition clears up. Because the condition is not painful, it is not necessary or recommended for patients to take aspirin or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Artificial tears may be used on the affected eye but should not be used more than absolutely necessary because the artificial tears may slow healing. Contacts irritating eyelids can be a temporary discomfort that resolves overnight, or it can be as dangerous as a corneal ulcer, which requires comprehensive medical treatment. Avoiding eyelid irritation from contacts is simple, though occasionally a person can do everything as he or she is supposed to and still have their contacts irritate eyelids.

Surgeons washing hands thoroughlyAnyone handling contact lenses should first wash their hands thoroughly with plain soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel. Contact lenses must be cleaned and disinfected as directed by an eye doctor. Daily wear contact lenses that are worn for periods over two weeks may require weekly treatment to remove protein deposits on the lenses. In general, the more often lenses are replaced, the less care and handling they require.

Lenses should be handled only with clean hands, and the tips of the bottles of the solutions must never touch any surface. Contact lens cases must be thoroughly washed out with hot water daily and allowed to dry. Anyone using cosmetic or theatrical contact lenses should never share them with another person. This is a recipe for not only eyelid irritation, but also for a painful eye infection.

Contact lenses are great for vision correction, and they can be fun too, with hundreds of types of theatrical, cosmetic, and special effect lenses available. When handled according to directions and cleaned and stored correctly, contact lenses will probably not cause any problems. But mishandling them, or not cleaning or storing them properly, or continuing to use them after the period in which they should have been discarded can easily make contacts irritate eyelids. Eyelid irritation will usually clear up on its own, but if an infection results, medical treatment may be necessary.

Reduce Stress Naturally and Be Happy!

Dealing with stress may become an extremely difficult proposition, especially when you are unable to find a way out of such a situation. While in extreme cases, there is nothing else to do, but go for psychological consultation, natural remedies are available during the incipient stages. Through the use of natural stress relievers, you can deal with such problems successfully, minus any side effects, or lingering issues. Those who want to know about simple yet effective techniques to combat stress in their daily lives can read on!

Doing yogaYoga/Meditation

Yoga or meditation is a simple technique yet highly effective, provided you do them under the guidance of a yoga teacher. It helps you to get a sense of peace and calm, while keeping stress at bay. Through the connection between body, mind, and spirit in a serene, healthy fashion, you can get in touch with your inner being and deal with stress effectively.

Writing a Diary

Interestingly, writing a diary is a good way to understand thoroughly the causes behind the stress. Whatever is going on in your subconscious mind can be better understood, when you put words on the paper. Once you realize the root of the problem, it is easier to deal with them in a constructive and effective way. This is what writing a diary can achieve.

Green Tea Benefits

Research has proven the myriad benefits of green tea, and now you can use this magical formulation to deal with stress. If possible, drink it regularly or those who want can even opt for its capsule. Even soaking cotton balls in the green tea liquor and placing them over your closed eyes for a few minutes helps to relieve stress. Try this to believe!

Walking

Morning and evening walk is a good way to come close to nature. This in turn helps you to deal with your stress levels and to find your inner peace. If you regularly experience stressful situations, then walking is an effective method to combat such issues.

Aromatherapy Helps

On-going research is investigating into the extreme capabilities of aromatherapy. Different kind of fragrances has varied impact on our psyche and most of these are positive. In order to use this method for relieving stress you need to contact proficient aromatherapy professionals. Some of the popular herbs used in this therapy include rosemary, lavender, and peppermint.

Body Massages

A full body massage at spas and parlors is a good way to relieve stress and feel rejuvenated. This happens because a massage tends to relax your muscles and brings in a sense of peace and calm. Enhanced flow of blood through the body does the trick. So, those of you who often feel the stress bouts can try out soothing massages to relax and invigorate.

Listening to Music

Listening to music is another interesting way of dealing with stress and anxiety. Just compile your favorite songs in a portable record player and say goodbye to undue worries. Whenever you feel stressed out simply put the machine on the on-mode and you are ready to be happy!

Warm Bath

Warm bath is an easy way to get the circulation your body going and relieve stress and anxiety. You will definitely feel better after a rejuvenating body rinsing, especially when the pressures of the day are taking a toll on you.