Managing your work, family, and personal life, trying to find balance in the daily hassles you encounter can become overwhelming to your body and mind. In response, your body develops certain symptoms, these physical symptoms are collectively identified as signs of physical stress.
Stress is everywhere and it affects everyone, over 7 million Nigerians suffer from stress and stress-related issues. While a little stress is fine and can be beneficial, too much stress can affect your physical health negatively – to an extent, your life.
Stress affects both mind and body, however, for this article, we’ll be focusing on the signs of physical stress, its major causes, and how to manage and cope with these signs.
What Is Physical Stress?
Physical stress is a normal bodily reaction to changes or challenges whether they are real or perceived. When you experience such challenges, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to respond appropriately to the challenge. This reaction is known as the “Fight or Flight Response“.
Your bodily responses help you to adjust to respond appropriately to challenges. Physical stress can be beneficial to you when it alerts you of unpleasant situations or motivate you. A good example of when stress is beneficial is when you have an interview, a physical stress response will hello you to stay awake to prepare well. Physical stress can also be harmful to you when the challenges continue for an extended time without relief or relaxation.
Signs of Physical Stress
Physical stress affects your daily life, but because people manage stress differently, the physical symptoms of stress can be different in people. However, some symptoms have been identified to be common to physical stress:
When stress is left untreated for an extended period of time, it often becomes more life-threatening. And if still not treated, can develop serious physical health complications such as:
- Back pain
- Worsening asthma symptoms or any other chronic disease an individual has
- Increases risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart attack
Chronic Physical stress can affect your entire body by increasing the risk of certain diseases and reducing your quality of life.
What Are the Causes of Physical Stress?
As stated earlier, physical stress develops from our daily experiences and challenges. Now since people have different experiences and challenges and also react to them differently, the causes of physical stress in people also differ. An instance is, someone could be overwhelmed by a traffic jam while another turns on his car air conditioner and turn on music, making the experience less inconvenient.
Some factors able to develop physical stress could be what we are already used to but experienced with increased intensity or it could be a completely new challenging factor. Major causes of physical stress are streamlined as:
1. Financial Problems
When you find yourself feeling guilty after buying non-essential things, feeling anxious and worrying about money, and frequently arguing with loved ones about money, there’s a chance that your stress is financially caused.
Physical stress as a result of work is often characterised by frequent rapid heartbeat severe nervousness, sweaty or sweaty hands and legs when carrying out a specific project or assignment at work. Job dissatisfaction also plays a role here.
3. Personal Relationships
There are many causes of stress in personal relationships – social media inclusive. The natural urge to compare yourself with others can lead to the stress of feeling inferior or inadequate.
Abuse or control in a relationship, loss of a loved one, moving to a new home, lack of communication and not being able to spend much time with a loved one are other common stressors.
4. Daily Life Hassles
Day-to-day hassles are common to us such as forgetting your keys at work, misplacing an item, running late, and other common inconveniences. Normally, they are inconvenience you often look over, however, when they occur frequently or with increased intensity, they could become sources of stress for you.
How You Can Manage Physical Stress
There’s no way to avoid stress but you can manage its symptoms on your physical health by practicing some strategies that will help you maintain not just a healthy body but your mind as well.
Exercising, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, relaxing and other healthy living practices go a long way to help with the signs of physical stress.
Check out 10 Amazing Ways that Will Help You Relieve Stress Naturally.
While stress is natural and normal, when its intensity increases or duration is extended, physical and mental symptoms develop.
The physical symptoms of stress ultimately affect our health negatively, increasing our risk of diseases and reducing our quality of life. Nonetheless, some natural consistent practices can help manage the physical symptoms of stress.
How is physical stress diagnosed?
Most healthcare providers make use of questionnaires to understand the stress an individual is experiencing and how it affects their life. This is because stress is subjective, it is not measurable with tests, and only the person experiencing it can tell how it feels.
Healthcare providers evaluate physical symptoms that are related to stress such as high blood pressure and provide the appropriate care.
What happens to the body during physical stress?
Stress comes as a response to challenges or changes you experience. During Stress a chemical reaction occurs which is known as the Fight or Flight Response, this response triggers your autonomic nervous system which controls your heart rate, breathing, vision changes, and more. This response is also responsible for the signs of physical stress as listed above.
What are the effects of stress on our mental health?
Stress affects all areas of our lives, physical and mental. Stress affects the way we think (cognition) and the way we act (behavior). Common symptoms are; feelings of helplessness, inability to focus, loss of appetite and interest in activities once enjoyed, mental exhaustion, and constant worrying among others.
How do I avoid stress?
Stress is part of our lives, it cannot be prevented. However, they are daily life practices that help manage both physical and mental symptoms of stress.
Relaxing, exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, having enough sleep and rest, being positive and realistic, accepting that you can’t control everything, acknowledging the good times, and reaching out to a mental health expert are ways to manage stress.
When is the right time to reach out to a mental health provider?
It is important to reach out to a mental health expert immediately if you feel overwhelmed. A Mental Health expert will help you manage physical and mental symptoms of stress and help you go through your experience. Mental health professionals also give advice and develop techniques that will best address your problem.
Your face is usually the first thing most people notice about you, and this can result in them having bad perceptions of you when the first thing they see is a face full of acne. Acne can negatively affect one’s chances of employment, especially for jobs where physical appearance is considered important. Asides from these, the general quality of life is usually affected as well.
Acne vulgaris, commonly called acne, is a chronic skin condition that occurs when sebum, a thick oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of the skin and dead skin cells accumulate and clog hair follicles. The block inflow of this oily secretion will provide a good breeding place for some bacteria, eventually causing some of the features of acne (redness, pain).
There are several possible causes of acne. This includes Smoking, diets with high-glycemic-load such as white bread, cakes, doughnuts, and candies; hormones, and heredity. While there are several studies done and ongoing on the above causes, hormones and heredity are considered to be the major causes of acne.
A lot of times, acne is wrongly called pimples, but pimples are just one of the features of acne — others are whiteheads, blackheads, and oily skin.
Since it is formed by the accumulation of secretions of oily glands, it most commonly affects the skin in parts of the body with high numbers of oil glands. This includes the back, face, and chest.
Generally, acne in itself does not have any significant effect on your health but in many people, it can lead to reduced self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts in some cases. So, if this is your concern, or all you want to do is to get a spotless and smooth face, you are at the right place. Now, let’s dive right into it.
How to Get Rid of Acne on the Face
If you have acne, it is very likely that you will be getting a lot of treatment suggestions from people you come across. In fact, this is usually the next thing said to you after greetings. Well, our aim in this article is to provide you with tested practical ways how to get rid of acne on the face. And the good news is that most of the things we mentioned here are easily accessible to you.
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1. Stop Popping Pimples
As simple as it sounds, this can go a long way in ensuring you get faster treatment for acne. It is always tempting to squeeze or pop the pimples on your face whenever you look into the mirror but don’t. While your dermatologist can safely do this for you, doing it yourself would likely result in redder and bumpier pimples. The chances of infection should not be taken lightly as well.
2. Toothpaste Can Treat Your Acne Too
Toothpaste has been used for some time to treat acne. Rubbing some amount of it on your pimples and allowing it to stay overnight can help to clear them, especially when continued for some days. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to use toothpaste that contains gels for this purpose.
3. Apply Tea Tree Oil on the Spots
Tea tree oil has been reported to be effective in fighting bacteria on the skin as well as reducing skin inflammation. If you have used some pharmaceutical creams and suffered from their unwanted side effects of irritation and dry skin, you should probably try tea tree oil.
To use tea tree oil, mix it with water, and use a cotton ball or swab to apply it on the affected spots. Repeat as necessary.
4. Apply Green Tea to Your Face
Apparently, the green tea you take in the morning before you begin the day’s work or later in the day after a hard day’s work has other uses apart from relieving you of stress. Green tea is rich in antioxidants as well as other ingredients that help fight bacteria.
Applying green tea extract, or skincare products containing it on your skin will help to reduce inflammation and inhibit the growth of bacteria that can cause or worsen your acne. Additionally, drinking green tea is said to be important in reducing sebum production and general body fat.
5. Use Aloe Vera to Moisturize Your Face
Aloe vera is a plant that grows in tropical parts of the world e.g Africa. A clear gel is produced from the leaves of the plant which is used as an important ingredient in many skincare products. This includes body ointments, creams, lotions, and soaps.
Aloe vera comes in handy to treat your acne because it contains sulphur and salicylic acid. Both are important ingredients in many over-the-counter lotions and creams used to treat acne.
When you apply it to your skin, it will encourage wound healing, treat rashes, abrasions, burns, redness, itching, and pain. Interestingly, it is also used to treat stomach aches.
For best results, you should combine it with tea tree oil.
Using it is easy, just take some leaves from the plant and scrape the gel out into a clean container. Use it as a moisturiser once or twice daily. You can also buy pure aloe vera gel from a pharmacy or beauty products store.
6. Take Fish Oil Supplement
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which have several health benefits, including acne treatment. It might not be very effective when used alone, but people who have used it have attested to its effectiveness in reducing inflammatory symptoms of acne such as redness and pain as well as general risk for developing acne.
The omega-3 fatty acids mentioned above can be obtained from a balanced diet containing foods like sardines, salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts, nevertheless, supplements are available in pharmacies for those whose diet is poor in fatty acids.
7. Exercise Regularly
The benefits of exercise are diverse. This includes the prevention and treatment of a lot of diseases. Since exercise improves blood circulation and hormonal regulation, frequenting it also helps to treat acne by providing adequate nourishment for the skin cells.
In addition, exercise helps to relieve stress, which is suspected to be among the causes of acne. Research is still ongoing to find out how exactly stress causes acne and how exercise helps in treatment.
There are several options available; you can start with light exercises like walking, and then eventually move to other ones if you are considered fit.
How to Prevent Pimples
Knowing how to get rid of acne on the face is not as important as knowing how to prevent it from occurring or reoccurring after treatment. Good thing is that you won’t have to spend a dime to do most of them.
- Keep your face clean but avoid harsh scrubbing, as this can cause and worsen acne.
- Avoid or reduce intake of foods linked with acne such as high-glycemic foods like whitebread and donuts
- Wear sunscreen when going outdoors
- Apply topical treatments for mild skin conditions before they get severe
- Be mindful of the skincare products you use. Always consult with a dermatologist or a skin care expert before you buy new products.
- Reduce stress
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight, as being overweight is sometimes linked to acne.
- Avoid excessive skin exfoliation
- Discuss with a dermatologist on other preventive measures you should take especially if you are at risk of developing acne.
Acne has a variety of causes and thus the treatments might differ accordingly too. The methods of how to get rid of acne on the face mentioned in this article, in no way represent an exhaustive list, there is several other methods available and ongoing research on them.
Have you tried any of the methods above or other ones not mentioned in this article, we would love to hear about your experience. Thanks for reading through.
How can I clear up acne fast?
You can use over-the-counter treatments containing salicylate and benzoyl peroxide.
How can I clear my acne naturally?
There are several options available; this includes spot-treating with tea tree oil, aloe vera, and adopting a good diet control habit.
What causes acne on the face?
Acne is linked to several causes. Two of the most important are genetics and hormonal imbalance. Others are personal hygiene, poor skin care, and diet.
What kills acne on the face?
To kill acne on the face, you can apply some gel-free toothpaste, or paste of crushed aspirin and allow it overnight. You can also use the several natural methods available.
Should I see a doctor for acne treatment?
You can easily treat mild to moderate acne with natural home remedies or over-the-counter drugs. However, a dermatologist is in the best position to evaluate and treat you, especially in recurring or severe cases.
Two of my older siblings currently have acne on their faces; my mum said she suffered from it as a teenager, does it mean acne can be inherited?
Yes. According to a study, acne is highly heritable, so if you are not affected by it, at the moment, it is very important for you to observe the preventive measures mentioned in this article
Can I buy over-the-counter drugs for my acne?
There are several over-the-counter ointments, gels, and lotions available for acne treatment. Some are highly affected but might be associated with unwanted effects such as irritation, redness, and dryness. To avoid or at least, minimise this, meet a dermatologist to recommend the most suitable one(s) for you.