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  • Writer's pictureAlexis Lee

Why Do We Feel Stressed?

Cannot comprehend why do you feel stress? Read this article to find out more on the origins of stress!

Stress. Something common? Definitely. Stress is inevitable, like seriously. No matter how carefree a life you live, if you said you have never been in a stressful situation, you are most certainly lying. We feel stressed, but do we know why? In this article, we will be exploring the reasons why we get stressed.

From a more scientific point of view, we feel stressed when our body prompts our adrenal glands to release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The release of these hormones leads to changes in the body such as increased heart rate and energy supplied and elevated blood pressure. Have you ever had difficulty falling asleep during stressful periods? Or constantly feeling your heart pounding in your chest? Maybe even hearing your heart pound! Well, that is all thanks to your hormonal friends Adrenaline and Cortisol! Luckily, our stress hormones go back to normal quickly once the stressful event is over, and there won’t be any lasting effects. So don’t worry, adrenaline and cortisol aren’t there to stay.

From a less scientific point of view, we feel stressed when we simply have too much on our plate, or an ‘unsolvable’ issue. In such cases, we feel overwhelmed, lost or maybe even scared. These are all emotions subset to stress. Ever heard of the phrase ‘a little goes a long way’? We often feel stressed not from a singular event, but more so from a buildup of emotions from multiple issues or events. People may not have an outlet to vent their emotions, leading to pent up anger or anxiety. This then shows up in the form of stress. In this case, a little in the beginning may eventually lead to a lot as time passes.

Stress often carries a negative connotation to it simply because…people just don’t like to feel stressed. Stress is our body’s response to pressure and is often triggered when we experience something new and unexpected, something we lack confidence in. Everyone’s stress response differs, but one thing stays for sure - stress is one of our fight or flight responses, stress keeps us alive, literally. Why? In dangerous situations, our fight or flight response kicks in, determining whether we run or whether we decide to retaliate. FIGHT OR FLIGHT. Essentially, stress helps us make the ‘best’ decisions in situations where our mind is no longer able to think rationally, and these decisions are made to keep us safe. So stress isn’t all that bad. In fact, it is an extremely important emotion - just as long as stress levels stay in moderation.

While it is important to have manageable levels of stress, it is also important that we recognise when we feel stressed and find the reasons behind why we feel so. This will help us ensure the levels of stress never become overwhelming and start having adverse effects on our physical and mental health.

In the next article of this series, we will be unpacking the different types of stress and how to recognise when stress levels are getting too high.

Done By: Alexis Lee

Edited By: Tan Hui Ling

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