• Konstantina Dimitriou

Prevention is Better than Cure

Stress is a part of everyone's life. But while most look to remove it completely, finding ways to minimize it may be more effective.

Stress can be manageable (Photo: brainfacts.org)


More than 50 years ago Dr. Hans Selye proved how stress reduces health and leads to different gland disorders, including autoimmune endocrine disorders. Dr. Selye observed that if under threat, the body produces hormones such as adrenaline and cortisone. Both of these hormones have the property of increasing resistance to pain, hunger, fatigue, and inhibiting the activation of the immune system.

What is actually stress? Stress is the body's natural defense against predators and danger. Stress triggers your fight-or-flight response in order to fight the stressor or run away from it. Typically, after the response occurs, your body should relax. Too much constant stress can have negative effects on your long-term health.


Τhree examples of types of stress, are often observed in our daily lives:

1. Stress routines, such as childcare, homework or financial responsibilities

2. Sudden, disorganizing changes, such as a death in the family or a job loss

3. Traumatic stress, which can occur as a result of extreme injury as a result of a serious accident, attack, environmental disaster or war


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), two types of stress exist:

Acute stress is usually the more common form of stress. This type of stress is short-term and develops when people consider the pressures of events that have recently occurred or face upcoming challenges in the near future. Acute stressors tend to have a clear and immediate solution. Even with the more difficult challenges that people face, there are possible ways to get out of the situation. Acute stress does not cause the same amount of damage as long-term, chronic stress. However, repeated instances of acute stress over an extended period can become chronic and harmful.

Chronic stress develops over a long period and is harmful. It occurs when a person cannot avoid stress and stops looking for solutions. For example, a traumatic childhood experience can also contribute to chronic stress. Chronic stress makes it difficult for the body to return to a normal level of stress hormone activity. Persistent stress can interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system. It also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can develop when the stress becomes chronic.


Is there truly anything more important than our health? When we are physically healthy, then we are also mentally healthy. Stress is an integral part of our lives, which we cannot erase with a magic button, however we can stop ignoring it and try to learn to manage it.

Some changes in lifestyle can help us manage or prevent stress-induced emotions from overflowing. Initially, the care and strengthening of the body is an essential ingredient. Water is the elixir for the removal of toxins. Aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times a week helps to distract from negative thoughts, releases endorphins, and reduces feelings of frustration and melancholy. Laughter can help stress levels and also contributes to the overall health of the body. It also helps people to socialize. People with humor are easier to join in groups and support from our friends helps reduce stress. So do not forget to laugh!



Make a list of the problems you face based on how important they are to you. Then try to come up with one or more alternatives. Stop constantly lowering yourself. Recognize what you have managed to deal with effectively to date. Enrich your diet with anti-stress foods. There are various food ingredients that protect against stress, such as: protein, carbohydrates, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper (whole grains, bananas, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, nuts, and black tea). When the stress reaches alarming proportions, panic attacks occur, and psychosomatic symptoms mean that it will be quite helpful to consult a Psychologist or Psychiatrist.


Stop closing your eyes and ears to the voices of your body. Try to make your life better. Stress is not the real enemy, but rather ourselves and our phobias are what lead us to a passive life.

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