Introduction: The literal meaning of stress in biological context is a condition of great worry which is caused by an adverse situation or due to something from which that situation arrived. Stress is the body’s normal reaction to any adverse condition. When there is any threat or harmful stimuli from outside, our body prepares itself to prevent any injury to the body. In this process two possible reactions can occur, either fight with the situation or flight/ escape from that situation.
During the process of fight/ flight response from the body, our heart rate increases, we start breathing quickly, muscles contract and the blood pressure increases. In this way our body prepares itself to survive any stress.
Causes: There are many reasons for stress. Depending upon their severity, these can be mild, moderate or severe. Common reasons for stress which we face in our routine life are of mild form like shifting to another house, preparing for a presentation etc. Reasons for moderate stress include serious illness, car accidents, etc. while events like loss of a close family member or exposure to violence can lead to extreme stress reaction with derangement of health. Mild and moderate type of stress is usually positive for the person as it helps him to be prepared for the upcoming challenging events.
Stress for a short duration is usually not a matter of much concern. But recurrent or long-term stress are said to be harmful for the body which is very common now-a-days due to hectic schedules, financial burden etc. Long term stress can even lead to development of mental as well as physical disorders like:
- Depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disease etc.
- Physical disorders like- hypertension, heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis etc.
- Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa
- Menstrual complaints like hypomenorrhea etc.
- Gastric problems like APD, irritable bowel syndrome etc. which are predominantly related to stress.
Symptoms: There is a variety of symptoms exhibited by the people which depends upon the duration, type and reason for the stress. These symptoms can manifest themselves at any level like either on mental or physical plane or both. Following are the different symptoms which can be present in people having stress:
- Easily getting irritated
- No desire to mix with people
- Difficulty in concentration
- Frequent headaches
- Diminished sleep
- Increased use of stimulants like cigarettes or alcohol
- Stomach dysfunction leading to diarrhea or constipation
- Decreased sexual desire or ability or both
- Increased perspiration etc.
Management: For the management of stress, we cannot change the circumstances confronted by us but we can try to change our ways to deal it by different ways. One of which is changing the way of perceiving the reason of stress, for example, we can take that situation as a challenge and try to compete with it just as we do while taking part in a competition. Other ways to deal with stress are given below:
- Yoga/ workout
- Spending quality time with loved ones
- Share your problem with some reliable person
- Play with your pet
- Hang out with friends
- Morning walk
- Get closer to nature
- Listen your favorite music
- Pursue your hobby
- Watch your favorite movie
Even after adopting all the above measures, if you do not find mental peace and the stress becomes unmanageable and hampers your routine, then you should seek a doctors? advice. For the management of stress there are many homeopathic medicines which can be prescribed without any side-effects. These are prescribed according to the symptoms exhibited by the patient and the causation of stress. Following is a list of common homeopathic medicines for stress:
Aconitum napellus: For acute stress, when the stress comes after some frightful incident. Patient will become restless with fear of death. He will have excessive anxiety about his health. There are emotional as well as physical tensions like sensation of tension in arteries. Patient will be worried constantly with fear, anxiety and restlessness.
Cocculus indicus: For stress with profound sadness. Time passes too quickly as the mind is absorbed in day-dreaming. Mind is benumbed. Has anxiety especially about the health of others.
Eshscholtzia californica: This drug is used to alleviate mental anxiety and works as a sedative and analgesic. For nervous tension leading to anxiety and difficulty in sleeping. It is said to be a soporific without ill-effects hence normalizing psychologic functions.
Gelsemium sempervirens: Drowsiness and dullness with mental apathy and tired feeling. Wants to be quiet and don’t want to be in company. When stressful stimuli especially fright leads to physical affections. General depression from exposure to sun heat. When stress causes dizziness and prostration. Becomes delirious on falling asleep.
Ginseng quinquefolium: It helps the body to adapt stressful conditions and hence help in its management. It helps body to adapt to fatigue, cold and hunger also. It has constituents similar to body’s own stress hormones. It also improves body’s immunity, liver function and stimulates the vital processes of the body. For impotence and premature ejaculation.
Lupulus: Patient has sleeplessness, remains awake all the night with an anxiety in mind that something bad is going to happen. Drowsiness in day time. It has been proved for tension, headache sleep disorders.
Passiflora incarnata: This medicine is known to have sedative and anti-spasmodic actions upon body. Sleeplessness in mentally over-worried and over-worked individuals this can be given for the relaxation of mind.
Conclusion: Stress is the body’s normal reaction to any adverse condition. When there is any threat or harmful stimuli from outside, our body prepares itself to prevent any injury to the body. Hence it is an unavoidable phenomenon of our body. These harmful stimuli can lead to mild, moderate, or severe stress. The symptoms of stress can be present on either mental or physical or both the planes of body. Of these, common symptoms of stress are anxiety, irritability, poor concentration, palpitations etc. Every person has different symptoms and different causes of stress. According to symptoms similarity and individualization of patient, homeopathic medicine like Passiflora incarnata can be given safely to manage stress.