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Stress, how to recognize and understand it

Stress is a reality for many Swiss people. According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), about one third of the Swiss population feels stressed frequently or constantly. Stress can be caused by factors such as work, studies, relationships and health, and it can have negative consequences on physical and mental health. However, there are simple and effective tips for dealing with stress on a daily basis.

Understanding your stress

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction of the body to a difficult or dangerous situation. It is the body’s response to protect itself from a potentially threatening situation. However, when this response becomes excessive or prolonged, it can have negative effects on physical and mental health.


It is therefore essential to understand stress in order to better manage it and avoid these negative consequences. The cause of stress can be related to different factors such as work, family, relationships, health, daily life, etc.


Stress can be positive or negative depending on its duration and intensity. Stress affects the nervous system, hormones and heart rate. It can cause the release of adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that allow us to react to a stressful situation. However, prolonged exposure to these hormones can impact our vital organs and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, sleep disorders, as well as mental health problems such as anxiety and burn-out.


There are signs and symptoms that indicate that you are under stress. These symptoms may include increased blood pressure, rapid and shallow breathing, increased heart rate, muscle tension, sleep disturbances and emotional disturbances.

The causes of stress

The causes of stress can be divided into three main categories: physiological, psychological and sociological factors.

  • Physiological factors

On a physiological level, stress is caused by a hormonal reaction. Stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, are released in response to a stressor. This reaction can lead to an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, headaches, sleep disturbances, decreased appetite and muscle pain

  • Psychological factors

On the other hand, at the psychological level, stress can be generated by personality-related factors, such as anxiety disorders, nervousness or emotional state. Anxiety disorders can increase  stress levels by creating situations of irrational fear, excessive worry and panic.
Emotional state can also be an important factor in triggering stress, especially when we are under stress. These situations can also lead to a reduction in our ability to manage our emotions and  concentrate.

  • Sociological factors


Finally, social factors are common causes of stress in modern life. Social sources of stress can include stressful work situations, lack of time for oneself, lack of social support, strained relationships, social pressure and interpersonal conflicts. They can be particularly difficult to manage because of their impact on relationships with others and on self-perception.

Stress can have negative consequences for physical and mental health, including burnout and chronic illness. It is important to manage stress in order to maintain a balance between work and personal life, as well as to take steps to reduce sources of stress and to improve one’s ability to manage stressful situations. Therefore, it is important to learn to listen to your body to better understand your stress factors. Understanding these triggers allows one to better manage them and adopt techniques to reduce their impact on health.

Tips for managing stress in everyday life

Stress management can include breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, meditation, relaxation therapy, regular physical activity, a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. These practices help to control stress and reduce its impact on health. Magnesium is also an important mineral for stress regulation. Learning to understand your stress also allows you to adopt good time management and identify sources of work-related stress.


Managing stress at work can include planning tasks, delegating responsibilities, communicating with colleagues and management, and allowing time for breaks and relaxation. One of the keys to understanding stress is knowing how to avoid stress.


It is important to look for ways to overcome daily stress. Laughter is an excellent therapy to reduce stress, as well as creative or artistic activities. It is important to learn to step back from stressful situations and to be calm. It is important to be aware of stressors, to look for ways to manage them and to adopt a healthy lifestyle to avoid chronic stressful situations.


Stress management techniques can also be used to reduce the impact on health. Learning to manage stress allows people to face life’s challenges in a more calm and positive way.


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