Do You Really Know What Stress Is? (1)

The modern world is said to be a stressful society full of stress. If you live alone in an environment with plenty of natural food and no predators such as beasts, and you don’t use a TV or smartphone, you may be able to live a stress-free life. This is because stress is a reaction caused by unpleasant external stimuli.

Stress also tends to differ by age and gender. According to the 2019 Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare “National Life Survey”, women tend to have a higher stress rate than men at all ages by about 10%. In terms of age, 30 to 59 years old is the time when the stress ratio is high.

Then, at the retirement age of 60 and over, the stress rate drops sharply by about 10%, and the stress ratio decreases to a level close to that of adolescence up to the age of 19. It clearly shows that the working generation, such as work, marriage, family, child-rearing, and mortgages, receives unpleasant stimuli from the outside. After the age of 60, when you are freed from them, you can understand that stress decreases rapidly.

Life without stimulation is also a problem, and moderate stress is necessary. The problem is excessive stress that negatively affects the mind and body. Unpleasant external stimuli that cause excessive stress vary from person to person.

Poor performance at work, repeated failures, being bullied by bosses and co-workers, no one showing interest in them, frequent criticism for small things, no bright future in current job work worries such as being too busy to take time for yourself.

Husbands, wives, lovers, and other partners constantly complaining, recently being ostracized among friends, seeing only the negative aspects of cohabitants, and being annoyed by noises in the neighborhood.

Self-problems such as feeling unfulfilled in life and worrying about reputation on SNS. Anything can cause stress.

Here are some examples of symptoms of excessive stress. Feeling depressed, irritable, unmotivated, having trouble concentrating or paying attention, losing interest in things that should be fun, feeling sad for some reason, thinking only about bad outcomes , inability to make important decisions, blaming yourself for feeling worthless. These are psychological symptoms of excessive stress that lead to negative mental states.

On the other hand, you can’t sleep well, you sleep too much, you lose your appetite, you eat and drink too much, you have general malaise and fatigue, you have headaches, dizziness, stiff shoulders and back pain, palpitations and shortness of breath, abdominal pain and constipation. Diarrhea, tears, etc. These are physical symptoms. If these symptoms are left untreated, they may progress to the disease. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and depression are also stress-related diseases, and in the worst cases, they can lead to the onset of stroke and heart disease.

In response, in 2022, a private company conducted an “Awareness Survey on Stress Relief Methods” targeting 3,013 men and women nationwide, and compiled the data into the top 30 rankings. There are 6 patterns to relieve stress. They are rest type, exercise type, companion type, entertainment type, creative type, and change of pace type. When we tweaked the survey results of this private company on our own and reaggregated them into six patterns, the most common types were rest and entertainment. There are resting types such as sleeping, listening to music, taking a bath, drinking tea, and meditating, and entertainment types such as eating, singing, watching videos, playing games, comics, driving, and watching comedy shows. Next is a change type, such as shopping, going on a trip, cleaning, and Oshi (my fave). And exercises and engaging in creative activities, including cooking.

Among these, stress relief methods that cannot be done without preparing enough time are ranked low. It seems to be popular as a stress relief method that can be easily done without spending time. It is no wonder that sencha and matcha, which are useful for relieving stress due to the action of theanine, are very popular. (This column will also introduce the effects of theanine.)



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