Stress is a killer. But you need it!
We all have stress in our life, that's a given. So how do we diminish its strong power to affect our health, energy levels and emotional stability. Although Stress is 99 times out of 100 seen as a negative thing that we would like to avoid at all cost, you may want to makes friends with it. Continue reading as I attempt to prove my point by convincing you to grab hold of your stress and learn how to spend time together in relative peace.
Here we go:
Stress is how the brain and body responds to any demand.
When we say the word stress, we usually think it’s a negative thing, but this is how our bodies and brains operate. Without stress, we would get nothing done; there would be no stimulus for activity. Every type of demand – exercise, work, school, major life changes or traumatic events – can be stressful.
The healthier we are, the better able we are at coping with stress. We can be more efficient at coping and we can recover more quickly than others who may be suffering from a toxic level of stress in their bodies.
There are different kinds of stress – all of which carry physical and mental health risks. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can be something that keeps happening over a long period of time.
Stress can motivate people to prepare or perform – like when they need to take a test or interview for a new job.
Stress can even be life-saving in some situations. In a dangerous situation, our bodies prepare to face a threat or flee to safety. In these situations, our pulse quickens, we breathe faster, our muscles tense, our brains use more oxygen – all functions aimed at survival.
Health problems can occur if the stress response goes on for too long or becomes chronic, such as when the source of stress is constant, or if the response continues even after the danger is gone.
With chronic stress, those same life-saving responses in your body can suppress immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally.
Stress alters the neurochemical composition of the body.
Stress triggers physiological, emotional and chemical reactions in the body through a complex signaling pathway between neurons and body cells.
Routine stress may be the hardest type of stress to notice at first.
Because the source of stress tends to be more constant than in cases of acute or traumatic stress, the body gets no clear signal to return to normal functioning.
Continued strain on the body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
So, let’s look at what all of this might mean:
A Study conducted at Oklahoma State University revealed that the students’ immunity went down every year under the simple stress of the three-day exam period. Test takers had fewer natural killer cells, which fight tumors and viral infections. They almost stopped producing immunity-boosting gamma interferon and infection-fighting T-cells.
By 2004, a meta-analysis of almost 300 studies on stress and health revealed some interesting patterns – some are listed below:
During stress of any significant duration – from a few days to a few months or years – as happens in real life – all aspects of immunity went DOWN.
Long-term or chronic stress, through too much wear and tear, can seriously depress our immune systems.
People who are older or already sick are more prone to stress-related immune changes.
People with chronic mild depression had weaker lymphocyte T-cell responses, the cells that respond to viruses and bacteria.
Immune response was down in those tested even 18 months later, and immunity declined with age.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity and Disease, found that social isolation and feelings of loneliness each independently weakened immunity.
We may not be able to “decrease our stress” as may have been suggested, but we certainly can affect how we deal with the stress that we have. Now that we know of some of the detrimental effects of stress, know that every non- healthy thing that you eat and do costs you even more than just what you spend at the store and every healthy thing that you eat and do pays great dividends.
ju spend at and do pays great dividends.