The alarming effects of stress
It almost seems like a a trend to be stressed. How many times a day do you hear the words ‘what a stressful day I’m having’ or ‘I can not deal with the stress of this’? Everyone, everywhere seem to have some kind of stressful life. It is the signs of the times.
Some people don’t even realise that they are stressed. The body reacts to a variety of things and can go into a stress response due to the food we eat, the thoughts we believe or the more obvious, the work or job we do. So you can see that stress can be regarded as a ‘normal’ response.
We live in a day and age where a ‘stress’ response is inevitable on a daily basis. Some people use the adrenalin to get their proposal or presentation done in time which can be a good thing. However, continuous stress, without proper relaxation, can have a huge impact on our health and quality of life and can lead to chronic disease such as High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Disease and even Obesity. Common stress symptoms and signs on chronic stress include:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach upset
- Sleep problems
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
- Overeating or undereating
- Angry outbursts
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Tobacco use
- Social withdrawal
The stress response is what we know commonly as the ‘Fight or Flight’ mode of the body. You get a fright, there is looming (or seemingly so) danger at hand. The hypothalymus gland in the brain, tells the adrenal glands on the kidneys, to release adrenalin and cortisol. The heart beats fast to distribute blood and oxygen to the muscles in legs and arms in preparation for a fight or to run away.
Old news right? Right. However, subtle dynamics comes into play; when we are a stressful situation we only take short shallow breaths meaning less oxygen and blood distribution. The body will go into pannick and will then give a signal to the brain that there is more danger and that more adrenalin or cortisol is needed which then puts more stress on the endocrine and cardiovascular system. This can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness, sharp shooting headaches and very tense muscles. It can also lead to an asthma attack if you already have this condition.
If you have many stress triggers in a day, your heart works too hard for too long, putting a lot of strain on the blood vessels in the body raising your risk for heart attacks or strokes. You can also see here that during a ‘Power Meeting’ at work or a fight with your spouse you will get less oxygen to the brain, making you 30% less ‘compos mentis‘ in the moment.
It doesn’t stop there, in short the following will also happen;
- Your muscles will tense up leading to achy, stiff and tight muscles in the back, shoulders and neck leading to headaches etc.
- The Liver will produce glucose for energy elevating the blood sugar levels which can lead to Diabetes and eye problems.
- The Reproductive system takes strain influencing your fertility (men and women) and the menstrual cycle (if you’re female).
- Too much cortisol will have an effect on your immune system, making you more prone for illness.
The physiological stress response is not just triggered by fighting with your kids or spouse, it is also triggered by smoking, alcohol and caffeine. Even the food we eat or the thoughts we believe can have a ‘stressful’ impact on the body.
I found this video that explains the process in a few minutes; Click here
Ways to deal with stress.
The best way to deal with the effects of stress on the body and mind is to relax. The best way to relax, and the quickest, is to take slow, deep and conscious breaths. Whenever you feel that your breath is short and shallow, stop and take a few deeeeeeeeep breaths. You will instantly feel better.
Yoga and meditation has also proven to be very beneficial when it comes to stress release. Below is also a link that will take you to a Yoga sequence you can try at home to de-stress. I also found this video on youtube on yoga for stress. Make an effort and go watch it, and double up the effort to do it with.
Yoga Nidra is, according to me, the best de-stressing method that exists on this planet. It is an old technique inducing bliss and relaxation. During Yoga Nidra, our minds and body relax and the connection between, breath, body and mind is re-established creating a overall sense of well being. Click here to take 30min out of your busy schedule and listen to a Yoga Nidra (Conscious Relaxation).
MYYO can also help with the symptoms of stress, releasing muscles and re-establishing blood flow, balancing out the body and mind.
Take time to spend with loved ones, interact and connect with other human beings. This will create a feeling of ‘belonging’ giving you a place on this earth.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you understand the subject a little better and that you will soon be breathing deeper and snapping less.