Do You Understand Stress?

Stress is a term often thrown around in media, health venues, and in our conversations. In fact a study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) on stress in 2008 noted 1/3 of Americans ranked their level of stress to be 8, 9, or 10 with 10 being very high! Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact our bodies are designed to handle stress with fight or flight syndrome which helps us to navigate the world. When faced with a stressful environment and without getting to technical (but for those interested email and I will) it takes mere seconds for the body to engage in to the fight or flight syndrome. This of course has saved lives are can explain phenomenon’s such as mothers lifting heavy cars. It is rarely ever mentioned that the coming down from the natural chemical high (accelerated heart rate etc.) takes a lot more time.

So why is this important?

Well for starters, many of us are struggling with chronic stress. What this means is that the body is consistently in a state of fight or flight and never gets the opportunity to recover. Our physiological responses to Removal and Understanding Stress remain the same, though our stressors have changed in many ways. Some individuals are experiencing severe income loss due to unemployment or slow business. Others are over worked and constantly in the need to be “on”. There are those facing serious illnesses which come with concerns for their own health and its impact on the family. In today social climate there are many reasons as to why one can be under chronic stress. Regardless of what form the stressors may come in for you, the fact of the matter is that it is putting you at risk.

So, what is the impact of chronic stress?

Being under chronic stress can put you at even more health risks both mentally and physically. If the body never has an opportunity to recover then how can it get the rest that it needs in order to handle the next stressor? Most individuals under chronic stress focus on “just getting it all done” and handling it the best way know how. However, most often the method for coping can be just as harmful. How many times have you indulged in over eating or too much alcohol because of stress? Of course, we cannot always just remove stressors from our lives, but we can change how we cope with them. Making simple changes such as taking learning how to take a breather, incorporating exercise, and making dietary changes can help. That’s right, what you eat can help with stress. Understanding the role of nutrition and stress is important, but that will have to be another newsletter.



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