Stress can have profound effects on our mental health. It can cause us to lose focus, or it can trigger depression or anxiety. It might affect our memory, and it can have a negative impact on our relationships with others. But did you know that stress can adversely affect our physical health as well?
The Physiology of Stress
In addition to the changes that stress brings forth in our minds, it causes a number of physiological responses. Here is how it works:
- First, we experience the stress alarm reaction. This is commonly known as the “fight or flight” response. Hormones and chemicals, including adrenaline and endorphins, flood into the bloodstream, and we experience a sudden burst of energy. This increases our blood pressure and breathing rate. Digestion slows down, and blood rushes to our major organs.
- Once the initial threat has passed, our bodies move into a stage called stress resistance. The body begins to function somewhat normally again, but it is still on alert. It begins to repair any tissue that was damaged during the initial stage of stress.
- The third stage is stress exhaustion. This occurs when we experience ongoing stress. This stage is where the most damage is done. The immune system may be suppressed thanks to an overabundance of certain chemicals, and the cardiovascular system often suffers. Your cortisol levels are increased causing you to hold on to fat and lose sleep. This lack of sleep causes you to potentially eat more.
What Do These Responses Do to Our Bodies?
The end results of too much stress can be detrimental to our health. The strain it puts on our cardiovascular system can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure or stroke. We might gain weight due to changes in metabolism or eating habits. Our immunity might become impaired to the point that we get sick more frequently. Stress has also been known to be a major factor in the formation of many stomach ulcers.
Stress can also affect our bodies in ways that are less serious but rather bothersome. It can cause headaches and body aches. It might lead to skin breakouts. It can affect our sleep patterns. It can cause sexual dysfunction. And it can make us more susceptible to allergy symptoms.
Health problems that we already have are often made worse by stress. This is especially true for disorders that are connected to the nervous system, such as chronic pain, digestive problems, and bowel disorders. If these ailments are present, excessive stress can make a bad situation worse.
We all experience stress. It is a normal, unavoidable part of life. But too much stress can cause numerous problems for us. That’s why it is so important for us to learn how to handle stress effectively. Doing so will reduce its harmful effects on both the mind and the body.
I also want to touch on long term stress. The above I will say is short term stress — for example you work in a high stress environment — like a doctor, nurse, some form of first responder where you are put in a dangerous situation and then you go back to normal. This can also be said for when you are on a deadline. Long term stress is for what I call those who are CONSTANTLY stressed about something. This stress isn’t followed by any need to pull a baby from under a car or run for your life. Still it causes physiological reactions in your body. The main reaction is the release of cortisol and adrenaline. When these 2 hormones are used to lift that baby from under the car, they need to be used up some how, so that’s why when you are stressed out you want to eat and you typically crave foods that are comforting — cheesy, creamy, greasy, sugary — OMG must stop I’m have food fantasies.
If you say to me I’m good, I’m not stressed — I ask you to track you hunger in the morning. Do you walk up hungry or not hungry. Not being hungry regularly in the AM is a sign that you are stressed. That’s why I always stress for you to eat within 30 min of waking up. This helps to stem the rising cortisol levels.
Are you someone who is a stress ball?? I’ve found that once I started meditating and writing down what was on my mind it helped me to release it out of my brain and caused me to relax much more. The one thing I added was I started taking 1 full day off from any form of work. It’s been amazing for my mental health and my marriage.
If you are someone who finds themselves battling stress, I highly recommend the product Ionix Supreme. It really chills me and and gives me clarity. Ionix Supreme is a powerful, nutrient-rich tonic infused with natural vitamins, minerals and extracts from around the world that help support bodily functions, reduce stress, increase energy and protect the body from the effects of free radicals and oxidative stress—a key factor in aging.
When feeling stressed I will do one of the following:
- Eat within 30 min of waking up
- Exercise — over exercising is just as stressful — so make sure your workouts don’t exceed 1-1/2 hours
- Make sure I’m eating protein with every meal
- Eat every 2-3 hours
- Have some unsweetened cocoa or my favorites IsaDelights
Just joining now?? Don’t worry you can catch up.
Day 1 — Intro the challenge
Day 2 — Getting your mind straight
Day 3 — Goal setting
Day 4 — What’s on your plate
Day 5 — Lift
Day 6 — Cardio
Day 7 — Living on your own terms
Day 8 — Rest day
Day 9 — Forming a habit
Day 10 — Just Breathe
Day 11 — Fat loss secrets revealed
Day 12 — Can you pinch an inch
Day 13 — Dedicated and Focused
Day 14 — Doubt
Day 15 — Rewards and Consequences
Day 16 — Damn Hormones
Day 17 — Pre and Post Workout Meals
Day 18 — Successful Weight Loss
Day 19 — Know Before You Go
Day 20 — Courage and Strength
Day 21 — You Can’t Out Run A Bad Diet
Day 22 — 10 Days To Go!
Day 23 — To Cleanse Or Not Cleanse
Day 24 — The Power Of SleepDay 25 — What’s Your Why