Did you know that stress can impact your energy levels and your day-to-day well being? Here’s a snapshot of three articles that look into the symptoms, signs, and causes of stress, and what you can do to alleviate them.
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life.
Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best.
But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.
You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the stress response.
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.
The stress response also helps you rise to meet challenges.
Stress is what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV.
But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.
And here’s another article on the many ways stress affects our bodies. We all know that too much stress isn’t great for our bodies, but do we know why? Here are 20 effects that stress has on different parts of our bodies.
Stress has an immediate effect on your body.
In the short term, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but chronic stress puts your health at risk.
If you’re alive, you’ve got stress. Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to both good and bad experiences that can be beneficial to your health and safety.
Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones and increasing your heart and breathing rates.
Your brain gets more oxygen, giving you an edge in responding to a problem.
In the short term, stress helps you cope with tough situations.
Stress can be triggered by the pressures of everyday responsibilities at work and at home. As you might expect, negative life events like divorce or the death of a loved one cause stress.
So can physical illness. Traumatic stress, brought on by war, disaster, or a violent attack, can keep your body’s stress levels elevated far longer than is necessary for survival.
Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and can affect your overall health and well-being.
Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. The CNS instantly tells the rest of your body what to do, marshaling all resources to the cause. In the brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol.
When the perceived fear is gone, the CNS should tell all systems to go back to normal. It has done its job. If the CNS fails to return to normal, or if the stressor doesn’t go away, it takes a toll on your body.
Symptoms of chronic stress include irritability, anxiety, and depression. You may suffer from headaches or insomnia. Chronic stress is a factor in some behaviors like overeating or not eating enough, alcohol or drug abuse, or social withdrawal.
Continue reading here: 20 Effects of Stress on the Body
So now that you’ve read how bad stress is, here’s information on how to manage your stress more effectively. Don’t let stress wreak havoc on your energy and metabolism? Here are 5 ways stress affects you, and what you can do to manage it.
Sometimes I feel like I am running on adrenaline when I am under stress.
Then when it is over, I crash.
Why does it seem like stress is so exhausting?
Stress impacts the body physically, mentally, and emotionally. It lowers energy because when we’re in a chronic state of stress, we exhaust our adrenal glands, which produce cortisol – or the stress hormone.
When the adrenals continuously secrete cortisol in response to our perceived stress, at first we have lots of energy, then we’re “tired and wired,” and eventually just exhausted.
Cortisol levels peak, and then eventually over time, tank, leaving us as exhausted as our adrenals.
Let’s face it. Stress never really goes away.
When one situation ends it seems that another arises. So does getting our mojo back have more to do with alleviating stress, or working around it?
Stress lessens when we become more proactive vs. reactive.
To alleviate our stress is great it is always helpful to see what you can do to reduce it, like limiting or eliminating your time with toxic people, stopping something that’s stressful for you, delegating more, etc.
When we’re unable to do that, it’s best to find a healthy way of managing stress, which can mean becoming proactive, changing our outlook and perspective.
It’s like watching two people in traffic. It’s the same thing for both, but one is banging on the steering wheel and drowning in a sea of stress hormones, and the other is enjoying music and having quiet time.
I can assure you that the one who’s found a healthier way to handle stress is healthier in many ways.
Keep reading here: 5 Real Ways Stress Affects Your Energy and Metabolism | Babble