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Stress! What is it good for?

| By Dr. Debbie Tan (Chiropractor)

stress

Although everyone feels stressed to different extents even in the same circumstances, one thing is constant. We all get stressed when we feel we are not in control. At any point you are challenged with a situation where you have lost control, or have no control of the outcome, your stress levels will soar as time goes on. You may suffer from symptoms such as muscle tension, dry mouth and difficulty sleeping. Here, we are going to identify ways in which you can take positive control in your life and help you achieve great balance between body, mind and soul.

What many individuals don’t know is that stress is a condition that adversely affects your body. The impacts of stress is not commonly known to the large proportion of the population.

 

Facts About Stress and Your Body

Everyone responds to stress differently, so it is difficult to find research that shows what everyone will experience, however there are some key statistics which include:

35 per cent of Australians report having a significant level of distress in their lives1

To manage stress, 61% drink alcohol, 41% gamble, 40% smoke and 31% take recreational drugs1

The top two causes of stress in Australia are personal finances at 49% and family issues at 45%1

 

Six Ways In Which The body is Effected By Stress

There are two sorts of stress. The beneficial/good stress is called eustress which helps us get things done yet, the hurtful stress is known as constant stress or distress.2 Ceaseless stress gradually impacts your health; you potentially won’t even notice the side effects. Also, if you cannot manage stress, there may be side effects. These side effects include, but are not limited to:
1.Depression3
Stressful event in your life can cause different psychological and physiological changes in the body. It can cause the hyperactivity of certain systems in the body, which may be one of the causes of depression.3 When you find that you are stressed, it is common for individuals to get discouraged. Many fall into this trap and do not seek for help. If you find yourself here, please talk to someone or contact a health professional.

2.Anxiety4
Stress from traumatic life events can lead to anxiety. The individuals who cannot deal with stress could have high levels of tension. Most commonly, people may experience headaches and neck pain due to this tension.5

3.Heart disease6
Stress can cause heart disease through two mechanisms. One is through physiological pathways in the body, which directly increases the risk of heart disease.6 For example, an increase in stress increases heart rate.7 Hence, with continued stress, this may cause issues with the heart. Another mechanism is via indirect effect through unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption in people under stress.6

4. Diabetes8
Increased mental or physical stress can cause an increase in the blood glucose level in the body, and hence may lead to type 2 diabetes.9

5. Hair loss10,11

In response to stress, cortisol, known as the stress hormone, is released into the body. If the level of cortisol in the body accumulates to excessively high levels, they can disrupt hair follicles, which in turn affect the hair growth cycle. This can lead to hair growth disorders such as telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia.10 Stress can also lead to voluntary excessive hair pulling, and therefore hair loss.11

6. Obesity12
We regularly oversee stress by ingesting unhealthy, hearty dinners. In a stressed state, we are unable to convert foods properly and may encourage overeating and mindless eating. The increase in levels of cortisol in the body may also cause the development of obesity.

 

5 Simple Ways to Decrease Your Stress:

  1. The easiest way to deal with stress is to get more rest and sleep. The body needs time to recoup from stressful occasions. Adults should aim for 8 hours of a sleep a night, uninterrupted. This does not include using your tablet, on the phone etc in bed.
  2. If you feel overwhelmed at whatever you are doing, go for a walk and let your mind rest. Most people never take breaks while they are working, regardless of the fact that they are stressed. It’s a common thought that you should ‘knock out’ with work all at once, but without having intervals to break up the schedule, you’ll find that your productivity rate will reduce. Enjoy a five moment reprieve each hour so your mind has an opportunity to unwind, and you will complete your work better.
  3. Figure out how to deal with your time and give yourself an opportunity to get things dealt with. If we can arrange our calendar better, we will have smoother days. Locate an everyday organizer or a littler notepad and in the morning scribble down what you need to perform that day. I have additionally found that intersection out a completed assignment can give you a feeling of achievement.
  4. Exercise as much as you can by cycling, strolling, trekking, jogging, or working out at the gym. Your entire body can manage stress vastly improved when it is fit. When you exercise, the mind discharges endorphins, which produces a positive sensation, which decreases stress as well as lifts our mind-set.13
  5. Eat healthy. Eating as close to the Earth through natural products such as vegetables, grains, fats, and meat. Best way to continue to eat healthy is to prepare ahead, have meals done up on a Sunday so that you have your entire week set up.

 

Living a stress-free life is achievable. Following these simple ways on how to manage stress will make your life that little more happier and healthier. For more information, feel free to get in contact with us on how to help reduce your stressors.

 

  1. Australian Psychological Society. APS Stress and wellbeing in Australia survey 2015. [document on the Internet]. Australia; 2015 [cited 2016 Sep 7]. Available from: https://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/PW15-SR.pdf
  2. Simmons BL, Nelson DL. Eustress at work: the relationship between hope and health in hospital nurses. Health CareManage Rev [serial on the Internet]. 2001 [2016 Sep 9];26(4):7. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11721311
  3. Yang L, Zhao Y, Wang Y, Liu L, Zhang X, Li B, et al. The Effects of Psychological Stress on Depression. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015;13(4):494-504. doi:  10.2174/1570159X1304150831150507
  4. Mayo Clinic Staff. Anxiety [article on the Internet]. Mayo Clinic; 2015 [2016 Sep 9]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/dxc-20168124
  5. Kayhan F, Gezer I, Kayhan A, Kitis S, Golen M. Mood and anxiety disorders in patients with chronic low back and neck pain caused by disc herniation. Int JPsychiatry Clin Pract. 2016;20(1):19-23. doi: 10.3109/13651501.2015.1100314.
  6. Weidner G, Kopp M, Kristenson M. Heart disease: environment, stress, and gender [e-book]. Amsterdam;Washington, DC: IOS Press; 2002 [2016 Sep 9]. Available from: ProQuest ebrary.
  7. Terkelsen AJ, Mølgaard H, Hansen J, Andersen OK, Jensen TS. Acute pain increases heart rate: Differential mechanisms during rest and mental stress. Auton Neurosci [serial online]. 2005 [2016 Sep 9];121(1):101-9. Available from: ScienceDirect. http://www.sciencedirect.com/
  8. Pouwer F, Kupper N, Adriaanse MC. Does emotional stress cause type 2 diabetes mellitus? A review from the European Depression in Diabetes (EDID) Research Consortium. Discov med [serial on the Internet]. 2010 [2016 Sep 9];9(45):112. Available from: http://www.discoverymedicine.com/Frans-Pouwer/2010/02/11/does-emotional-stress-cause-type-2-diabetes-mellitus-a-review-from-the-european-depression-in-diabetes-edid-research-consortium/.
  9. Sim Y, Park S, Kang Y, Kim S, Lee J, Jung J, et al. The regulation of blood glucose level in physical and emotional stress models: Possible involvement of adrenergic and glucocorticoid systems. Arch Pharm Res. 2010;33(10):1679-83. doi: 10.1007/s12272-010-1018-3
  10. Thom E. Stress and the Hair Growth Cycle: Cortisol-Induced Hair Growth Disruption. JDrugs Dermatol [serial online]. 2016 [2016 Sep 9};15(8):1001. Available from Academic OneFile. http://find.galegroup.com
  11. Telegdy E. Trichotillomania. Orv Hetil [serial on the Internet]. 2009 [2016 Sep 9];150(43):1995. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26878888_Trichotillomania
  12. Foss B, Dyrstad SM. Stress in obesity: Cause or consequence? Med Hypotheses [serial online]. 2011 [2016 Sep 9];77(1):7-10. Available from: ScienceDirect. http://www.sciencedirect.com/
  13. Esch T, Stefano GB. Endogenous reward mechanisms and their importance in stress reduction, exercise and the brain. Arch Med Sci. 2010;6(3):447-55. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2010.14269
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