Stress: A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding situations
So imagine this…
You’re at work and you start thinking about all of the things that you are going to have to do when the 5 o’clock whistle blows. As your mental list begins to grow, your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, starts to send out an order: stress hormones activated! Your body automatically responds to the hormones and your fight or flight triggers kick in. Your muscles are ready for action, your heart races and breaths quicken. This is your bodies natural defense to keep you protected in an emergency situation. But what happens when these hormones begin firing day after day and week after week? Eventually, the stress will begin to affect you and can put your health at serious risk.
Stress is the single biggest cause of all disease, including the top 3 most diagnosed conditions in America; Heart disease, Obesity and Diabetes. The effects it has on our bodies includes increased heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. Blood flow is routed away from digestion to arms and legs (fight or flight we mentioned earlier) causing the digestion system to shut down. Weight gain, unbalanced blood sugars, adrenal fatigue, headaches, depression, anxiety and the list goes on.
Stress and the Immune System also go hand and hand. Stress stimulates the immune system, which is great for immediate situations. We are able to heal faster and fight off infection. But overtime, these stress hormones will begin to weaken our immune system and prevent it from fighting off foreign invaders in the body, and we become more susceptible to viruses like the common cold or flu. It can also affect the amount of time it takes to fight off the virus or infection. As we all know, a weakened immune system leads to other more health risks.
So how do we get rid stress?
There is no way to rid ourselves of stress completely, but we can show you some ways to COPE with it. In our next post we will discuss ways of dealing with stress and the many benefits of leading a stress less lifestyle. I hope you’ll come back and learn ways you can de-stress and improve your overall health and wellness! Until next time…
Lindy –Innovation Wellness