There is positive stress, and negative stress. Find out what kind of stress is useful, and what other types of stress can affect your health.
Good stress or bad stress?
You will experience different types of stress throughout your life, but some individuals may be more prone to negative stress.
There is a healthy adaptation the body makes to alert the rest of the body to make necessary changes. This is the kind of stress that occurs when an athlete or other performer needs to get the competitive edge to push themselves further to master the task. Yes, short term stress may help you obtain that achievement oriented goal that you've waited a long time for.
The fight or flight response is a short term condition in which the adrenal glands mobilize adreneline and cortisol to help the stress response. Normally, after the crises is over the body returns to its original balanced state.
This type of stress occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of stress over a long period of time. Blood pressure can remain elevated making the body vulnerable to a number of stress related diseases, usually behavior and physiological problem. This happens becasue the brains neurons are disrupted. I'm sure you have expereienced this. It's why we have trouble thinking properly when we are stressed and agitated.
Once the event is over, the body reverts back to homeostasis. The body activates neurotransmitters to help you recover. Stress becomes a problem when the stress response it not turned off. When stress occurs over a long time, the adrenal glands become exhausted and you feel tired all the time. At this point, you might become ill.
Long term stress can decrease the ability of the body's system to work properly...even altogether. More information can be found at www.nimh.nih.gov/health
Common related illnesses
chronic stress may contribute to peptic ulcers, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Lately, I have read a lot of health reports indicating that chronic stress is one of the leading causes of cancer. Now that is scary. The American psychological association reports that stress can make health problems worse. Their website is worth checking out at www.apa.org.
Reducing stress levels is critical to long term health.
In a world filled with economic uncertainty, you may be effected by cuts, overload, downsizing, layoff
Here's what you can do
- Spend some time outside everyday, even if the weather is bad
- Turn a physical activity you enjoy into regular routine
- Meditate or do relaxation exercises
- Get support for your concerns
- Make a plan to minimize your long term stress
Finally... make a commitment to yourself to spend some time identifying the bad stress, and then set aside a plan. You are worth it!