06 Feb

The Dangers of Stress

Stress is the body’s response to any change that requires a physical, mental, or emotional adjustment or response. Managing stress is vital to our mental and physical health. Stress is a normal part of life. Unrelenting stress can turn to distress. Many events that happen to you and around you and many things that you do to yourself put strain on your body. Some stress can be good. It keeps us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. But too much stress can make us sick.

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress a negative stress reaction. Distress can agitate the body’s internal balance or symmetry, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches, an upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, sexual dysfunction, and troubles sleeping. Emotional problems can also result from distress. These problems include depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or deteriorate certain symptoms or diseases. Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.

Stress also becomes dangerous when people engage in the compulsive use of substances or behaviors to try to relieve their stress. These substances or behaviors may include food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, gambling, sex, shopping, and the Internet. Rather than relieving the stress and returning the body to a tranquil state, these substances and compulsive behaviors tend to keep the body in a stressed state causing more problems. The distressed person becomes trapped in a vicious circle. If you are stressed out, using these substances or behaviors is like throwing gasoline on a fire to put it out!

The events that irritate stress are called stressors, and they cover a whole range of situations, everything from outright physical danger to making a class presentation or taking a semester’s worth of your toughest subject. The human body responds to stressors by activating the nervous system and specific hormones. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and release them into the bloodstream. These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider to let more blood flow to large muscle groups, putting our muscles on alert. Pupils dilate to improve vision. The liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the body’s energy. And sweat is produced to cool the body. All of these physical changes prepare a person to react quickly and effectively to handle the pressure of the moment.

This natural reaction is known as the stress response. Working properly, the body’s stress response enhances a person’s ability to perform well under pressure. But the stress response can also cause problems when it overreacts or fails to turn off and reset itself properly.

If you think you need to cut down on stress then you should try Stress Control by SCWL. The script for this program is one of the most elaborate. It takes the physical body completely through a relaxation technique plus mental relaxation. It creates an inner peace and tranquility because it causes the release of all tension. This program is one that will be a life-long benefit and should be used whenever you feel the need. The ability to manage stress can be a major factor in overall health.

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