STRESS - POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF STRESS TO OUR HEALTH
WHAT IS STRESS?
The word Stress may have many definitions but the simple definition of the term is:- Stress occurs when pressure exceeds your perceived ability to cope.
Each person is uniquely different, for example in our genetic predispositions to suffer from various medical disorders, our hair colour, height, weight, level of fitness, personality, humour, interests and so on. This also applies to the amount of pressure each of us can take.
The brain needs stress, a certain amount. You create new synaptic connections when you learn a new language, develop a new habit, and find gifts in disappointments. But for most of us, the word stress doesn't mean the good stuff. It means feeling strangled by time crunch, debt, noise, smog, cell phones, and conflicting desires of kids, spouse, boss, and yourself. That stress wears on the brain.
You need a balance of tension and relaxation. Or, in braintalk, you need both the sympathetic and parasympathetic functions.
To top it all off, the SNS turns on more easily than it turns off, in case the threat returns.The SNS body response is not good long term. The brain and memory are adversely affected by oversecretion of stress hormones from our time-crunch-noise-cell-phone-24-hour-news scene.
Fortunately, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) calms the body. Its function is to rest and digest. PNS hormones suppress the release of cortisol and gather up its remains in your brain; lower the heart rate and blood pressure; and reengage the digestive system.
You can see that the fight or flight stress response is real, and a number of complex physiological activities are occurring almost at once or in a sequence. Once the stressful event is over, we calm down with the help of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). However, we evolved over many thousands of years to deal with real stressful scenarios where our life was on the line. Yet in modern society, often the stress response is triggered when our life is not threatened but when our ego is on the line, such as when we are giving a presentation or chairing a meeting.
HOW TO MANAGE STRESS
Here are some boosters to help you manage stress.
- Reduce stressors. Turn off electronics and other items that demand your attention.
- Take a news break.
- Make things quiet by closing the doors, going to a library, or turning on a fan.
- Get help dealing with stressful areas through a support group, life coach, therapist, career counselor, pastor, or friend.
- Take a break with a no-work personal “sabbath.” Go on a vacation or spend time away from home to reduce stimulation.
- Exercise, garden, build something, be sexual, pound a pillow, sing, clean the junk by the back door, walk around the block, cry, tap your feet, or write a letter.Increase calm.
- Exhale all the air from your lungs and bronchioles, and let the next breath come to you.
- Take a nap.
- Drink water.