Not only is stress a nuisance, it’s harmful to your health. Let’s talk about some common causes and treatments so you can be more present for the important things in your life.
What is Stress?
Stress is a natural response made by our central nervous system. Our brain tells our adrenal glands to supply our body with cortisol and sends us into “fight or flight” mode. This response once helped humans evolve and escape danger, but these days it’s causing an epidemic of chronic stress.
Did you know? A reported 77% of people experience stress symptoms every day.
Is Stress That Bad?
Short answer: yes. Some stress is good say, when you’re taking an exam or public speaking. But chronic stress, stress that is persistent, can exacerbate any present health conditions and potentially cause new ones such as:
- Breathing conditions like asthma
- Increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Upset the digestive system
- Tighten muscles, particularly shoulders and back causing pain
If you don’t treat your stress symptoms, it will begin to harm your health. Constant stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and mental or emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression.
What causes stress?
There are different causes to stress: routine stress (work, family, relationships, money) sudden changes (loss of job, having to move, divorce, illness) and traumatic events (natural disasters, war/PTSD, serious accidents).
Everyone’s relationship to stress is different. What is stressful for you may not be to someone else. Trust your feelings and if you’re feeling stressed, seek help.
How can I treat stress?
As there are many causes to stress and potential outcomes if untreated, there are many ways it can be treated:
- Recognize your triggers
- Take time to truly relax
- Get active and stay active
- Eat a nutritious diet consistently
- Talk with friends or professionals
- Yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques will lower your heart rate
Stress is different for everyone and everyone manages differently. If you need help navigating your life through stress, reach out to your DFD primary care provider to discuss a treatment plan.