Stress… How it affects us and how we can manage it

This is such an important topic that Sally and I discuss Stress twice!. We cover how stress can affect us and how we can manage it. Stress can undermine your health and wellbeing, as well as causing degenerative disease. Stress is a normal part of everyday life and like many things in life, is beneficial, in moderate doses. Too little and we are dull, bored and boring, while too much is corrosive.

We look at small changes we can make implement to create a healthier way forward for our bodies and quality of life. We’re real, raw and relevant! Let us know what topics you would like to hear about. Today we discuss stress and how it can affect us and how we can manage it. Love to hear your thoughts!

Too much is a killer, while some adds spice to life

A moderate level of stress is healthy and can help to keep us motivated, energised and inspired. Its called Eustress. When we feel stressed our body releases stress hormones (cortisol and adrenalin) to raise blood pressure and heart rate. We also release glucose into the bloodstream ready for action.  This is also called the “flight or fight” response. This response is designed for brief threats to avoid a tiger or we need to swerve to avoid an accident.  But if we experience chronic stress these very same stress hormones can disrupt many body functions raising the risk of anxiety, depression and disease.

Chronic stress kills!

These very same stress hormones which protect you from the tiger can disrupt many body functions if they are ever-present. This raises the risk of anxiety, low mood and depression. Our body was not designed for and has not yet adapted to being in a constant state of stress. This depletes nutrients,  can lead to inflammation and impaired immunity and ultimately disease like high blood pressure, ulcers, heart attacks and strokes.

It dumbs you down

Stress is a brain drain. It can jumble your thoughts and dumb you down, It can undermine your capacity to access your intelligence, it can slow you down and blur your memory.

Because stress can threaten your health and wellbeing, in the short term. I invite you to expand your capacity to cope. Talking to a trusted mate is much better than bottling up your overwhelm and anxiety. In the longer term, you have the choice to manage the persistent stressors out of your life.

Reduces fertility

A recent study by the Public health School in Louisiana suggests that stress reduces fertility by 45%, this is affecting Millenials more than any other generation.

FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

According to a new study, 53% of Millenials wake up at least once a night to check their phones. And this is on top of the 150 times they check their phones during the day! This imperative to remain connected is a major source of unrelenting stress. The reasons for this behaviour also include dopamine rewards, instant gratification with 50% of teens experiencing FOMO. An APA study found that 12% of Australians report that ‘keeping up with social media’ as a source of stress (2015)

Main stressors

  1. Financial
  2. health
  3. Family

My top three tips to manage stress:

In the short run

  • Chat – Ensure you have someone to talk to
  • Care for yourself – Eat, sleep and exercise well

In the longer run

  • Change – Identify those stressors that are damaging you and engineer them out of your life

Recommended reading:

Robert Sapolsky, Why Zebras don’t get Ulcers, Holt, New York

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