Can Stress Really Do This?

    Did you know that over 90% of doctor’s visits are from the physiological effects of stress? Ninety percent! And what often happens at those doctor visits? You get a prescription for some medication to deal with your specific symptoms. Not to handle the stress, but just to make the symptoms go away—or push them under the surface.

    Wouldn’t it make sense to deal with the stress first, then see where your body is at?

    When you perceive life events as “threatening” or “stressful” this sets in motion a whole chain of physiological responses. Your brain signals your body to secrete stress hormones (noradrenaline, adrenalin and cortisol) that activate your body’s defenses to prepare you to handle the perceived demand you face. This creates a cascade of effects which include: your heart-rate, blood pressure, and respiration elevate; your digestion and immune function shut down; and your senses go on hyper-alert.

    That is all fine and appropriate in a real danger situation. Your system will normalize as you deal with the threatening situation and come back into balance. However, what happens when your stress is more psychological and/or the perceived threat lingers in your consciousness hour after hour, day after day, and even year after year? Then you’ve got real challenges.

    Chronic stress is implicated in any or all of the following:
    (source: http://stress.lovetoknow.com/Effects_of_Stress_on_the_Body)

    • High blood pressure
    • Stroke
    • Canker sores
    • Headaches or migraines
    • Tension in joints
    • Lower immune system
    • Heart problems
    • Diabetes
    • Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, or hives
    • Asthma
    • Arthritis
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Backaches
    • Muscle tension
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Insomnia
    • Chest pain
    • Weight gain or loss
    • Decrease in sex drive
    • Ulcers
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Cancer
    • Tooth and gum disease
    • Irritability
    • Confrontational
    • Drinking more alcohol
    • Increase in smoking
    • Using illegal drugs or abusing prescription drugs
    • Indecisiveness
    • Making rash choices
    • Involvement in riskier situations
    • Isolation
    • Avoiding responsibilities
    • Increase in bad habits (nail biting, grinding teeth, etc.)
    • Depression
    • Anxiety disorders
    • Eating disorders
    • Obsessive compulsive disorder
    • Substance abuse

    Wow! That’s quite a list! Would it be safe to say that dealing with chronic stress is a top priority?

    The great thing is that stress can be dealt with much more easily and successfully, and with less expense and side-effects, than our current tactic of consuming expensive drugs with a host of health-threatening effects. Sure, sometimes, in life-threatening circumstances, drugs are useful and appropriate. However, wouldn’t it make sense to address the root cause of most issues (stress) and improve your health and stress-hardiness first?

    Here are some simple things you can do every day to handle stress effectively:

    1. Exercise: get up, move, and stretch periodically throughout your day. This releases tension, shifts your perspective, and initiates your body’s natural relaxation response.

    2. Practice conscious relaxation through yoga, meditation, and/or deep breathing. You can learn to shift to inner peacefulness no matter what is happening around you.

    3. Shift your perception. It is easy to mentally-emotionally blow things out of proportion. Practice stepping back from stressful situations and viewing them as a calm observer. Then, see what is the most effective action you can take to move forward.

    Enjoy your practice!

    Kevin

    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. The Holistic Fitness Training Program guides you in how to make mindful exercise an essential part of your stress-resistant lifestyle. Click here to learn more.

      2 Responses to “Can Stress Really Do This?”

      1. Dear Kevin,

        I enjoyed reading your post. It’s the very reason why I am in the health and wellness business. I want to educate people about importance of dealing with stress and struggles in a positive light and using nature for healing instead of western medicine. There are too many people that just want to pop a pill to feel better and they never really address the problem that needs to be healed. I look forward to future posts!!

        Have a great day!!

        Trish Kirby

        1. Hi Trish,
          Thanks for your positive feedback.

          Keep up the great work that you are doing!

          Kevin

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