Long gone are the days of summer and most of us have already returned to our greyish daily routines at either work or school. That means we spend more time in traffic, sit for long hours behind a desk and try to meet deadlines just too often.
So, we normally tend to be more stressful after the usual vacation period ends. What we don’t know, or don’t always acknowledge as much as we should, is that the stress we don’t manage can kill us. Folks, this is serious.
Right, nobody is immune to stress. In fact, that is exactly what our brain, heart and muscles need to react faster at times of a physical threat. And at other times when the stress hormones are traversing our body rather unnecessarily, we have only limited biological tools to buffer their impact. Eventually, therefore, our stress starts to jeopardize our entire wellbeing.
Humans: Vulnerable Creatures
In case of a psychological tension, it is not only our relationships that are at stake. We simply are vulnerable from head to toe. Here is what is potentially deadly among all that happens when we suffer from high-levels of stress:
The stress hormones are adrenaline and cortisol. They are released from the adrenaline gland on the instructions of hypothalamus, a tiny control area in the center of the brain.
It is sort of a connector between our endocrine and nervous systems, in charge of keeping our body in a healthy balance. When we are under prolonged stress, our hypothalamuses work just too hard and we lose that balance.
Higher Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
What do you remember of doing or having in an emergency? Breathing more often, an increased heartbeat and tense muscles, right? That is exactly what you go through while under stress.
As such, when your heart beats far more than normal, your blood pressure goes up, so does your risk of having a heart attack and a stroke. As scary as that!
Similarly, stress may lead to fatal outcomes when you try to breathe more but you cannot due to an existing condition like asthma. That is not any less serious.
Just consider that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 12 individuals in the U.S. had asthma as of May 2011. It is some 25 million people we are talking about. And the organization says “the numbers are increasing every year.”
Afraid of Being Diabetic?
Another issue that people with chronic stress have a higher risk of developing is type-2 diabetes. It occurs because our livers produce more glucose under stress. And if that happens over and over again for long periods, then our body might just not be able to offset that extra blood sugar.
People with this disease might eventually suffer a heart attack or a stroke, as well as irreparable damage to their kidneys and eyes.
You should immediately see a doctor if you feel hungry, thirsty and tired far more often than usual, suddenly start losing weight for no apparent reason and have worsening vision and sores that just don’t heal fast enough.
Identify Stressors and Avoid Them
Sometimes, stressors are real and we need to respond to them. Like when there is another active shooter at a mall or a public space, we actually rely on the same stress hormones to tackle that murderer to save lives when we can or just run and hide to save our very own.
But thankfully far more often than that, your stressor doesn’t pose a potentially lethal threat. So, tell yourself in a sort of self-meditation effort to calm down and focus more on the solutions than the problem(s).
You would also have done yourself a great favor by taking a break from your constant stressor, at least for some time each day, to restore balance. Do something else and grow a new perspective. It certainly will help.
Easiest Tips to Manage Stress
The American Psychological Association has three more tips for you to manage stress:
- Exercise: Oh I know what you think when you read this. You just don’t have the time to go to gym, right Okay but do you also not have a mere 20-minute slot to get out and breathe in some fresh air while simply walking around? Can you not just hit the play button and dance to a few tunes you like listening to? Of course, you do, and you can! Believe me, the results will be beautifully surprising.
- Meditate: Like exercise, meditating even briefly can help you reap immediate benefits and reduce the impact of that major stressor of yours. Mindfulness through yoga or prayers will do wonders in backing you against it. Go see your inner self and rid your life of everyone and everything for a second and contemplate. How much rest you will have had as a result will amaze you.
- Get Social Support: It will also be incredibly helpful if you could connect with people you love and trust, and tell them about what you are going through because of whatever it is that stresses you out — work, school, family, expenses etc. So, don’t just be alone too often when you don’t have to. Go visit or invite them over to share a cup of coffee together. Try to enjoy the life as you have it with that unity and as part of something larger, more meaningful. At other times, give them a call and just talk it through.
Disclaimer Notice: The D.C. Post solely aims to raise public awareness on common health problems with its reporting. For actual medical advice, please only consult licensed medical professionals.