Are you feeling stressed all the time? is work “stressing you out”? or maybe you dot even know you’re stressed.
We all live with levels of stress in our lives and day-to-day we just deal with it, but do you know what effect stress can have on your body?
Stress can be measured in different levels and we all have certain stress levels but, it depends on how we manage that stress.
Think of stress as each person has a pool of resources and having too many demands on that pool of resources causes stress. Imagine having a table full of 12 plates of food and having 20 people to feed, you’re never going to have enough food (resource) to feed those 20 people. these kinds of occurences happen on a daily basis for every person on many different levels, we all have so much to do and so little resource to help us achieve what is expected of us.
Stress can be caused by many different things such as:
- Sleep patterns if we don’t get enough sleep we can become stressed about the fact we aren’t getting enough which in turn rolls into a spiralling issue
- Not having support systems ie friends family
These are only a few of the factors that can cause stress. Below are different levels of stress that can occur in life:
Eustress – Useful stress this is where we run smoothly on an 80% basis in life. In this case we have a pool of resources and all demands that are put upon us we can cover with that pool. For example, we wake up get ready for work, take the kids to school, do our jobs and so on. This is all things we do in our lives day-to-day that don’t cause us stress but need to be done. We easily carry on life with this level of stress.
Distress – Distress is when that pool of resources is over stretched and we are running or trying to on a 100% level of our capability and we cannot meet the demands put upon us. For example we do our daily tasks that keep us at that 80% level but now our boss wants us to get that stack of paperwork on our desk done within the next 2 hours, however we know full well that there’s at least 4 hours of work piled up, we spend more than we earn to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ and so on. All these kinds of things build up over a course of time and cause stress level that can in turn cause illnesses and our immune systems to be affected.
Apathy – this is where we have no stress and we are just meandering along with every day life I would explain this as that pool of resources is full but we don’t have enough demands put on us to use up those resources. Having no stress can mean we become bored and don’t see life as meaningful which can cause depression etc.
It is important that we do have a level of stress in our lives within the eustress range to help us carry on day-to-day feeling that we are doing something with our lives. Dealing with distress can be done through hypnotherapy helping clients to re asses things when they become distressed and be able to successfully meet their demands. It is important to remember that if stress is not treated early it can lead to many health problems and cause early death in very extreme cases.
When our bodies feel stressed we enter a state of stress response also known as the fight or flight state. When we enter fight or flight we produce different hormones:
Adrenalin – affects your breathing and heart rate making you breath quicker and shorter, in the long-term this can lead to loss of sleep to the high levels of adrenalin being released.
Nor Adrenalin – Fat/sugar is released into the system which would give you the energy to flee if needed, long-term effects of this being released would mean your bodies natural reserve of fats and sugars are being depleted leaving you with cravings for sugar and fatty foods.
Cortisol – When cortisol is released your body is preparing to dampen any pain and thickens the blood for example if you were in a bad accident ie car crash the blood would be thicker to help with clotting to ensure too much blood isn’t lost, Long term effects of this would leave you with reduce levels of oxygen in the blood affecting blood pressure.
In the short-term all of these are not harmful to you but left for too long can lead to illnesses and your reproductive system being affected and immune system.
This can be avoided by helping our bodies to produce endorphins which help to eliminate all of these problems. Endorphins also known as the happy hormone is released during exercise so getting out walking, jogging and form of physical exercise will help in reducing problems caused by stress.