Thursday, May 25, 2017 20:12

Stress Effects

Posted by on Sunday, January 17, 2010, 16:28
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Not surprisingly, understanding stress and treating stress it are increasingly important in conventional medicine.

Between 60 and 90 percent of all medical visits in the United States are for stress related disorders .

The three major components of stress are physiological, behavioural and psychological.

Let’s take a look at what is happening to you in each case.

Physiologically, stress begins when a threat is perceived. Your unconscious response to a stressful event occurs before you think about reacting to it. For example, when you have been insulted, your blood pressure goes up long before you have decided how to respond.

This innate physiological response to stress is often referred to as an “emergency reaction,” similar to the kind that prepares an animal for fight or flight. Responding in this way may have been a necessary part of our evolution, but in modern life it can lead to serious consequences.

Growing evidence shows that stress hormones are the villains in a wide variety of illnesses. For example, changes triggered by stress may affect the heart in these and other ways:

•    Blood pressure is elevated in both healthy individuals and people with borderline high blood pressure and may induce a spasm or sudden constriction of the arteries of the heart.
•    Under extreme, acute stress, the brain’s control over the heart rate may be disrupted, leading to abnormal heart rates and even sudden death in patients with coronary heart disease.
•    Stress hormones may indirectly increase the blood’s tendency to clot, which can block the supply of blood to the heart muscle and lead to a heart attack.

Behaviourally, stress has a direct influence on how we handle our responsibilities in life. Even a little stress will compromise the performance of our daily tasks. For jobs that are solely dependent on physical exertion, such as building a brick wall or mending a leaky tap, stress may be quite a nuisance.

Tasks that call for fine motor skills or that involve intense concentration may well be endangered by even a small amount of stress. Nobody wants to see a bus driver, an airline pilot, a truck driver or a brain surgeon undergoing even minor stress.

And what is a typical result? We see it every day. As stress increases, so do smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, poor food choices and even violence. What about you? Perhaps you are a victim of stress without realizing it.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Nicotine stained fingers? Too much junk food? Too much anger? The odds are that you’ve got too much stress in your life.

Psychologically, as a result of the mind’s conditioning, we get caught up in patterns of thinking that create and exacerbate stress. Generally, when we feel stressed, it is because we are dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, wanting something we don’t have or having something we don’t want.

These mental tendencies lead to anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, dissatisfaction and confusion, which stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and produce physical distress. The physical symptoms of anxiety then magnify the disturbing mental and emotional patterns.

Once we get caught up in this anxiety cycle, we are riding on the stress merry-go-round and feel out of control. The creative potential of our mind is overridden by worries, obsessions and fears as we go round and round in stress  bound circles.

Fortunately, even when these vicious circles have become extreme, it is possible to reverse them by shifting the mind’s focus. It takes a positive focus to bring the mind up to the present and move beyond negative thoughts.

Relaxation methods, meditation and other mind/body techniques are some ways of coping with stress. What an enormous relief it is when the mind becomes calm and absorbed in a positive focus. I’m not saying that reconditioning the mind is going to be easy.

Sometimes when you are trying to soothe your anxiety filled mind, it feels instead like a drunken monkey stung by bees. Yet with determination it is possible to draw away from this stress induced tyranny and become quiet, serene and sure of yourself once more.

The following goals will help motivate you to practise stress management and treating stress:

1.      I want to be more energetic and less prone to fatigue.
2.      I want to think more clearly and logically.
3.      I wish to look and feel better.
4.      I hope to experience greater self-confidence and relief by knowing that I can control my stress.
5.      I want to be happier about my work, my life and my family.
6.      I want to be better able to keep myself calm and to handle emotional problems.
7.      I want to enjoy wellness and better health.
8.      I would like to have fewer physical and psychological symptoms and complaints.
9.      I want to reduce the likelihood that I will develop lifestyle-related diseases.
10.   I want to achieve higher HQ Profile scores.

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