Stress is the response of your body to emergencies or unexpected situations. There are two kinds of stress: acute stress ( short term) and chronic stress ( long term).
Acute stress is actually beneficial for us. It is the natural and innate response of our body that helps us cope with emergencies or unexpected situations better.
Chronic stress is our response to emotional pressure which some people may have been suffering for prolonged time over something about which they think they have no control over.
Why should you minimize chronic stress
Stress is like stepping hard on your car’s accelerator. Your body goes on a full fledged fight or flight mode with all that adrenaline rush. At that moment, it could be actually good for your body. It releases more glucose into our blood which loads our muscles with lots of energy for quick action.
However, like with the car you cannot always keep your accelerator jammed down hard all the time. It would not be good for you or your car. Similarly, when the body is in “stress-mode” for hours, days or even months and biological actions of stress prolongs, then that is not good for you and your body.
Imagine how you would feel and what stress could do to your body if your heart and breathing rate is maintained at high rate for long time. This would wear you down and your heart pretty quickly, probably leading to a shorter lifespan. This is what chronic stress is. Your body silently and) continuously remain activated at high rate for an extended period of time.
Many People Undergoing Stress Appear Quite Normal
Many people with stress don’t look like they’ve just come from a long exercise or just returned from their cardio workout. They appear almost totally normal. So what’s the big deal about stress?
It’s the chemicals or hormones in your body that do the damage. Everything in our body is controlled by hormones, from heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure to blood glucose levels.
Hormones like adrenaline and glucagon (as opposed to insulin which increases blood glucose level) are our saviors in emergency situations. However, during stressful situations, their continuous presence in our body does more harm than good. Continuous presence of glucagon would keep our glucose level persistently high which would ultimately lead to diabetes.
Similarly, continuous presence of adrenaline will keep our heart rate and blood pressure continuously high which would wear out the heart and blood vessels earlier which might lead to a reduced lifespan.
Prolonged presence of these stress hormones in the body also induces our stomach to produce more acid. This increases acidity (an addition to your list of stress-induced diseases), leading to the development of dyspepsia and peptic ulcers. You might have heard that terrible bosses can give you ulcers! The case is the same. Your boss continues to keep you on the edge so you are continuously under stress which leads to dyspepsia and ulcers over time.
Diseases & Life Situations Don’t Harm Us As Much As Stress
One very important point that we must consider is that though diseases are bad enough for anyone, we occasionally hear of people living happy lives despite having diabetes, cancers or heart conditions. It doesn’t mean that the health conditions aren’t taking a toll on them. It’s just that they are coping very well with the stress that the conditions bring.
Stress is the worst possible damage that any disease or life situation can do to us. A lot of people could be living with cancerous conditions unknowingly. These people live a normal life until the doctor tells them about their cancer conditions. When they know about their own health conditions and cannot manage their stress, then that’s a problem. They worry so much over their health that they have issues sleeping normally, have less appetite and lose their enthusiasm for life.
It’s not the disease that’s killing them. It’s the stress of the disease and their inability to cope with that stress that are the culprits.
Real Life Trauma
We have often heard of people who have gone through traumatic experiences are not the same individuals any more. Some examples are:
- The person having cancer
- The person whose treatment of his health condition isn’t going well
- The child who was victim of child abuse
- People who experienced harassment
- Victims of kidnappings
- Rape victims
- Parents who lost their child in a car accident
- Victims of terrorist attack
- Someone who got rejected from medical school and has now settle for some other
which he doesn’t really like.
The list is endless…
Someone who couldn’t make it well into the career they wanted, example actors, artists, poets. Almost everyone who wants to earn more, whose financial condition is deteriorating….all these persons don’t remain the same anymore…..they become less social, develop compulsive disorders, become quick tempered, remain angry with society, a few of them even go to such desperate lengths as committing suicides, getting into drugs, taking revenge on society by committing crimes, using their own biased sense of judgment to judge other people’s actions and sometimes even themselves become a version of their own tortures much like suicide bombers.
Stress Could Be The Root of All Trouble
What do all of these people suffering from different problems have in common? THEY ARE ALL UNDER STRESS! All the above mentioned things are the consequences of the fact that they did not receive proper help with the resulting stress. This unsolved and untreated emotional, psychological and physical stress has ultimately led to distortion of their personalities and perspectives.
All these recommended psychiatric sessions are actually there to reduce stress.
Stress Isn’t Bad But Don’t Let It Control The Quality Of Your Life
Stress is a natural reaction. Nobody would agree with above mentioned victims. However, is stress the solution? If stress could help you to solve issues, then it would be one of the best medicines in the world. It would be the panacea to all evils and sadness in the world.
Unfortunately, stress does not help. Stress is good for short term but not for long term. Remaining stressed up for an extended period of time could gradually extinguish the spark of life. Stress does not solve anything and could only make matters worse. So don’t let stress get better of you and destroy the quality of your life.
We cannot totally avoid stressful situations but we can learn how to manage such situations and deal with the stress that they generate.
We can to learn how to do that. We can solve this problem with two things:
- Acknowledging the problem, and
- Learning how to manage/solve the problem
We hope we have created awareness so that you can realize the impact that stress has on our lives. Only by acknowledging stress, diagnosing the type of stress and learning how to manage it effectively that we can overcome it. This way, we can lead a happy life even if not everything is smooth sailing. By learning and training ourselves to cope with stress, we can ensure that it does not have any major impact on the quality of our lives. This way, we can remain psychologically, emotionally and physically healthy.