What is stress? Stress can be defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable. Stress isn’t always a bad thing. In fact in many cases it may keep you alive.
Stress activates the flight or fight response and gets your body ready to fight, run away or play dead. For example if a tiger is chasing you those are the 3 options you really have.
The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress responsethat prepares the body to fight or flee.
The real problem in today’s world is chronic stress. Chronicstress is a prolonged and constant feeling of stress that can negatively affect your health if it goes untreated. It can be caused by the everyday pressures of family and work, trouble with finances, by traumatic situations and most recently the pandemic.
There’s more people around the world struggling than any other time in my life. Not just financially but also being secluded and unable to connect with friends and family. There’s less hugging and less human connections.
Why are people more chronically stressed now than any other time in the history of humans? It used to be humans were only stressed when they were in immediate danger. Today many people are constantly in a state of stress. Some of the everyday stresses people experience is financial distress, relationships, health, fear of the unknown, lack of connection, loss of jobs, constant negativity and fear mongering from the media and social media.
The human body does not function optimally when under chronic stress. Energy needed is diverted to your muscles in case you have to fight or flee. Taking away from energy to do other important tasks and the hormone cortisol is released which is the fat storing hormone.
Ongoing chronicstresscan cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including: Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke.
Take a look at your life. Are you suffering from chronic stress? Is it making you sick? Stay tuned for my next article on ways to de-stress and reclaim your health or contact me with questions or concerns.
Written by: Matt Hanson
Las Vegas Personal Trainer
Functional Medicine Health Coach