Hello friends. Welcome back to Day 23.
Today we will discuss life’s biggest issue, yet it’s underestimated. Its holds super-destructive power yet ignored.
Yes! I’m talking about stress.
Stress has became part of modern lifestyle. If you consider it normal and have been ignoring it, then wait for a moment. You won’t ignore it after knowing what it can do and its potential risk.
Often we ignore stress, not because we like it, but we don’t know the damages it can do. So without any further delay, let’s explore stress.
What is Stress?
Are you taking support of food to feel good from a hard life?
Obsessed with sugar, salt or fat loaded products to escape from reality?
Obsessed with self-harming activities life smoking or alcohol?
Fell depressed with every small thing?
Pushing hard to achieve a goal without self-care?
Having hard to balance personal and professional life?
Have trouble making even the smallest decision?
If you say yes to any of these, then my friend, you’re stressed. Although there are many things in the list but these few things we all come across.
To achieve any goal, we need to go through stressful condition, as everything we want lies ahead of our comfort zone.
It’s a popular statement and even a mantra of success.
As we hear the statement from successful people, we believe it and welcome such things in our lives. But if we look at the mantra, there is something missing in it.
The thing missing is the core, and it can be a turning point. Even though one may hustle with his full potential, he or she won’t be able to give the best. One might feel they are giving the best, but they aren’t able to touch the reserve, which gives extraordinary results.
The barrier between the person to use their untapped potential is stress.
Let’s see what I mean to say…
Our body is armed with an automatic stress response, fight-or-flight. It’s life saving reaction.
It’s programmed from the time we used to roam in forest. The fight-or-flight response gets triggered when encountered with predators like the tiger.
The name come with the choice we have take — either fight with such situations or run from those situations. We carry same response in today’s time.
Let’s see what happen during the fight-or-flight response.
During such situation, amygdala sends a distress signal to hypothalamus which activates sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system signals adrenal gland to pump adrenaline hormone in bloodstream.
Adrenaline increases heart rate pushing blood to the muscles, heart, and other vital organs. Pulse rate and blood pressure go up.
Breath rate increases and small airways in the lungs open wide. This way, the lungs can take in as much oxygen as possible with each breath. Extra oxygen is sent to the brain, increasing alertness.
Sight, hearing, and other senses become sharper.
Meanwhile, body triggers the release of blood sugar (glucose) and fats from temporary storage sites in the body. These nutrients flood into the bloodstream, supplying energy to all parts of the body.
Thus, you’re ready to fight or escape from the danger situation. Both are life saving acts.
Suppose the response is activated once, body starts to get back to normal. But, if the stress persists, the hypothalamus triggers the adrenal gland to release cortisol.
Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances the brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes.
When the danger passes away, the body returns to the normal state. But in today’s time we are surrounded with stress. They aren’t life threatening but our body fight-and-flight response system don’t know. It acts the same way we would come across tiger or any life-threatening situation.
Now the things that was saving us, starts damaging. Slowly but steadily.
It can make some people emotional eater.
It can also shut down appetite.
Ruin lifestyle. Make hard to follow a healthy lifestyle or build healthier habits.
Earlier it just damages us mentally, but with lots of chemicals changes going in bloodstream we are exposed to a higher risk.
Yes! It’s can increase the of physical damage internally.
We won’t realise it in the early period, but there are lots damage done.
- Respiratory and cardiovascular systems face stress, which increases the risk of a heart attack and strokes.
- Digestive system which lead to heartburn or acid reflux, diarrhea or constipation. You might also experience nausea, vomiting, or a stomachache.
- Tensed muscle can cause body ache.
- Immunity system face setback
- Affects both men and women’s sexual health.
It’s just a glimpse of what stress can do. It’s damage doesn’t stay to mental health but spreads to physical health.
While other damages are:
It degrades the quality of life.
Loss of productivity in work life for which we struggle the most. One might try their best, but in such internal disturbed state one won’t be able to tap into their best mental and physical energy.
You can’t push until your body supports even you feel you’re giving all you have. It’s nature’s law, and we are bound to it. It’s not that we can’t do anything for it.
The primary thing we should do is — recovery from self-damaging situation.
If you take an example from most successful people — they hustled but they also give importance to recovery.
Stress Management — Recovery
Stress can do lots of damage and can ruin a life. But to overcome them, let’s explore how you can cut stress and live a better life.
Sleep is the best stress reliever. It can help you recover physically and mentally. Sleep is like nutrition and body needs at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep.
It improves brain function, helps to recover faster, fights inflammation and protects from other health problems. It cuts stress and depression levels, which prevent unhealthy eating habits.
Prioritise your sleep. Compromising sleep to get more is today’s fad. But for a few weeks try to get enough sleep and check your productivity sore high.
Amygdala is known as the anxiety, stress, or fear center of the brain. It starts fight and flight response.
It’s found that 8 week meditation routine can decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala. Also, meditation can calm down your busy mind and increase emotional thresholds to higher limits.
There are a lot more meditation do — all you can get with 5-10 minutes of meditation.
3. Breathing Exercise
Breathing exercise are also best way to handle stress.
You can try
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- First, take a normal breath. Then try a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully.
- Now breathe out slowly through your mouth (or your nose, if that feels more natural).
You can use breath focus when you feel stressed, while walking or before sleeping. It will de-excite the nervous system, bringing you the feeling of calmness.
A fact about stress: Stress doesn’t come not with what happens to us but how we react to what happens to us. Reacting and focusing will intensify the stress, so try to look at stress as an enhancing rather than harmful factor.
4. Practice Gratitude
Remind yourself the things you have, and be thankful for it.
Look for the positive side and be grateful for it. Control your life, don’t let stress impact your happiness.
Tomorrow you learn, how you can use technology to achieve and maintain your fitness and health goals.