Stress has been part of the human experience since humans walked on Earth. Some say it is healthy to have some and others would disagree. For sure stress comes in a wide of array of forms, degrees and durations. It does have effects on your physical, mental and emotional states. For example, changing jobs can have stressful aspects. Working in an unpleasant job environment for years may have a whole set of different stresses. It appears that chronic stress exposure is most closely linked to many acute and chronic health problems.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: How much and what kinds of stresses are in my life? Can I be more selective about what stress factors enter my world? What stresses might I reduce exposure to or eliminate? How do I handle stresses that must be part of my life?
There have been noticeable differences in both the nature and the quantity of stress factors over the past several decades. For example in the 1960’s there were a handful of television stations. Now there are hundreds and you have electronic media wherever you go. In all sorts of public places screens blare news and other events. The capability for constant awareness of political discord, societal disharmony, vile and violent behavior gone amok has no limits.
Today the demand to stay “informed” or to “keep in touch” has become a kind of “norm” which, for many people, means the eyes are fixated on some sort of screen. Perhaps there is social pressure to “be informed” or risk being considered ignorant or “not with it”. You simply can’t afford to miss out on anything or not respond immediately to a text. Massive amounts of data and stimuli compete for your mind’s attention. You have access to all this in fractions of a second with the push of buttons. Instant answers. Instant gratification. Is a steady diet of this in your best interests?
There is a price to pay for this. From a health and well-being viewpoint, the price may be heavy. Some of the impacts of allowing uncontrolled chronic stress into your life are as follows:
- Damage to glands such as your thyroid and adrenals. Chronic stresses can lead to continuously elevated cortisol levels, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Cortisol can push other glands such the thyroid into a dysfunctional state. This is linked to thyroid autoimmune conditions and thyroid malfunction. In the case of your adrenals , they can become fatigued or exhausted. This destabilizes your body’s ability to respond to future stress situations.
- High cortisol levels have far-reaching effects on your health — impaired memory and concentration; thinning or easily-bruised skin; declining bone density; acne; body pains; obesity or weight gain; menstrual abnormalities; muscle wasting. These are just a few health problems you could experience.
- Disruption of balanced brain chemistry such as proper production of serotonin and melatonin. Depleted serotonin can lead to mood swings and depression. Melatonin reduction can interfere with proper restful sleep.
To Your Good Health.