Stress: The Good the Bad and the Plain Ugly

Everyone experiences stress from time to time. How you respond to it plays an important role in how it will affect your overall health and mood. In some cases, stress can actually benefit you, if you let it consume you, it can cause a myriad of health problems. With everything from fight or flight to being nervous about getting on airplane, here are some different ways that stress can affect your life and what you can do to about it.

Getting A Firm Grip On Stress

If you know that stress plays a dominant role in your daily life, you’ll need to find specific ways to cope with it. If you’re plagued by sweating from anxiety and stress, you may find that sweat stains are ruining your personal items. Learning how to get sweat stains out of hats and other items can improve your appearance and hygiene. Finding the right kind of antiperspirant and sweat block is important in resolving the issue. Making sure that you visit your doctor to rule out any underlying medical concern, like a heart problem or thyroid condition should be your first step. From there, you can get a referral to a therapist who can go over your own personal situation and make the right recommendations for your recovery. He or she may also ask you to make specific lifestyle improvements such as a healthier diet, routine massage therapy, and getting enough exercise on a daily basis to help combat unwanted stress. It all starts with understanding how stress affects you, and how bad things can get if it keeps occurring on a daily basis.

The Good

Could there be any good effects of stress on the body? Actually, there are. When your body senses fear it goes into overdrive and triggers something called the Fight or Flight response. This occurs when your sympathetic nervous system activates due to a release of hormones. Your adrenal glands go into overdrive to release catecholamine that includes noradrenaline and adrenaline. Some common symptoms include:

  • An increased heart rate
  • Sweating and pale skin
  • Muscle tension
  • Tunnel vision
  • Sensitive hearing

These are signs that your body feels that danger is imminent. This is good for when you’re in a life-threatening situation because it helps your body go into overdrive and flee immediately. If you were ever in an accident or life-altering situation, your adrenaline will kick in and allow you to get up and move quickly. At the same time, however, some things like an over-consumption of caffeine or an underlying fear can also trigger these symptoms and bring about a panic attack which can leave you feeling scared and weak.

The Bad

Panic attacks can leave you feeling bewildered about what just happened. Many times panic attacks come on for no real reason, seemingly out of the blue. There oftentimes are no definitive triggers for a panic attack and that is what makes them bad and hard to deal with. Many people who suffer from panic attacks find that they reoccur, often without warning. On the other hand, you may know what could trigger a stress attack. For example if you suffer from PTSD due to a past traumatic event, a panic attack can occur when you are placed into a recurring situation or something similar to what you once experienced when you were previously hurt. Seeking out psychotherapy, the appropriate support group and the right med combination may be the only way to deal with the long-term effects of exposure. The good news is that whether you have PTSD or an underlying anxiety disorder, there is help available.

The Plain Ugly

For some people, the after-effects of stress are long-term, meaning they live with it for several years at a time. This can trigger other serious life-altering effects on the body. In most cases, a panic attack or acute stress won’t hurt you. Anxiety has a peak and an ending, meaning it doesn’t last for a long period of time. It can recur, but it always has to dissipate eventually. But if you have recurring anxiety or chronic stress it can cause wear and tear on your body. High blood pressure, weight gain, weight loss, headaches and inability to concentrate are all things that can affect your overall health negatively. If you’ve begun to overeat to deal with stress, you are putting yourself at risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Seeking professional help is the first step in getting back on track with your health.

Stress can oftentimes be helpful, depending on the situation, but typically it’s unwarranted and you’ll need to make the right changes to gain control over it.

About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!


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