Coming back home after having endured long work hours, gruesome rush hours and the insane chatter of the co-workers, you are confronted by the enormous amounts of chores piling up since forever and you just want to pull out your hair, drop away from the face of the earth and maybe find another planet to inhabit just to get away from the ginormous amounts of stress that has been bringing you down since the beginning of time.
Stress is harmful, except when it is an acute response that helps you determine whether to fight or to take flight. Chronic stress, however is a different matter altogether. The problem with stress is that it tends to be in just the right amount of daily doses for it to be disregarded as an issue leading it to build up slowly into something deadly. And while it may not seem much to many (for we are supposed to work through the daily stress and acclimatize to it), stress wrecks a havoc in the body.
How does stress plan to destroy you?
For such a small thing, stress has numerous bodily responses. First and foremost, it increases the amount of adrenaline and cortisol. These are stress hormones that increase blood pressure and the heart rate and promote the production of excessive sugars for the brain to utilize, all the while suppressing the gastrointestinal system, the reproduction system and in chronic cases even growth. These responses are so gradual that when people finally recognize the issue, it has probably morphed into something that may, in extreme cases, prove to be fatal.
Why should you curse stress?
Here are some health issues that people who suffer from chronic stress are prone to develop.
- Anxiety, Depression and the Mood Swings:
These are probably the first symptoms to appear in a stressed out person. Anxiety is a pretty common response to stress, it does however have the tendency to evolve into panic attacks and phobias. These are potentially debilitating conditions that hinder a person in their daily lives.
Mood swings are not uncommon in people who have chromic stress issues. Low and high moods that coma and go can be a major pointer towards stress. Depression, as we are all familiar with, is a mood disorder characterized by low mood, low energy levels and low self-esteem, that usually results in worsening and decreasing the will to work enjoy and sometimes even live.
- The Eating Disorders:
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia nervosa are among the few well-known issues. Too much or too little, both are harmful. Chronic stress increases the chances of a person to acquire unhealthy eating habit and binge eat foods that increase the cholesterol and fatty acid levels in blood for energy production.
- The Gastrointestinal Issues:
When the human body has to deal with stressors, there is an increase in the production of stomach acids that leads to ulcers and heartburn in long standing cases. That is not all; constipation and diarrhea may occur, either singly or in simultaneously.
Chronic stress can also give rise to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD that can cause indigestion and distress among the people.
- The Insomnias
Reduced sleep or the inability to sleep is a sure symptom of stressful life. Stress contributes towards changed sleeping habits. Sleep disturbances are injurious to health. Insomnia can be a cause of increased day time somnolence and consequently to reduced working capacity and productivity.
- The Immune Suppression:
High stress levels contribute to decreased immunity and consequently into regular episodes of infections that are more severe and prolonged. Researchers have determined through animal testing that stress induced in lab subjects led to increased amounts of viral and bacterial infections.
- The Immune Overdrive:
While it is true that the immune system may be suppressed in people, the opposite is also true. The immune system also has the tendency to go haywire and promote conditions that trigger allergic responses to some substances.
It can also bring about localized inflammation in various areas of the body and contribute to redness and painful swelling.
- The Cardiovascular System:
Stress is one cause of chest pain that is non cardiovascular in origin. Chest pain in itself is a major cause of stress in people. Although chest pain is a problem, there are other events that can lead to cardiovascular system problems. Stress can contribute to hypertension and atherosclerosis and additionally may cause thromboembolic problems that arise secondary to increased blood clotting and pro-coagulant state.
- The Fatigue:
Fatigue is a common issue that is overlooked by many people as a problem that comes with working when it is so much more than that. Fatigue is a response of the body to say how down it feels because of the high levels of stress it has to deal with. It might do good to take notice of the never ending fatigue rather than thinking it to be a natural response to life.
- The Headaches and Body aches:
It is true that people who are plagued with a stressful work environment can have severe headaches and body aches. The stiff and tense muscles and the never resolving headaches are a nuisance that cause much distress among people and may lead to low quality of work.
- The Decreased Quality Of Life:
It may not be of much value to many people but life quality can be really increased by working in an environment that is stress free. What is to be envied in a man who may get health issues of practically every system that is present in the body? The quality of life in a stress riddled individual is most definitely subpar at best.
Stress, in an era like ours, tends to be present in all areas of life. It is somewhat unavoidable. However, the tendency of each person to react and combat stress are different. Stress is subjective in that manner. Each person, hence, must recognize the stressors in their lives and try to eliminate or minimize them to a level where they do not hinder the daily activities. A stress free life may not be possible, however, less stress is definitely a plus.