What Causes Stress? Stress Solutions

Stress is the results of an action or reaction to a physical or mental situation that threatens, excites or creates the build up of an intense emotional feeling that can build up instantly or gradually over time. The first stage of stress is the “flight or fight” response that alarms the body for confrontation and releases the stress hormones including: Adrenaline, Cortisol and Norepinephrine from the adrenal glands. Once these hormones are released in the body, other physical changes occur within the body automatically such as: blood rushing to the muscle and limbs, pupil dilation, increase breathing and increase heart beat. Once the situation subsides or is no longer a threat, these hormones reverse back to normal levels through a process referred to as homeostasis (the ability or tendency of a cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes).

The next stage of stress is the “resistance or adaptive” stage where the body learns to cope with the stressful situation. This is the beginning of the danger because the cortisol receptors in the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulate bodily temperature, certain metabolic processes, and other autonomic activities) becomes less sensitive to the homeostasis process and the body remains in the flight or fight stage. When this happens increased amounts of cortisol are produced resulting in various disorders such as headaches, insomnia, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

The final stage of stress is the exhaustion stage which occurs due to the resistance or adaptive stage causing the adrenal glands to become overwhelmed. This stage is characterized by the depletion of energy and will eventually lead to Adrenal Insufficiency or total shutdown of the adrenal glands; also known as adrenal maladaptation syndrome.

The top four stress categories are:

Physical Stress – includes excessive or endurance exercise, childbirth, hard labor, injury, burns and surgery to name a few.

Psycho-Spiritual Stress – includes relationship pressure, financial pressure, career pressure, life goal issues and spiritual pressures.

Emotional Stress – includes fear as the foundation that manifest as anger, frustration, sadness, and depression. Betrayal and bereavement also falls into this category.

Mental Stress – includes high responsibility, long work hours and perfectionism which can cause anxiety.

When it comes to stress, our bodies can’t tell the difference between these categories; therefore, the body response the same regardless. In our society today, psycho-spiritual stress, emotional stress and mental stress are at an all time high, and the majority of them are stuck in the adaptive stage leading to the exhaustion stage. Our stressed-out society is living with the highest rate of hypertension, depression, obesity, heart disease and many other stress related diseases of all time.

Stress management is the key to help alleviate high levels of stress in our lives.

  1. Cast your cares on the Lord as it is stated in Philippians 4:8-9: “8- And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9-Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me- everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
  2. Exercise regularly mixing cardio and strength training at least three to four times a week.
  3. Take supplements to help our bodies naturally fight against stress such as Vitamin C, E, B6, and minerals like Zinc and Magnesium and herbs such as Ashwagandha, Chamomile, Catnip, Ginkgo Biloba, Golden Root, Kava Kava. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetable will give the body a chance to fight stress simply because these are the foods our body absorbs the most nutrients to fuel our bodies and naturally fight against stress.
Next Post

Spotlight on 5 Rewarding Mental Health Careers

Think about it: you make time to service your car. You make time to take your pets to the vet. You even make time to clean your house. But how often do you make time to check in on the state of your own mental health? With health care reform […]

You May Like