STRESS

STRESS

The term "stress refers to any reaction to a physical, mental, social, or emotional stimulus that requires a response or alteration to the way we perform, think, or feel. Change is stressful-whether the change is good or bad. Worry produces stress. Indeed, stress is an unavoidable part of life. It can result from many things, both physical and psychological. Pressures and deadlines at work, problems with loved ones, the need to pay the bills, and getting ready for the holidays are obvious sources of stress for many people. Less obvious sources include everyday encounters with crowds, noise, traffic, pain, extremes of temperature, and even welcome events such as starting a new job or the birth or adoption of a child. Overwork, lack of sleep, and physical illness put stress on the body. Excessive alcohol consumption umption and stroking atetistually increased as reaction stress and yet the for the body Some people create their own this wether there 1s anything objectively wrong in their s or not they find things to worry about. For such people, stress becomes almost an addiction

Some people handle stress well, and it has little impact and they are emotional on physical health. Others are very negged actively influenced by stress can cause fatigue, chronic headaches irritability, changes in appetite, memory loss, low self-esteem, withdrawal, teeth grinding cold hands high blood pressure, shallow breathing, nervous twitches, lowered sexual, insomnia or other changes in sleep patterns, and/ or gastrointestinal disorders. Stress creates an excellent breeding ground tor illness. Researchers estimate that stress contributes to many major illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, endocrine, and metabolic disease, skin disorders, and infectious ailments of all kinds. Many psychiatrists believe that the majority of back problems-one of the host cOmmon adult ailments in the United States are related to stress. Stress is also a common precursor or psychological difficulties such as anxiety and depression.

Stress is often viewed as a psychological problem, but it has very real physical effects. the body responds to stress with a series of physiological changes that include increased secretion of adrenaline, the elevation of blood pressure, acceleration of the heartbeat, and greater tension in the muscles. Digestion slows or stops, tats and sugars are released from stores in the body, cholesterol levels rise, and the composition of the blood changes sightily, making it more prone to clotting. This n turn increases the risk of stroke or heart attack.

Almost all body functions and organs react to stress. The pituitary gland increases its production of adrenoceptor ecotropic hormone (ACTH), which in tum stimulates the release of the hormones cortisone and cortisol. These have the effect of inhibiting the functioning of disease-fighting white blood cells and suppressing the immune response this complex of physical changes is called the "hight or get a response and is apparently designed o prepare one Tace an immediate danger Today, most of our stresses hot the result ol physical threats, but the body still responds as if they were. The increased production of adrenal hormones ts equated with stress.

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