Stress is the most unwanted visitor because it overstays its time. The nature of stress and its impact on our health is our topic here today.
Let’s go back in time just to when the dinosaurs became extinct. Our species first ancestors had to survive in a mostly hostile environment and specific skills were needed. Skills like fighting, hiding and running away, allowed the most vigilant people to survive threats. This reaction still exists in our brain and it is called the FIGHT-FLIGHT-FREEZE response.
If you’re in danger or you feel threatened, your brain releases a flood of stress hormones in your blood such as CORTISOL and ADRENALINE. Theses hormones will hop on your blood’s bus and take the tour, visiting the majority of the cells in your body, leading to different modifications. In fact, Cortisol has receptors on most of our cells thus its big impact on our body’s functioning.
Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone” but there are so many functions that this hormone can actually do. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assists with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure. In women, cortisol also supports the developing fetus during pregnancy. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to our health and too much cortisol will lead to malfunctions and illness.
Unfortunately, your nervous system isn’t very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats. Emotional stressors lead your brain to release cortisol. Continuous exposure to stress leads to chronic anxiety because the more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger it, making it harder to shut off.
The higher the cortisol, the higher is the muscle pain, the fatigue, the nausea, the blood pressure, the irritability and the sweating. Your immune system is weakened which puts you at high risk of illness, mentally and physically.
This is how stress affects your body. STRESS IS A BIO-CHEMICAL RESPONSE and prolonged periods of stress lead to a CHEMICAL ATTACK in your nervous system.
Get in touch here if you need help in controlling your stress levels. We can help you modify your lifestyle, your thoughts and behaviour.
Here is another interesting read : what should you do during a panic attack
Picture used was found on a website describing hormones moodymonth.com