Stress – A Silent Killer!
Recent research has shown that the majority of people consider their lifestyle to be stressful. Many people wake up late due to an interrupted sleep pattern hence frequently arrive late to their place of work, initiating a trickle effect of playing “catch up” throughout the day. This only results in further stress.
Ongoing stress takes its toll on your body from a physiological and psychological perspective. Your heart races, you sweat, your blood vessels dilate and with a decrease in metabolism, extra glucose surges though your blood stream releasing adrenalin and other hormones that tend to initiate a “fight or flight response. Hence the body prepares for “battle”, by releasing sugar and raising blood sugar levels.
Being in a persistent “fight or flight” response is not good for your body or mind. Stress hormones signals the liver to produce more blood sugars so that you can “defend” yourself from “danger”. However, prolonged elevated glucose levels lead you to a greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Stress takes its toll on our heart also and you could be at risk of developing cardiovascular problems. For example, your heart races frequently during stressful situations hence your blood pressure increases. Again over a prolonged period of time, this could lead to arterial problems and high cholesterol which in turn increases your risk of developing heart disease, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Are you stressed?
Do you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning?
Do you feel tired all the time?
Do you crave specific foods?
Do you have mood swings?
Do you become irritable?
Do you feel like napping after lunch?
Do you have difficulty concentrating?
Do you experience feelings of depression for no reason?
There comes a time when stress takes its toll and is just not worth it. Eating healthily and frequently will at least get you on the right track from a physiological perspective and you’ll immediately begin to feel better and your mood will change. You should watch your caffeine and alcohol intake and practice some relaxation techniques. Do some exercise to stimulate serotonin levels and to create a more positive outlook. You should also look at the triggers for stress either at home or in the workplace. Talk with your HR department or to your immediate manager about how you feel and what changes can be made. The thing is stress can be managed, but ultimately it must be you who takes steps to rectify this ticking time-bomb.