Does the body really respond to stress?
Body and consciousness are interconnected and do not exist separately. So when the body is experiencing stress (illness, a sharp change in lifestyle, diet, regime) – it always affects the mind. We respond to this by changing our mood and emotions. Depression, anxiety, depression may occur.
The body reacts immediately when we have problems in relationships with others and in relationships with ourselves (struggle with imaginary or real defects, self-criticism, self-loathing, etc.), when there are problems at work, when a person does not like the activity or its results.
How does this reaction manifest itself?
Stress can really lead to disorders:
emotional – when a person becomes nervous, anxious;
social – when a person finds it difficult to interact with others and do their own thing, work;
physical – when a person begins to get sick. In particular, the common cold is a common reaction to stress; when immunity is reduced, it is easier to pick it up.
Three areas are the first to suffer from stress:
sleep (a person can not fall asleep or, conversely, sleeps more because he does not want to wake up, or wakes up tired);
appetite (disappears or vice versa – appears uncontrolled);
“weakness” (people in a state of stress are drawn to alcohol, smoking, substances – to “relax and relieve stress”).
In women, signs of stress are noticeable immediately: affected hair, skin color and tone; the voice changes and the energy disappears. We literally have no power to love ourselves or radiate love. This is usually called “spoiled character”: lack of patience, irritability or lethargy and lack of interest.
Is stress harmful?
Stress is a reaction that helps to gather all the strength to solve problems, overcome obstacles, achieve goals, and so on. Therefore, short-term stress is in a sense useful. However, if the stressful situation lasts a long time, the stress depletes, “sucks” the body’s resources. So prolonged stress is destructive.
However – a paradox – we can not do without stress: life begins to seem boring. That is why we begin to create our own “discomfort zones”: we decide to lose weight, change jobs, start a new project, enter into new relationships, have children, divorce, move or start repairs.
Stress cannot be avoided altogether, but so can dealing with it all the time.
What mechanisms are involved here?
Psychologically speaking, stress is anxiety. Anxiety is the oldest mechanism of survival and salvation. It can occur as a reaction to a threat to life, or it can occur before important situations (exam, interview, during responsible business or personal negotiations, public speaking or in the waiting room before a medical procedure). We can consider betrayal or divorce, loss of a job, and sometimes less significant events as a threat to life.
Let’s be honest, physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety can not be called comfortable. At the same time, they are not life-threatening: a person is conscious, does not suffer a heart attack or stroke, does not lose control during a panic attack. However, it is better to undergo a medical examination to rule out medical problems, as the symptoms of anxiety are very similar to medical disorders.
Biologically speaking, when people face a threat, the hypothalamus sends a signal to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). ANS helps the body maintain overall balance and controls all body functions that occur without the voluntary participation of man (digestion, maintaining body temperature, respiration). The ANS consists of the sympathetic nervous system (it is the SNA that produces a “beat or run” response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (Poland is responsible for calming).
When fear arises, the SNA provokes a surge of hormones, which leads to a sharp increase in excitability and stimulation. These hormones suspend all the essential functions of the body (such as digestion) and direct all energy to the systems responsible for protection or escape.
In case of anxiety, the central nervous system and ANS, as well as the endocrine and immune systems are activated.
If you often, or in certain situations, experience one of the following symptoms, this may indicate anxiety:
redness of the face and neck,
stuttering and “breaking” of speech, from complete loss of thought to verbal diarrhea,
inability to sit still, involuntary movements,
craving to smoke, drink alcohol or sedatives.
What shall I do?
If you experience physiological problems (headache, stomach problems, dizziness, chest pain, hot flashes, sweating, palpitations, muscle stiffness and pain, sleep problems, anger attacks), it is best to see a doctor first. If the check does not reveal problems, you should go to a psychotherapist. Anxiety disorders are successfully treated. By the way, anxiety disorders on the planet are more common than alcohol dependence and depression.
A psychotherapist helps to find a solution in balance. It will be necessary to find the middle, the thin path that can be traversed – the “middle way”, as Buddhists say.
Simple things need to be put in order:
If possible – get out of a stressful situation.
Organize the regime – sleep, food, water, walks.
Bring back your favorite activities – it brings peace of mind.
Make yourself move more – sports or any movement.
Put your head in order.