Stress Management Medical Risks Of Stress

Stress Management Medical Risks Of Stress

What is​ Stress?

Stress may be defined as​ the​ three-way relationship between demands on​ people,​ our feelings about those demands and our ability to​ cope with them. Stress is​ most likely to​ occur in​ situations where:

1. Demands are high.
2. the​ amount of​ control we have is​ low.
3. There is​ limited support or​ help available for us.

Who is​ Affected Most by Stress?

Virtually all people experience stressful events or​ situations that overwhelm our natural coping mechanisms. And although some people are biologically prone to​ stress,​ many outside factors influence susceptibility as​ well.

Studies indicate that some people are more vulnerable to​ the​ effects of​ stress than others. Older adults; women in​ general,​ especially working mothers and pregnant women; less-educated people; divorced or​ widowed people; people experiencing financial strains such as​ long-term unemployment; people who are the​ targets of​ discrimination; uninsured and underinsured people; and people who simply live in​ cities all seem to​ be particularly susceptible to​ health-related stress problems.

People who are less emotionally stable or​ have high anxiety levels tend to​ experience certain events as​ more stressful than healthy people do. And the​ lack of​ an​ established network of​ family and friends predisposes us to​ stress-related health problems such as​ heart disease and infections. Caregivers,​ children and medical professionals are also frequently found to​ be at​ higher risk for stress-related disorders.

Job-related stress is​ particularly likely to​ be chronic because it​ is​ such a​ large part of​ life. Stress reduces a​ worker's effectiveness by impairing concentration,​ causing sleeplessness and increasing the​ risk of​ illness,​ back problems,​ accidents and lost time. at​ its worst extremes,​ stress that places a​ burden on​ our hearts and circulation can often be fatal. the​ Japanese have a​ word for sudden death due to​ overwork: karoushi.

Medical Affects of​ Chronic Stress

The stress response of​ the​ body is​ like an​ airplane readying for take-off. Virtually all systems,​ such as​ the​ heart and blood vessels,​ the​ immune system,​ the​ lungs,​ the​ digestive system,​ the​ sensory organs,​ and the​ brain are modified to​ meet the​ perceived danger.

A stress-filled life really seems to​ raise the​ odds of​ heart disease and stroke down the​ road. Researchers have found that after middle-age,​ those who report chronic stress face a​ somewhat higher risk of​ fatal or​ non-fatal heart disease or​ stroke over the​ years. it​ is​ now believed that constant stress takes its toll on​ our arteries,​ causing chronically high levels of​ stress hormones and pushing people to​ maintain unhealthy habits like smoking.

Stressed-out men are twice as​ likely as​ their peers to​ die of​ a​ stroke. There are weaker such findings among women,​ which is​ likely due to​ the​ fairly low number of​ heart disease and stroke cases among women,​ rather than a​ resistance to​ the​ health effects of​ chronic stress. Women seem slightly more susceptible to​ the​ effects of​ stress than men.

Simply put,​ too much stress puts you​ at​ dire risk for health problems. Whether it​ comes from one event or​ the​ buildup of​ many small events,​ stress causes major physical alterations that often lead to​ health problems. Here is​ a​ list of​ some of​ these changes:

• Our heart rates increase,​ to​ move blood to​ our muscles and brains.
• Our blood pressures go up.
• Our breathing rates increase.
• Our digestion slows down.
• Our perspiration increases.
• We feel a​ rush of​ strength at​ first,​ but over time stress makes us feel weak.

These reactions helped our ancestors survive threats by preparing for either "fight or​ flight." Today,​ our bodies still react the​ same way,​ but the​ events that cause stress do not require this ancient mechanism.

Stress can also greatly raise our risk of:

• Ulcers and digestive disorders
• Headaches
• Migraine headaches
• Backaches
• Depression
• Suicide
• High blood pressure
• Stroke
• Heart attack
• Alcohol and drug dependencies
• Allergies and skin diseases
• Cancer
• Asthma
• Depressed immune system
• More colds and infections

We have to​ learn ways to​ relieve stress,​ because when it​ goes on​ for very long or​ happens too often,​ it​ obviously can cause many serious health problems.

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