The word stress has many different connotations and definitions. In Eastern philosophies, stress is considered to the absence of inner peace. In Western culture, stress can be described as the loss of emotional control. Psychologically speaking, stress is defined as a state of anxiety produced when events and responsibilities exceed one’s coping abilities.
6 Top Stressful Event 2
- Illness or disease.
- Death of a loved one.
- Problems with work.
- Life changes and transitions.
- Family events and issues.
- Problems with personal relationships.
Effects of Stress
Stress has an effect on or digestive health, hormones, and immunity.
- Stress enlarges the adrenal cortex – a gland that produces stress hormones.
- Cortisol (our stress hormone) steals pregnenolone which affects the balance of our sex hormones.
- Stress affects the stomach and colon and causes bloating, diarrhoea, cramps, dysbiosis, IBS, and bleeding ulcers.
- Stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) mobilize glucose and fats into the blood.
- Stress significantly decreases white blood cell count which impairs immunity.
Lifestyle Habits to Manage Stress
- Reframing: Creating a positive mindset. cultivate an ‘attitude of gratitude’
- Comic relief: laughing is good for your health and mental wellbeing.
- Simple assertiveness and healthy boundaries – saying no
- Managing time and money resources
- Expressive art therapy
- The art of breathing
- The art of meditation
- The power of mental imagery and visualization
- Massage therapy
- Ecotherapy: the healing power of nature
- Lipski, E. (2011) Digestive wellness: Strengthen the immune system and prevent disease through healthy digestion. (4th Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.
- Lopez, G. (2014). 7 Charts that explain American stress problems. Vox. Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/2014/7/11/5889537/stress-america-charts-work-life-health-illness
- Panacea Research (2017). General adaptation syndrome is not selective… Don’t let it get you down, ’cause we all have it! Strictly stress management. Retrieved from: http://www.strictly-stress-management.com/general_adaptation_syndrome.html
- McGuire, M. & Beerman, K.A. (2013). Nutritional Science: From fundamentals to food. (3rd ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
- Murray, M. J. & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The encyclopedia of healing foods. New York, N.Y. Atria Books
- Seaward, B.L. (2016). Essentials of managing stress (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Bartlett & James Learning.