Who Is Affected By Stress
All of us can probably recognise some of the feelings described above. Some people seem to be more affected by stress than others. For some people, getting out of the door on time each morning can be a very stressful experience, whereas others may be less affected with a great deal of pressure.
Some people are more likely to experience stressful situations than others. For example:
- people with a lot of debt or financial insecurity are more likely to be stressed about money
- people from minority ethnic groups or who are LGBTIQ+ are more likely to be stressed about prejudice or discrimination
- people with disabilities or long-term health conditions are more likely to be stressed about their health or about stigma associated with their condition.
Stress Disorders & Brain Connectivity
This might mean that people with stress disorders, such as PTSD, have alterations in their brain connectivity. This might lead to a stronger connection between the hippocampus and the amygdala . It might also cause weaker connectivity between the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex .
If the amygdala and hippocampus have a stronger connection, the response to fear is more rapid. If the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus is weaker, then the ability to calm down and shut off the stress response is impaired. Therefore, in a stressful situation, a person with this imbalance will have a stronger response with a limited ability to shut down that response.
Ways To Ease Your Stress
Since stress is practically a given in our lives, learning how to reduce its effects on our bodies, minds and our eyes is paramount.
Some of the most basic steps to reduce stress are simple and cost little or nothing.
Exercising, getting a full eight hours of sleep at night, eating a healthy diet, spending more time outdoors and meditation are great ways to relieve stress, Horn advises.
Other approaches like deep breathing exercises, stress management training, talk therapy and meditation are recommended to slow the progression of vision loss.
If these approaches dont work and stress-related vision symptoms persist, see your eye doctor for immediate attention. Detecting and treating problems early can help maintain good vision for the rest of your life, Horn says.
Schedule an exam
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The Effects Of Chronic Stress
Your nervous system isnt very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats. If youre super stressed over an argument with a friend, a work deadline, or a mountain of bills, your body can react just as strongly as if youre facing a true life-or-death situation. And the more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder to shut off.
If you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in todays demanding world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:
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Sexuality And Reproductive System
Stress is exhausting for both the body and mind. Its not unusual to lose your desire when youre under constant stress. While short-term stress may cause men to produce more of the male hormone testosterone, this effect doesnt last.
If stress continues for a long time, a mans testosterone levels can begin to drop. This can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may also increase risk of infection for male reproductive organs like the prostate and testes.
For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. It can lead to irregular, heavier, or more painful periods. Chronic stress can also magnify the physical symptoms of menopause.
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What Does Hoarse Voice Suggest
The National Institute on Hearing Problems and Various Other Interaction Conditions keep in mind that hoarseness describes a voice that seems scratchy or stretched with a reduced pitch or softer quantity It can suggest a concern with the singing cables or throat. Hoarseness might signify swelling in the throat, referred to as laryngitis.
When To See A Doctor
Do not try to deal with chronic stress alone. If self-help strategies are not working, a doctor can provide support and advice about treatment options. They can also refer a person to a more specialized healthcare provider, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Anyone feeling overwhelmed by stress should see a doctor as soon as possible, especially if they are having suicidal thoughts or using drugs or alcohol to cope.
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The Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Youre sitting in traffic, late for an important meeting, watching the minutes tick away. Your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, decides to send out the order: Send in the stress hormones! These stress hormones are the same ones that trigger your bodys fight or flight response. Your heart races, your breath quickens, and your muscles ready for action. This response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly. But when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk.
Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.
Yet if your stress response doesnt stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Symptoms of chronic stress include:
How Your Body Responds To Stress
When youre under stress, your brain releases a stress response. This sends signals via the pituitary gland to the adrenal glands, to release the hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
These hormones raise your blood pressure and give your body a dose of glucose that goes straight to your muscles. The idea is to get you ready and give you a boost of energy to respond to an immediate stressor.
Stress hormones are energising. They give you the motivation and focus to complete difficult tasks, solve problems, and reach your immediate goals. Thats why stress is good for you in small doses.
After the stressful situation has passed, your body can return to a normal, relaxed state. But ongoing, long-term stress the kind that cant easily be solved with a short burst of energy and focus can cause serious physical signs of stress.
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Recognize When You Need More Help
If you are struggling to cope, or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety wont go away, it may be time to talk to a professional. Psychotherapy and medication are the two main treatments for anxiety, and many people benefit from a combination of the two.
If you are in immediate distress or are thinking about hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK . You also can text the Crisis Text Line or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Read more about getting help.
Back Neck And Shoulder Pain
Millions of Americans spend their days hunched over computer screens and mobile phones, so it’s no surprise that neck, shoulder and back pain are among the most common and costly health complaints. The combination of physical inactivity and mental strain does not in itself create the disk tears, spinal stenosis and scoliosis that plague people as they age, but once the pain kicks in, stress can intensify both its severity and its duration. Musculoskeletal pain seems particularly sensitive to workplace stress. Researchers aren’t sure why people with stressful jobs have more back, neck and shoulder pain, but have theorized that stress-induced inflammation prevents the full healing that would make the pain recede.
Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux
Adam Bernstein, 50Rx: Mindfulness meditationProof it works: New research from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has shown that just 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation for three consecutive days is enough to make you more resilient under stress.
So how do we dial down stress, but still handle daily demands?At work
Elizabeth Agnvall, features editor health, with AARP Media, reduces stress through exercise and occasional wine with friends.
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How Stress Affects Sleep
This infographic from Insider Living shows how stress affects sleep.
- 26% of women report trouble sleeping at least once a week compared to only 16% of men.
- 19% of individuals ages 25-64 admit to losing sleep due to stress a few nights per week.
- 54% say that stress or anxiety increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night.
- 52% of men and 42% of women reported that stress affected their ability to remain focused the next day.
You Are Quick To Anger
When you are suffering from stress, you will feel overwhelmed. Every little thing will make you feel worse, and it could be that, as much as you try to ignore these feelings, they will escape from you as angry outbursts. As a father, this can be extremely detrimental to your relationship with your children imagine how confused and upset they would be to be yelled at by their dad for no apparent reason.
Not only will you become angry for the smallest of reasons, reasons that, if you werent stressed wouldnt even bother you, but after you have had an outburst, you will feel guilty, and the cycle will start all over again because that guilt will lead to more stress.
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How Can I Manage My Stress
Use your strengths and skills to make a positive plan to address the stressful events in your life and how youre reacting to stress.
Whether your stress is internal or external, relaxation techniques can help you manage stress and boost your ability to cope. There are many different techniques, and its important you find the ones you connect with. Examples include slow breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and exercise.
Read more here on relaxation techniques for stress relief.
A friend or family member can also be a great source of support, but at times you may feel that you need help from a professional. Consider talking with a counsellor, psychologist or social worker to work with you to identify the source of your stress and build strategies to better manage it.
Psychologists and other therapists use a range of approaches to help manage stress and anxiety. One evidence-based approach is a technique known as cognitive behavior therapy which is based on the idea that how you think and act affects how you feel.
Watch this video from This Way Up about ways to cope during stressful or difficult times.
Ulcers And Other Stomach Problems
For 50 years, scientists attributed stomach ulcers to stress. Then in 1983, Australian researchers Robin Warren and Barry Marshall discovered that ulcers are actually caused by the bacteria H. pylori. So were the godfathers of stress research wrong? It turns out that around 15 percent of stomach ulcers occur in people not infected with the bacteria and only about 10 percent of infected people get ulcers, according to Robert Sapolsky, a stress researcher at Stanford University and author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. One theory holds that the effect of chronic stress on the immune system allows the H. pylori bacteria to thrive. Another is that exposure to stress can change the balance of bacteria in the gut, giving harmful ones the upper hand. “The bacteria are able to grow because the immune system is not functioning properly,” neuroscientist Bruce McEwen says. “So ulcers ultimately do come down to a stress impairment.” Scientists remain divided about this conclusion, but agree that stress can be a critical factor in irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, heartburn, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which is characterized by chronic inflammation.
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What Problems Can Stress Cause
As a father, stress can easily become something that is part of your daily life. Worrying about the kids, working out how to spend enough time with them, thinking about your career, finances, relationships it might even be that youre so stressed you dont even realize it anymore.
But if thats the case, is there really a problem? If everyone gets stressed, why is it considered so bad? Why cant it just be part of your life and you get on with things around your stress?
Unfortunately, this is not possible in the long term, even if its something you try to do to begin with. Stress causes all kinds of problems and it is a recognized mental health condition. When you are feeling stressed its best if you can step away from the situation, or even change it entirely if that is possible, so that you can help yourself, and the others around you. Here are some of the problems that stress can cause if youre suffering from any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice.
Where Might I Spot The Physical Signs Of Stress
The immune systemStress initially inhibits the immune system the chemicals our body releases to deal with immediate threat arent designed to keep us healthy long-term. People affected by chronic stress can find their immune system affected, making them susceptible to colds, flu and other infections.
The liverOur liver gives us a boost of glucose when were stressed, enabling us to physically respond to stressors. Long-term, this constant release increases our risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and can make it hard for us to maintain a healthy weight.
DigestionOur guts are surprisingly sensitive organs, and respond to hormone imbalances, stress, and many physical and mental health conditions with pain, bloating, and sometimes changes in bowel habit.
Nervous systemChronic stress affects dopamine levels, which is one of the reasons long-term stress makes us more vulnerable to mental illness. It can particularly make us seek short-term rewards like sugary, fatty or salty foods, affecting our weight and overall health.
SkinEven our skin responds to stress, with inflammation and worsening of skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
HeadachesThe release of stress hormones can cause changes in the blood vessels around the brain, causing tension headaches and migraines.
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When Should I See My Doctor
If you or someone close to you is experiencing an emergency, or is at risk of immediate harm, call triple zero . To talk to someone now, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you have tried relaxation techniques and reaching out to someone you trust, but still feel overwhelmed, you can check in with your doctor or speak with a mental health professional.
Stress is not itself a diagnosis but rather a clue that something else is going on. Chronic stress could be a sign of depression, anxiety or a symptom of another mental health condition. GPs and psychologists are trained to know how to recognise when stress is a sign that you need extra support, so dont hesitate to reach out for advice.
How Stress Affects The Body
The human body responds to events that provoke stress by activating the nervous system and specific hormones.
These hormones speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. The physical changes prepare you to react quickly to handle the pressure of the moment.
This natural reaction is known as the stress response. This response improves your ability to perform well under pressure.
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Watch What You’re Thinking
Your outlook, attitude, and thoughts influence the way you see things. Is your cup half full or half empty? A healthy dose of optimism can help you make the best out of stressful circumstances. Even if you tend to be a bit of a pessimist, everyone can learn to think more optimistically and reap the benefits.
Is It Stress Or Anxiety
Life can be stressfulyou may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events , or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesnt go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders.
So, how do you know when to seek help?
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