What happens when you’re under stress | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

WHILE there is more than one way to handle stress, let’s take a closer look at it in order to understand this health challenge better. Some health experts might say that stress is a modern-day malady. Others, however, believe that it has been around since our stone-age ancestors walked the earth.


It takes a lot of adrenaline to give your body near-superhuman agility to outrun predators. And what triggers the release of that much-needed hormone is survival. What impresses upon a human being the need to survive is the state of feeling threatened, fear of dying or being under attack.


As Mother Nature would have it, our bodies produce adrenaline and noradrenaline, two separate yet related hormones and neurotransmitters.


Produced in the adrenal glands, and also in some neurons of the nervous system, they are released into the bloodstream and send nerve impulses to various organs, which are crucial to the human fight-or-flight response.


This hormone, while necessary, can be damaging to the health if there is a constant oversupply of it.


When not facing real danger, and your body releases this hormone due to a situation that made you angry or sad, the result would be palpitations, dizziness, changes in vision and lightheadedness. This is because a high-adrenaline state makes the body release more glucose for that much needed surge of energy meant for big muscle groups like the legs and heart.


So, if you are not going to make a run for it or getting into a boxing match, all that adrenaline isn’t going to do you any good. While the underproduction of this hormone is rare, it would limit anybody’s response to highly stressful situations.


Adrenaline raises blood sugar levels by stimulating the liver. This is when glycogen is turned into glucose


They come in threes, actually—adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrene.


Adrenaline is like the Marines—the first line of offense/defense of the body.


Norepinephrene is the back-up line of defense.


Cortisol can save lives because it maintains blood pressure and balance of body fluids.


There is science and there is an art to preventing and managing stress. There are some true-to-life tips from people who live stressful lives.


Exhausted mom Patty is a 45-year-old homemaker. With three children, a demanding husband and her dress-shop business, she finds herself wanting to get away from it all.


Once a week, she has lunch and laughs with her friends. By 3 p.m., she is home, recharged and renewed.


Workaholic Bob is an ambitious and aggressive top executive in an insurance company. Breaking all sales targets, he now has money in the bank. His health, however, is beginning to show signs of wear and tear.


One day he says to himself that he has had enough. Cutting back on work, he now has more relaxation time. From working 24/7, seven days a week, he now devotes his weekends to golf. Also, his lifestyle improved with visits to the gym thrice weekly.


Enthusiastic entrepreneur Malu found joy in starting new projects and nurturing them to success. She had one successful business venture after the other for almost 30 years.


One late night, before bedtime, she stared at her face in the mirror. It was only then that she realized how old she looked. It was a reminder to start taking care of herself.


Step one was to maintain a status quo in the workplace—no more new ventures to conquer. Step two was a visit to the doctor for a complete executive check-up. Step three was a visit to an anti-aging expert and aesthetic center for both internal and external rejuvenation.


Six months later, she looked 10 years younger.


Deepak Chopra, in “The Path to Love,” says that in order to manage stress, take control of your emotions. This is because emotions are considered more stubborn than thoughts.


It may seem like a vicious cycle—emotions act like a glue to your belief system as well as your expectations.


While it takes a lifetime to construct a belief system, it also requires great effort and commitment to change your thinking and feeling.


Change your emotions in order to change your mind.


This week’s affirmation: “I was born to win.”

Love and light!

E-mail the columnist: [email protected]

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