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      June 21, 2018

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Stress: What Is It and What Causes It?

We’ve all heard people say that they are under a lot of stress. We might even be able to rattle off a list of symptoms that we ourselves experience when we are feeling stressed. What many people don’t know, though, is the physiological function of stress and how and why our bodies create stress hormones.

In the past, humans were in a competition to survive. The ability to react quickly to situations that could cause death kept our ancestors alive. By using the “fight or flight response” mechanism, our forefathers escaped predators and avoided natural disasters. Today, there are still threats to our well-being that is best fought with the “fight or flight response” such as a near miss automobile accident.

In these situations, the body reacts with a stress hormone that prepares us to deal with the potentially dangerous situation at hand. It helps us move and think faster, see and hear better, jump higher, and hit harder than we ever thought possible. Many people even report that they received super-human strength during times of extreme stress.

Physically your body is going through a lot of changes during this time. Our heartbeat speeds out of control rushing blood major muscle groups; our blood pressure increases; our breathing deepens; and our whole body tenses up for the event about to happen.

For the most part, these stress reactions are temporary and once the threat is gone, so is the stress. In chronic sufferers of stress, though, the stress continues for a long period of time and causes a long line of symptoms. Prolonged stress can even be harmful to your health.

What Causes Stress Today?

While there are no saber-toothed tigers chasing us, the world is still full of immediate stressors that can trigger our “fight or flight response.” But for the most part, today’s stress triggers are more subtle. Here are just a few things that can cause stress in today’s hectic lifestyle:

  • Commuting is a big stressor for many. Heavy traffic, crowded bus terminals, and adverse weather can leave us in a heightened state of stress hours after we arrive to work.
  • Many people become overwhelmed and stressed about world events or about the state of affairs of their own country. This is especially true for those that live in unstable political environments.
  • Work is a big stress inducer for obvious reasons. Meeting deadlines, communicating with peers, and juggling a heavy workload are all stressful.
  • Living in a dysfunctional family or with a family member that needs constant attention can lead to chronic stress.
  • Having an unrealistic expectation of yourself can add a lot of unneeded stress.
  • Poor health, inadequate exercise, and a lousy diet also cause stress.

The thing about the causes of stress that is most interesting is that we are all exposed to these same stressors. What sets a stress sufferer apart from a non-sufferer is how they react to stress triggers. An hour-long traffic jam may be torture for one but could actually be much-needed downtime for another.

Meditating for stress relief at the Bartlett Library

On Thursday, June 14, presenter Renate Lanotte provided Bartlett Library patrons information on the benefits of meditation, and at the end of the program, she led them through a ten-minute Jyoti meditation session. Lanotte asked the audience what they ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:48:00 GMT



Book Review: The Stress Management Handbook

Sometimes people don't realize how stressed they are until a minor thing triggers a bout of anger that does not match the circumstance. In The Stress Management Handbook: A Practical Guide to Staying Calm, Keeping Cool, and Avoiding Blow-Ups, Eva Selhub ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Jun 2018 07:59:00 GMT



Need stress relief Try axe throwing at Apex Center in Marlborough

MARLBOROUGH - After axe throwing for the first time at a bar in Montreal two years ago, Derek Johnson joked with his girlfriend about opening his own hatchet-tossing venue. But he never thought he'd actually do it. With backing from investors and small ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Jun 2018 14:27:00 GMT



Psychological stress could cause blindness

The investigators advise that stress reduction and relaxation techniques (e.g., meditation, autogenic training, stress management training, and psychotherapy to learn to cope) should be recommended, not only as complementary to traditional treatments of ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:22:00 GMT



Stress Relief for Kids Yoga

JOPLIN, Mo. - Local children find a new way to manage their emotions with an afternoon spent in a yoga studio. 4 States Yoga and Restoration Center hosted their first Stress Relief for Kids Yoga Class Sunday. Instructors say yoga can greatly help children ...

Published:  Sun, 10 Jun 2018 20:31:00 GMT



Hailee Steinfeld talks about her go-to workout for stress relief and the secret to her brows

After the workout, Hailee spoke to HelloGiggles about fitness, her upcoming TV show, and those incredible brows. HelloGiggles: What is your go-to workout when you're stressed or need to expel some energy Hailee Steinfeld: A run. Just going for a run and ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Jun 2018 09:20:30 GMT



Probiotics might make us immune to stress

Find out why their contribution is so important and how modern life threatens their existence. Read now Five of the best blogs for stress relief Too much stress can have an adverse effect on health and well-being. Medical News Today take a look at five of ...

Published:  Sat, 09 Jun 2018 00:05:00 GMT



SPECIAL BUSINESS HEALTH EDITION: Have You Been in Hiding Because Social Stress Is Just Too Much

The underlying issues must be addressed for the treatment to be effective. Stress relief for social issues may be as easy as learning some relaxation techniques that you can put into practice before social interaction. Or, you may need to think deeper and ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Jun 2018 19:47:00 GMT



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