Blog #592 Stress


Stress is a part of our life. And, believe it or not, it is natural.  High stress is part of a natural threat situation – to fight – or to “flight” (that is run/leave).

The dictionary defines stress as:

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood.

Maybe you are stressed as you walk on a podium to make a talk?  (“Butterflies in your stomach”); Maybe you are stressed when your boss calls on you in a meeting for some details.  The body reacts by sending hormones into the body. You are alert and ready to act. Good stress helps you give that talk or answer the bosses questions.

Or, maybe you are stressed by deadlines – a certain amount of stress can help you reach those deadlines, but too much stress in your life can debilitate you.  Today, and the next couple of days, we’re going to look at stress (mostly the negative aspects of stress).

In response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous systems stimulate the adrenal glands triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. After the threat is gone, it takes between 20 to 60 minutes for the body to return to its pre-arousal levels.

So, according to the linked article from Mayo Clinic, stress can affect the following:

Common effects of stress on your body

-1 Headache
-2 Muscle tension or pain
-3 Chest pain
-4 Fatigue
-5 Change in sex drive
-6 Stomach upset
-7 Sleep problems

So, your heart is pumping adrenaline through your body – you get an adrenaline rush.  If you are going to speak or run or answer your boss, that can give you that energy to do it.    Adrenaline increases the heart rate, elevates the blood pressure, even enlarging the pupil in your eye.

Too much adrenaline for too long of a time can negatively affect your body in many ways (like the list above).  

Have you had a sleepless night worrying about the activities of the next day?  Do you get muscle aches or headaches as you deal with a stressful situation?

We, unfortunately, get stress from my sources.  Our work can be stressful; then we come home and there are problems there that can add to the stress.  Maybe your daughter has been arrested for drug dealing – and you have to get a lawyer. Maybe the roof leaks and it is raining and damaging the walls and items in the house.  (And, maybe your favorite football team [Nebraska] is losing!!!)

Tomorrow, we will look more at stress problems and aim for some solutions in a couple of days.

And, although it is true:  STRESSED spelled backwards IS DESSERTS – that doesn’t mean you get to eat a dozen doughnuts when you are stressed!!!


Posted by Bruce White

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