Stress is one of the body’s natural defenses. It activates our ‘fight or flight’ mechanism whereby our body prepares to confront a danger or retreat to safety. During a stress response, the body produces larger than normal quantities of certain chemicals that improve a person’s ability to respond to a potentially hazardous or challenging situation. When we feel stressed, blood pressure and pulse rate rise and muscles become more tense. Some other bodily functions such as digestion and immune response slow to conserve energy for the ‘fight or flight.’
So although some stress can be motivating, it can become a problem when the body is in a constant state of stress. Chronic stress makes it difficult for the body to return to a normal level of stress hormone activity. That results in adverse effects on the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and immune systems. So what can we do to manage our stress?
Here are some tips:
- Prioritize Sleep
- Maintain a Nutritious Diet
- Exercise Daily
- Rely on a Support Network
- Improve Time Management Skills
Prevent stress from spiraling out of control and causing long-term negative effects on your health. Talk to your healthcare professional about holistic options that work well with your lifestyle.