Stress is the feeling of mental or emotional pressure. In short doses, stress can improve thinking, prepare us for competition, a job interview or an exam. Stress can be positive like getting married or becoming a parent. Daily life is full of stress. We are most vulnerable to stress when we aren’t well rested, don’t have a support system, experience a major life change, have poor health and don’t eat well.
Too much stress for too long can be dangerous to your mental and physical health. Chronic stress can lead to or worsen mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Chronic stress over time can have serious consequence.
What happens when you are stress?
When you are stressed the mind and body respond. The body releases the stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – to prepare you to fight or flee.
Adrenaline increases your heart rate and raises blood pressure. The heart races to get blood pumping, breath quickens, muscles tense and the brain uses more oxygen. We become more alert. Cortisol releases sugar into the blood stream to supply more energy to the brain and special tissue repair substances. Cortisol also alters the immune system, digestive system, and more. The mind and body are preparing you to react to the pressure.
When the stress is acute, the stress hormones give you a boost and returns to normal when the stressor removed. But when the stress is constant the body doesn’t return to normal. Instead, the body remains on alert. Chronic activation of these stress hormones negatively impacts attention, memory and how we deal with our emotions, as well as the immune system, the digestive system, the heart, sleep and reproduction.
Elevated cortisol levels contribute to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, stomach problems, poor cognition, depression and anxiety.
What are sources of stress?
- Routine stress includes pressures related to school and work, and other daily responsibilities.
- Major stress from major negative life transitions such as job loss, financial stress, divorce and illness.
- Emotional stress caused by resentments, worry, fears, anger, shame, guilt, grief, and sadness are normal unless they overwhelm and interfere with normal healthy function.
- Traumatic stress is caused by stressful event such as an accident, war, violence and natural disasters including the COVID 19 pandemic.
Whether your stress is bothersome or overwhelming we are here to help you learn how to cope and manage your stress. Our psychologists can help you find relief from stress in a private, safe space.
Before beginning treatment one of our clinical psychologists will conduct a complimentary initial consultation with you. The goal of the initial consultation is to get a better understanding of you, your history with what brings you to therapy, and what your needs are in therapy. We feel the fit between client and psychologist is extremely important, and the consultation is a great start for you to get a feel for Healthymynds and if we are a fit for your needs. Our goal is to work with you in a safe and supportive environment where you can explore your thoughts and feelings and work toward flourishing.
When you are ready to work on reducing the impact of stress on your daily life contact Healthymynds in Redondo Beach to schedule a complimentary consultation.