Stress Management

Stress By - Stacey Ridguard Neuro Physiotherapist

  Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good (Eustress) and bad (distress) experiences. When persons undergo stress their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. 

Stress can also trigger an increased secretion of the hormone cortisol in the blood which can subsequently result in decreasing and eventually impairing white blood cell production. 

The presence of white blood cell is one of the body's natural means of fighting against infection, so if its production is hindered, it can lead to symptoms such as muscle tension or weakness, weakened immune system which can lead to chronic infection/disease, decreased circulation, mood swings, altered sleeping patterns and poor social as well as eating habits with rapid weight gain in the face as well as abdomen.

The adverse symptoms associated with stress can be curtailed, diminished or alleviated by learning to manage your stress factors well.

This can be achieved by boosting the secretion of the "feel good" hormone endorphin through regular aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.), stretching with deep breathing practices (yoga, Pilates, contract/relax), meditation, massages, and recreational activities. Adequate rest and proper nutrition can also aid in managing the negative effects of stress.

Stress if not managed in the home, at school or at work can become a vicious cycle that can result in long term ill health and poor social habits (persistent anger/irritability, alcoholism and smoking). 

So we have to take a multi-disciplinary approach in managing its impact on the body as well as the mind (emotions and behavior). We should, therefore, learn overtime to slow down, take it easy, keep calm, unplug, unwind, meditate, breathe easy, go outside, enjoy life and have fun.

Always remember that the mind and the body have to work in unison to promote overall good health and well-being. As reiterated by this Arabian quote: "He who has good health has hope and he who has hope has everything."



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Thursday, 13 June 2024

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