Stress is defined as the non-specific response of the body to any demands made upon it. Everyday, in every walk of life, we come across stress. As much as people wish for a stress free life, such a task would be impossible to achieve. Stress is a part and parcel of our lives. Unfortunately, stress does not only produce discomfort, if ignored, it can lead to serious chronic illnesses. So what really happens when a person experiences chronic stress?
Our body goes through varied changes in its attempt to cope with stress. Let us examine the bodily processes. When we experiences stress in some part of the body, that part of the body sends a message to the brain via the nerves. Then it passes through the reticular activating system either from or to the limbic system or the thalamus. The limbic system is like the store house of our emotions, to which the thalamus acts like a trigger or a switch, determining what to do with the incoming signals sent by the body. Thus, activating the hypothalamus, this in turn will activate the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system.
Another way in which the brains will response to a stressor is by activating a part of the brain known as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system (HPA system). The HPA will activate the production and release of glucocorticolds i.e. steroid hormones, including the primary stress hormone cortisol. This hormone is very important in marshaling systems through out the body to deal quickly with the stress. When the body works to cope with stress, it produces some byproducts. If these byproducts of stress are not dealt with in a productive way, they result in all out physiological reactions or illness and diseases.
Lets us consider some illnesses and diseases. There are many diseases to which the mind makes the body susceptible. These diseases are known as psychosomatic diseases (psyche means mind; soma means body). Let us make this concept clear by an example;
Aling Marie is a 45 year old woman. Her husband passed away, leaving her depressed. Aling Marie’s husband was a kind person and jenny felt it was not fair, and found it hard to cope with her husband’s untimely death. A sense of helplessness came over her. Loneliness were her only companion now, there were people who where not surprised at Aling Marie’s death just one year after her husband passed away. They officially termed it as death due to heart attack, but to Aling Marie’s friends, it was known that Aling Marie died of a broken heart.
You may know a few people like Aling Marie yourself, people who died or fell chronically ill from sever stress with practically little physically wrong with them. How many times we tell people it’s all in your head. In Aling Marie‘s case, it was not all in her head. Sometimes when we experience too much emotional stress it results in physical disease, such diseases are known as psychogenic diseases. In psychogenic diseases there is no invasion of disease producing virus or micro organism, the mind changes the physiology in such a way that it breaks down. On the other hand, diseases occur when the mind makes the body vulnerable to some diseases causing microbes or natural degenerative processes, this is known as a somatogenic disease such as cancer, or asthma, etc.
There can be various diseases cause by stress. Let us look at a few specific conditions.
One of the common diseases caused by stress is
There are some of us who don’t mind being stressed. In fact, others would say that being stressed is their average day. Although it may hold true to some, we should not neglect the risks we’re putting ourselves in when we’re stressed. A lot of things are at stake. Our mood at work, hence impacts the quality of work… our mood at home that may affect our relationships with our husbands, wives and even our kids. Which is why I believe that although being stressed in the workplace at times is inevitable, you can still manage it.
There are a lot of de-stressing activities you can do after work hours. One of my favorites is having a full body massage. Doesn’t matter what style (Thai, Shiatsu, Combination, etc.) as long as my body and my mind is relieved from the daily grinds of work, I’m good. But of course, it also pays if you use an essential oil that really works. I’m not going to deep dive on why I recommend Oleia Topical Oil. For me, this one is really 100% effective.
About The Author
Cathy spends part of her days wondering how to combine her 2 loves, writing and photography. The rest of her time she spends taking care of her two babies. Sheena, a Labrador retriever & Amanda, a Siberian husky. She’s been an OLEIA user since May.