Much has been said about stress and its devastating consequences for health. We all know the term and many people still associate it with the image of someone burdened, in a hurry and a bit accelerated. However, what the data tell us is that many people live in a state of continuous stress and are not aware of it. Unfortunately we live in a world governed by the clock.
Creating a rhythm of life that fits our own expectations or those of others and adapting to it does not mean being free from stress. Unfortunately, we experience stressful experiences every day, incorporating this anxiety as part of our routine.
Today we want to talk about the most relevant factors that make this a stressful world, to know how to recognize them and act in front of them. That our lives seem normal prevents us from seeing many times see the consequences of that normalized. We fill little by little the glass that holds us, “waiting” for the last drop to explode and take action.
There are mild levels of stress that help us improve our cognitive abilities (euutrés). By releasing adrenaline, nerve pathways are activated that allow us to focus and concentrate better. This magical stress. There is no life without a minimum level of stress.
But there is a line, either by intensity, frequency or prolongation in time, which once crossed makes the whole process turn against us.
The same chemical mixture that makes us concentrate better on a task can happen to put us in a situation of anxiety and even panic. The adrenaline that we release in situations that make us alert, rightly so, is necessary.
When we increase the dose the body reacts badly. Increase the flow of testosterone which is what raises our expectations. If you are a woman, oxytocin makes its appearance and urges you to protect those who are close to you, another stress factor added to the situation.
Cortisol released as a counterpoint to excess adrenaline can be toxic to the hippocampus. All this contributes to create a domino effect that can result in serious chronic health problems, from autoimmune problems to diabetes. Being immersed in high levels of stress also makes it difficult for us to connect in a healthy way with others.
The vagus nerve
When we go through periods subjected to a high level of stress, the sympathetic nervous system works at full capacity. The people we have around us can be great allies when it comes to fighting these excesses of stress.
However, in a stressful world like the one we inhabit, we sometimes have to deal with factors such as competitiveness and many others that we will see later that make us easily lose that protection support against stress.
Support that we receive translates into inhibitory signals that pass through the vagus nerve to the sympathetic nervous system. When we interact with other people who make us feel safe, we reduce the state of constant high excitement.
We live in a culture that constantly undermines our connection paths and we do not always have the facility to change our life circumstances. That is why it is essential to find a way to balance the response to excessive stress.
The first step is to recognize the circumstances
There are many factors in this stressful world that leave us at the mercy of this chemical cocktail. We are going to see some that in principle are clear, but there are others that are not, because we do not associate them generally with stress-inducing factors.
The ones that are most easily recognized are the stressors at work. Studies show that more than 70% of the population suffers from stress in their job. Personal appearance also appears in studies conducted among the first stressors.
This, although at first sight it seems superficial, the truth is that it is not. Our physical appearance is directly related to our self-confidence and self-esteem. The social stress that we suffer daily is another factor that we are not really aware of.
In this stressful world, the absurd disputes over political issues, the media bombardment of public opinion creation and the inertia to which we are subjected to try to understand a world that many neighbours it is is inexplicable they have a strong impact on our alertness.
In addition to all of the above, sooner or later we will have to face events that question our ability to manage stress. The loss of a loved one is a stressor of the first order, which, depending on the circumstances, can even lead to a post-traumatic stress disorder.
The loss of a loved one in very tragic circumstances can be a strong shock to reality. Begin to understand that these things happen and will continue to happen to people around us can generate, in advance, high levels of stress.
In the same way, financial concerns about a job loss or the simple situation that we live as a society at the moment are other sources of stress. The concern about not being able to pay bills or reach retirement age without having paid enough years are other sources of risk to our health.
Identify personal causes and take stockings
What for some people can be a mental escape or a source of tranquility, such as family reunions, for others can be real nightmares. Stress is absolutely subjective and relative to the personality of each one.
Go shopping can be a balm for many people and yet for others it can be an environment conducive to stress by over stimulation. In the context of the couple it is very important to understand this and not extend our own demands of tranquility to those around us.
No doubt, identified stress or not, should follow a program of prevention or reduction of stress. There are many ways to combat it that are relatively simple. From the practice of meditation to the practice of regular exercise.