STRESS – It frequently affects us physically
Author: Laura Manville,
Oakland University Psychology Student
Stress has quite an impact on our bodies. It raises our blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart rate. It sends cortisol through our bodies as we are in that constant “fight or flight” stage of preparedness. We are in a high state of alertness and wakefulness. We may be hyper vigilant and therefore over responsive to external stimuli. In this state, certainly, our emotions would be different than usual.
Let’s put this in first person. Close your eyes and put yourself into this scene. Have the courage to face those situations with which you are able to relate. Make it personal. You may even alter the details to fit your particular experience. Remember, a vast majority of us have had similar experiences.
Ready? Let’s Begin
I am actually experiencing stress right now. I am living alone for the first time in my life. I am experiencing the emotions of feeling alone/loneliness, and somewhat abandoned. I know that no one abandoned me, but I think it is a natural feeling, so I am accepting it.
Physiologically I feel queasy and/or sick to my stomach a lot. I eat a lot less when I feel stressed, so I have lost seven pounds. I started smoking again. I also drink an occasional glass of wine to relax, which I never did before.
I find it interesting that for many years my body would react to stress by becoming ill. The farthest back I can recall it starting was 5th grade. When I switched schools in 5th grade I had pneumonia. When I went to 6th grade camp I had bronchitis. When I went to band camp as a high school freshman I had bronchitis. For the first two years of college during mid-terms and finals I had a sinus infection. One year I had mono during finals. That was fun: study, sleep, study, sleep. I also have a herniated disc in my back. As soon as I got away from my stressful job as a litigation adjuster; my severe and chronic back pain; which had been treated with a heavy narcotic pain patch and epidural injections; slowly dissipated.
Apparently my body really does not like stress. I appreciate that it is not a natural state, but my body seems to overreact to stress and attempt to shut me down. Perhaps it is a self-protective mechanism?
How Did You Do?
Did your mind and/or body call out for help?
This is where Counseling on Demand comes in. You need not go through this alone. With our support, you may get through these times in surprisingly short order.
We can help. You needn’t leave your favorite/private place. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are there 24/7. You can begin in 24 hours or less.
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