Herbal Stress Relief
Stress - How it affects You
Everyone experiences stress. But what triggers it is different in everyone. Personality, genes, and experiences all influence how we deal with stress.
Whatever the cause, stress is a factor in many diseases. Stress may aggravate an existing health problem, or trigger an illness if you?re at risk for the condition. Various surveys estimate that stress contributes to 80 percent of major illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, digestive diseases (ulcers, ulcerative colitis), mental disorders, injuries, nervous system and sensory-organ diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, cancers, endocrine and metabolic diseases, skin disorders, and infectious ailments of all kinds.
Although we do not completely understand how illness and stress interact, researchers are looking into it. Indeed, the field of psychoneuroimmunology has emerged, which focuses on how the central nervous system and immune system influence each other during stress.
Whatever the cause of stress, the body?s physical response to stress is similar to its reaction to a physical threat. Your body reacts to face the ?challenge?:
A hormone called corticotropin releasing factor stimulates the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This signals your adrenal gland to release more hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline and cortisol prepare your body to respond to stress. Your heart beats faster, breathing quickens, and blood pressure rises.
Blood carrying oxygen and nutrients is redirected to organs that need more energy to function with stress, such as your brain and muscles. Less blood goes to your stomach and skin.
Potential energy sources?blood sugar (glucose) and fat?are released into your blood. Fibrin, a chemical that causes blood to clot more easily, is also released, perhaps to slow or stop bleeding in case of injury.
Many of these physical changes can hurt your health over a long period of time.
Immune system: Cortisol produced during the stress response may suppress your immune system, increasing your susceptibility to infectious diseases. Studies suggest the incidence of bacterial infections such as tuberculosis and group A streptococcal disease increase during stress. Stress may also make you prone to upper respiratory viral infections such as the common cold or flu.
Cardiovascular disease: Under acute stress, your heart beats quickly, making you more susceptible to angina (a type of chest pain) and heart rhythm irregularities. When stress persists, increased blood clotting as a result of the stress response can put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Other relationships between illness and stress aren?t as clear-cut. But stress may worsen symptoms if you?re prone to certain conditions:
Asthma: If you have asthma, a stressful situation can make your airways overreactive and precipitate an attack.
Gastrointestinal problems: Stress can make your symptoms worse if you have a gastrointestinal disorder such as an ulcer or irritable bowel syndrome.
To help combat stress, change whatever factors you can. If possible, get out of the stressful situation. If that is not possible, there are a number of things you can do:
Exercise regularly: The natural decrease in adrenaline production after exercise may counteract the stress response. People who are physically fit handle stress better.
Relax: Techniques such as guided imagery, meditation, muscle relaxation, and relaxed breathing can help you relax. You can also focus on hobbies or activities you find calming.
Find a friend: Having friends and family members for support makes dealing with stress easier.
Eat a good diet: Be sure you get
For a great herbal stress relief product see Composure
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