Stress and Daily Life

Let’s face it, we can’t avoid stress no matter what we do in life. It’s part of overcoming obstacles and achieving our goals.

But, when stress becomes unmanageable, it can compromise our health.

The Brain

When we are under stress, the hypothalamus signals the autonomic nervous system and the pituitary gland to release cortisol and epinephrine. Epinephrine is the stress hormone.

When there are excessive levels of cortisol in our body, it can interfere with our learning and our memory skills.

Elevated levels of cortisol may also increase the risk of mental illness.

Cardiovascular System

High levels of stress can increase our risk of heart attack, hypertension, and stroke.

Muscles

Stress can cause increased muscle tension, chronic musculoskeletal pain and tension headaches.

Stress can even cause muscle tension that is so severe, it would be enough to lead to atrophy. Atrophy is the degeneration of our cells.

Reproduction in Women

High levels of stress can cause missed periods, cramping, and longer periods. Stress can also contribute to the delay of ovulation which affects fertility.

Fatigue can be a common result of stress, and this can reduce sexual desire.

Management of Stress

It’s not always easy to manage stress. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and may feel like there’s nothing that can help your situation.

But, these Stress Management Techniques are tried and tested ways of helping us manage our stress levels so we can stay healthy.

  • Breathing & Relaxation.
  • Mindfulness.
  • Regular Exercise.
  • Mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Counselling.

There are many options out there if you feel like you aren’t handling things as well as you can. You can always talk to your GP or you can call the Samaritans, if you feel like your situation is beyond medical help.

We’ve included some useful links below. There’s always someone to help.

https://www.samaritans.org/

http://www.mentalhealthireland.ie