Stress Test

It sees you when you’re sleeping, it knows when you’re awake, it knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good to your body for goodness sakes. No, we aren’t signing the infamous Christmas carol — it’s not even Thanksgiving, come on now. We’re talking about stress!

Unlike the seasons, where they come and go, stress is common for the average human almost year round, and it shouldn’t be.

In order to take action and nip your stress in the bud, you must first understand how stress works. An area of the body that is targeted by stress is your adrenal glands. When stress floods your brain, it triggers the hypothalamus in the brain. Epinephrine is then dispersed throughout your body due to the signals being sent from the hypothalamus to your adrenal glands. Have you heard of the slogan “fight or flight?” Well that is what your body goes into, after the epinephrine hormones pump throughout your body. Even when you’re not in danger, these low-levels of constant stress keep you on high alert.

Another sign to watch out for is if you consider yourself a “workaholic.” In the past, studies have shown that there is a strong link between being a workaholic and having OCD, ADHD, anxiety and depression. Stress can affect your mental state and well-being, leading to symptoms of anxiety or depression. So it is important to be cognizant of your workload and how that may be affecting your health.

Did you know stress can damage your blood vessels as well? Chronic stress is a recipe for a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, as it increases plaque buildup in your arteries.

Stress weighs on your mental state and your physical wellness. It can wear and tear you down, weaken your immune system, and create tension throughout your body. Whether that be grinding your teeth at night, a stiff neck or persistent headaches, it can all be triggered by stress.

It can be a chip in the paint, but there are many ways to cope with stress. Meditation is one way of dealing with stress. This can bring your body and mind into focus, and make you aware of the emotions you’re feeling and allow you to make sense of them. Meditation enhances mindfulness.

Try exercise — physical activity gives you a sense of immediate relief, as endorphins are released in the body when physical activity is performed. The exercise high you feel can last for several hours and encourage productivity.

Whether you listen to music, go for a hike, or hit the gym, every person deals with stress in their own unique ways. It is important to deal with stress in a healthy manner that contributes to your overall well-being.

Your common signs of an onset of stress include facial breakouts, restlessness, headaches and tension in the neck, shoulders and shoulder blades.

If we miss the bus, if we fail the test, if we perform poorly on an assignment, the world keeps spinning. Do better next time and always be kind to yourself and your body.


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