Why Stress Management Is Important
Stress is the underlying cause of many illnesses, both major and minor. Physicians and mental health experts agree that stress reduction techniques can prevent many illnesses, and disorders, as well as increase a patient’s ability to heal following the development of a variety of health problems.
The human response to stress is triggered within the brain, producing chemical and physical changes throughout the body, which affect every aspect of it’s functioning. During times of intense stress the brain’s production of such chemicals as Dopamine, Epinephrine, and Norepinephrine increase, causing the distribution of larger amounts of these Catecholamines throughout the body. The increase of the presence of these chemicals produces physiological changes such as increased heart rate, and blood pressure, increased cell reproduction, and suppression of the immune system.
Over time, unmanaged stress can lead to the development of ulcers and other digestive problems, heart disease, even heart attack and stroke. The immune systems ability to fight off infection and disease is inhibited, allowing for the onset of various illnesses and viral infections. Additionally, the development of chronic conditions such as Diabetes and Asthma, have been linked to stress.
Stress is also related to many mental and emotional disorders, such as Depression, Anxiety, extreme Phobias, and panic attacks. The “Fight or Flight” instinct triggered by the brain during times of extreme stress is also related to the onset of these chronic mental health conditions.
Learning to manage stress in healthy ways can help reduce the chemical changes occurring within the brain and body, thereby improving both physical and mental health.
Who Can Benefit From Stress Management
Everyone, regardless of who they are or what they do, can benefit by having some plan in place for the ongoing management of stress. The common myth, that unhealthy stress and the need for appropriate management of that stress, is primarily reserved for those who work in the most stressful environments. High powered executives and those who are in positions which carry a heavy amount of responsibility are only a small portion of the population who could benefit from a stress management program.
Let’s face it, stress is a part of everyone’s life. Whether you are a high powered executive, or a stay at home mother, situations are sure to arise in which the stress of your individual life will increase, affecting the way you feel, think and act. Having a healthy way of coping with stress can make a difference to overall state of well-being. Doctors, lawyers, nurses, waitresses, bartenders, business owners, even college students and elementary school children face their own unique brand of “stressors” every day. From the doctor who must face the loss of a patient, to the waitress who must deal with cranky, complaining customers; even the third grader, who is faced with a battery of assessment tests, stress is a part of everyday life.
There are many forms of stress management, from physical exercise to visualization techniques. A stress management program can include a hot, steamy bubble bath, or a long, luxurious massage. It can also include incorporate such techniques as acupuncture, acupressure, meditation, hypnosis (or self hypnosis) relaxation techniques and a realm of other programs or activities, uniquely tailored to fit the individual undertaking a stress reduction program.