The body adapts positively to stress when it is applied in an acute episode that is, it is present for a short period of time, and then it is removed. This is the situation that occurs during exercise training or when a burst of adrenaline is required to run away from a vicious dog!
While acute stress has a normal effect in the body which produces a specific desirable outcome, Chronic stress produces a very toxic cascade of metabolic changes. These changes may be negative in nature, as chronic stress has been linked to the development and progression of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.
Early signs from chronic stress can be subtle and vague so many people don’t recognize them and even less do something about it. Most people believe that normal life stress is exactly that – “Normal”.
How can you tell if you are living with chronic stress.
An easy tell tale sign is – when was the last time you took a 3 week holiday? That alone is an indicator, but the real question is when you did, how long did it take you to really wind down. You can tell because in that last week if you are thinking about not going back to work you are likely stress free.
One other quite subtle change is in your sleep quality. If that is poor and is for a prolonged period it is likely to be stressing your body.
There are a few more professionally applied tests that can be used to confirm whether you are stressed in a way that is potentially detrimental to your health.
So what can you do about it?
Chronic Stress comes from three main areas.
Emotional. Physical. And Chemical stress.
Firstly confirm you are under chronic stress so you can prepare yourself to look for the cause. You can’t expect change will happen by its self.
Some people can easily identify the cause of the stress, some cannot. Others may not be able to change the cause of their stress.
Either way, because you live your life through your nervous system (sight, touch, smell, taste, emotions, memories etc.) it would be wise to have an assessment to rule out any physical component. A thorough examination often exposes the causes and appropriate advice can be given to avert the potential dangers of chronic stress, one of them being chronic fatigue like symptoms.
So if you or someone you know is experiencing stress or poor sleep for any length of time why not get a thorough Chiropractic examination to get to any underlying physical cause. The cause will more than likely affect you in many areas and can be very subtle and needs further investigation.
If you have any more questions give us a call.