What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of stress? I would bet that you thought of the emotional and mental form of stress. Maybe you thought of stress that comes from work, school, deadlines, money, world news, or politics. This is only one category of stress. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary there are several definitions of stress; constraining force or influence, weight, emphasis, intense effort, and relative loudness.
Let's discuss the 3 causes of stress that effect your body and health: Thoughts, Traumas, and Toxins. The 3 T's.
1. Thoughts/mental/emotional stressors are often what people associate with the word stress and include the examples given above.
2. Traumas are a physical stressor and can be large or small. Large traumas include falls, car accidents, and childbirth. Small traumas include abnormal posture, repetitive movements such as bending or lifting, and physical activity.
3. Toxins are what we put in and on our body. This includes foods, drinks, smoking, and personal care products.
The 3 T's trigger a stress response in our nervous system, specifically the sympathetic nervous system and our "fight or flight" response. There are several hormones that our body produces in this response: adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine.
- Adrenaline produces an immediate response to stress, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and sweating.
- Norepinephrine has a very similar response in the body as adrenaline.
- Cortisol is a slower response to chronic, ongoing stress. Too much cortisol can suppress the immune system, increase blood pressure and blood sugars, decrease sex drive, slow digestion, and produce acne.
I'd encourage you to take a mental break and evaluate the stressors in your life. We can't always control what happens but we can control how we choose to respond to situations. We can't always control having a car accident or falling on the ice but we can seek help for our injuries. We can control what we put in our mouths and on our bodies.
Is there one of these stressors that you are experiencing more of today? We're happy to help you with any and all of these stressors that you may be experiencing!