We all experience stress in our lives. In many ways, stress can be good for us: it helps us to achieve, meet our deadlines at work, and gives us that competitive edge. However, if you feel that stress is starting to overwhelm your life, this can lead to other problems, such as physical aches and pains, migraines, and emotional problems, such as depression. In recent years, studies have shown that people who suffer from chronic stress are much more likely to suffer from depression than people who have found healthy and positive outlets for their stress. If you find yourself depressed because stress is taking over your life, there are a few stress relief tips to combat it, such as the stress relievers of meditation, a better diet, and exercise.
Stress gets your Neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response working overtime! The NEM stress response is your body’s automatic response to any stressful situation.
When the hypothalamus in the brain realizes there is a stressful situation, it releases chemical messengers to the pituitary gland which in turn sends a message to the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and adrenaline. These two hormones put the body into fight or flight mode so that you are alert and poised to either fight or flee depending on the situation. This is usually short-lived and all systems return to normal once the stressful situation is over.
With prolonged stress, however, the cortisol production is continuous in nature as your body is in a state of constant alert. Over time, your adrenal glands, where these hormones are produced, can no longer keep up with the supply your body demands, and things turn sour. During this period, your body has either shut down or decreased functions that it deems as non-essential to sustain life. However, it cannot keep this up for an indefinite period of time, and you start manifesting certain symptoms. These symptoms are wide-ranged and not everyone need have the same symptoms, although people usually have a number of symptoms that may seem totally unrelated to each other.
These symptoms include:
And a whole lot more.
You probably feel as if there aren't enough hours in the day now as it is, and with everything that you do and with the depression that you are battling, how are you going to find the time to meditate or exercise, much less make changes in your diet? The truth is, there is always time to take better care of yourself. This is one of the major indicators of depression that is caused by stress—a lack of hygiene, a poor diet, and the failure to take care of your body overall. You only get one body and only one chance to make healthy choices, so you must find time in the day to do this for yourself before your depression worsens. Rise earlier in the day and take a long walk by yourself or with a friend or a pet. Stay up a half-hour later in the evening to either practice meditation or write your feelings down in a journal. Being able to vent your stressful feelings or finding ways to eliminate them is the first step toward curing the sad and overwhelming feelings you’re having.
Exercise is one great way to release positive endorphins into your body that elevate mood and make you feel energized. In fact, if you combine exercise with a healthier diet, such as cutting out fatty meats and a lot of refined sugar, you will feel that you have more energy to face the challenges of the day instead of stumbling through it blindly. These are all great stress relievers that will help you to combat your depression, but if they fail to help you in the end, you should see a doctor before the symptoms get any worse.
There are many reasons people experience stress and there are also many different types of stress. These may be due to emotional or physical reasons. Whatever the reason for your stress and the resulting problems that arise, there is hope for recovery on both a physical and psychological level
© Copyright 2013 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
AFS is developed through a process of chronic stress for a long period, and when the body are getting to the limits, a stressful event could then trigger the major crash.