You may have heard people say they are stressed out, or that they have so much tension they feel they are about to explode, but what is true stress?
Stress is a hormone chemical called cortisol that releases glucose and adrenaline. On a simpler level, Stress is that feeling you get when you have too much on your plate.
People worry about stress’s effect on the body on a daily basis, but what most people don’t know is that stress in small doses can be helpful. Medical News Today says, “Stress is the body’s natural defense against danger and predators.”
Stress is really what most people call the fight or flight response. It is when your blood pressure rises, a shot of adrenaline is sent through your body, and breathing rate increases.
“Stress isn't really something that can be stopped completely. It can be treated, and it happens to everyone,” said Mr. Kozko, Cedar Cliff High School’s freshman counselor.
While stress is helpful at some points, long term exposure can be harmful to the body. Due to the increase in pulse rate and blood pressure, long term stress could lead to heart disease and strokes as you get older. A Harvard Medical School article states that after terrible news, the amount of stress sent through your body could lead to immediate heart attack.
"This isn't just an anxiety attack. When you do a cardiac catheterization procedure (a type of surgery) on them, an artery that was previously open is now closed," says Dr. Deepak Bhatt, director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Stress could help you decide whether to fight or run; it could help you get out of a bad situation; and it can inform you to check your surroundings. But stress levels need to be managed, and there are many ways to do that.
Exercise, reducing alcohol or drug intake, and talking to others can alleviate stress. If stress has taken over someone's life, then there are hotlines to help. Whoever needs help can call the Nami Mental Health hotline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) and ask to speak with someone .
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Thumb from Wikimedia Commons.