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Archive for September 6th, 2009

Stress is different to pressure.  Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health (Lancaster University) states:  ‘Pressure is motivating but stress is when the pressure exceeds your ability to cope’.  1 in 5 people suffer from work-related stress; if we add to this equation the pressure of home and social life, then it’s not surprising many of us are pushed to the limit.

When we get stressed, the hormone, adrenaline is released and so causes other hormones, namely, noradrenaline and cortisol to be released.  These three hormones together divert resources to the parts of the body which are needed most – this is the ‘fight or flight’ response.  The problem is that in the 21st Century we’re not hunting for our food, we are not dealing with the odd sabre-tooth tiger attack we are dealing with sitting in traffic jams, dealing with bad news, work and family problems, but our bodies do not recognise the difference: stress is stress.  This means we are constantly being exposed to a level stream of stress chemicals but there is nowhere for them to go when we’re sitting anxiously in a traffic jam – there is no release for these toxic chemicals!

Typical signs of stress include: lack of concentration, IBS and digestive problems, frequent colds and flu, tiredness, heart disease and even cancer.

If you can, identify what’s causing you stress.  Exercise is a very good way of reducing stress levels and the best thing you can do for your health.   Zinc and the B-complex vitamins are also very good for combating the effects of stress.  Ginseng is an adaptogen so it increases the body’s resistance to stress and Rhodiola can help improve focus and concentration under stressful conditions.

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