Stress and Your Health

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“Stress is not necessarily something bad – it all depends on how you take it. The stress of exhilarating, creative successful work is beneficial, while that of failure, humiliation or infection is detrimental.” —Hans Selye, pioneer in stress research.

Physical effects of long-term stress:

1. Heart problems
2. High blood pressure
3. Susceptibility to Infection
4. Skin problems
5. Pain
6. Diabetes
7. Infertility

Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms

Cognitive Symptoms
Memory problems
Inability to concentrate
Poor judgment
Seeing only the negative
Anxious or racing thoughts
Constant worrying

Emotional Symptoms
Moodiness
Irritability or short temper
Agitation, inability to relax
Feeling overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Depression or general unhappiness

Annual costs to employers in stress related health care and missed work: $300 Billion

It is now believed that 80-90% of all disease is stress-related.

Stress Causes

1 Job Pressure
Co-Worker Tension, Bosses, Work Overload

2 Money
Loss of Job, Reduced Retirement, Medical Expenses

3 Health
Health Crisis, Terminal or Chronic Illness

4 Relationships
Divorce, Death of Spouse, Arguments with Friends, Loneliness

5 Poor Nutrition
Inadequate Nutrition, Caffeine, Processed Foods, Refined Sugars

6 Media Overload
Television, Radio, Internet, E-Mail, Social Networking

7 Sleep Deprivation
Inability to release adrenaline and other stress hormones

U.S Stress Statistics

Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress 77 %
Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress 73 %
Feel they are living with extreme stress 33 %
Feel their stress has increased over the past five years 48 %
Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress 76 %
Reported lying awake at night due to stress 48 %
 
Most Stressful U.S. Jobs (2013)

1. Enlisted military personnel
2. Military General
3. Firefighter
4. Commercial airline pilot
5. Public relations executive
6. Senior corporate executive
7. Photojournalist
8. Newspaper reporter
9. Taxi driver
10. Police officer

Most Stressful Countries

1. South Africa
2. US
3. Australia
4. Southern Cyprus
5. Canada
6. Italy
7. Spain
8. New Zealand
9. France
10. Germany

And yet, a study cited by the China Daily Mail (2012) says that China is the most stressed country.

Most Stressful U.S. Cities

1 Hartford, Conn.
2 Newark, N.J.
3 Brownsville, Texas
4 Miami
5 Buffalo, N.Y.
6 East Los Angeles, Calif.
7 Cleveland
8 San Bernardino, Calif.
9 St. Louis
10 Paterson, N.J

Least Stressful U.S. Cities

1 Naperville, Ill.
2 Livonia, Mich.
3 Overland Park, Kans.
4 Gilbert, Ariz.
5 Thousand Oaks, Calif.
6 Arvada, Colo.
7 Sterling Heights, Mich.
8 Huntington Beach, Calif.
9 Plano, Texas
10 Scottsdale, Ariz.

10 Stress-Busters

1. Go out of body: Meditation, yoga, and tai chi can bring balance to your life.
2. Activate: Physically active people feel less anxious and depressed.
3. Join the Tea-Party: Cutting back on caffeine can also help since constantly stimulating yourself can drain your system. If you’re a coffee drinker, opt for green or black tea; these are healthier choices overall. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (through fatty fish, flaxseed, fortified foods, or supplements) may help keep the stress hormone, cortisol, in check.
4. Improve time management skills: What causes stress is multitasking while doing things that give us pleasure.
5. Just say no. Get some R&R time.
6. Know thyself: Finding quiet time isn’t a luxury; it’s essential for protecting your health.
7. Herbal strength: A class of herbs called adaptogens keeps everyday pressure from wreaking havoc on your immune system. Dubbed the “king adaptogen,” eleuthero (also known as Siberian ginseng) has been shown to normalize blood pressure and blood-sugar levels and stop stress from draining your adrenal gland’s supply of vitamin C.
8. Combat computer overstimulation: A little nature therapy can also ease the stress of too much computer time. A stroll through a park counteracts overstimulation and can also boost your mood and energy.
9. Listen to the music: A number of studies show that listening to music, especially classical, may help you unwind.
10. Creating artwork and crafts can help relax your senses.

Better Living Through Chemistry

Celexa. generic name: citalopram class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Prozac. generic name: fluoxetine class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Paxil generic name: paroxetine class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Elavil generic name: amitriptyline class: tricyclic antidepressants

Effexor XR generic name: venlafaxine class: serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors

Luvox generic name: fluvoxamine class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Luvox CR generic name: fluvoxamine class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Prozac Weekly generic name: fluoxetine class: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Vanatrip generic name: amitriptyline class: tricyclic antidepressant

*These drugs and medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of Anxiety and Stress. This service should be used as a supplement to, and NOT a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. Check with your doctor before using.

Sources:

www.mindtools.com/stress/UnderstandStress/StressDefinition.htm

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/stress

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/the-physical-effects-of-long-term-stress/all/1/

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-kinds-of-stress.html

http://www.wholeliving.com/135884/10-best-stress-busters/@center/144798/whole-body-action-plan#38802

http://www.drugs.com/condition/anxiety-stress.html

http://www.statisticbrain.com/stress-statistics/

http://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/10-most-stressful-jobs-2013

http://www.aneki.com/most_stressful_cities_america.html

http://www.aneki.com/least_stressful_cities_america.html

http://www.expatmoneychannel.com/content/worlds-most-stressful-locations

http://chinadailymail.com/2012/10/29/survey-reports-china-most-stressful-country-in-the-world/

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