Stress is Everywhere

Have you ever had a morning where you work up and felt stressed. Like your eyes opened and you remembered where you were and what was going on. Then out of nowhere you were hit with this wave of stress. Well, you are not alone. 75% of adults say they are experiencing moderate to high levels of stress on the daily. And it effects everything. When you are stressed out it is a total body experience.

The Total Body Experience

There is a hormone called cortisol. It is released from your adrenal glands that sit on top of your kidneys. We have all heard of “fight or flight.” The mode where your body and brain think that there is a direct threat to your well-being.  It thinks that it must make a choice between fighting the situation or running away as fast as possible.

It is important to state here that this “threat” can be either real or perceived. Remember that our bodies and our brains are still very primitive. When we feel threatened by issues like losing out car in a parking lot or misplacing our wallet it feels the same as being left out of a group or being late to work. Either way our life, whether it be our livelihood or our social standing, is at risk. Our brains also cannot tell the difference between time. Meaning there is no past, present, and future, it is all one. This can be why people begin to spiral. They get on one negative topic and they just go down the rabbit hole.

When cortisol is released into your body it puts systems that can get you out of danger into over drive. Cortisol increases your heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension, blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Essentially, it hones your body in on what it can do to get you to the next day safely.

The Bad and Good of Stress

Something that people forget is that there is in fact good and bad stress.

Good stress is things like going to the gym, because you have to burn glucose and build muscle. If you’re getting ready to speak in front of a crowd, stress, if managed, can help you do good work. It keeps you focused and engaged with the audience while keeping you aware of your surroundings. Something exciting happening in your life, like buying a house, can also cause good stress.

Bad stress can be a slew of things that most people experience regularly. Money, job security, family issues, death, divorce and other illnesses are among the highest stressors for most people. The more prolonged the bad stress is, the worse it is on your body. Yes, your body was made to handle stress, but only for short periods of time.

How to Tell the Difference

Good stress: Is usually short term. Brings about positive traits like motivation, excitement and focus. It improves performance and you know you can handle the task at hand.

Bad stress: Can be either long term or short term. Brings about negative emotions like anxiety, concern, and other unpleasant feelings. Performance is decreased because there is an unsure sense of whether or not you can handle the situation.

To see how you are handling stress feel free to go to the free resources page for stress reduction at AlignMii. We update blogs weekly and if you have anything you would specifically like written about send us an email and we will get right on it.