Presentation on theme: "STRESS How It Affects the Body, and How to Manage or Reduce It in Your Life."— Presentation transcript:
STRESS How It Affects the Body, and How to Manage or Reduce It in Your Life
What is Stress? Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. Can be caused by both good and bad experiences. The human body reacts to stress by releasing chemicals into the blood. Chemicals provide energy and strength, which can be a good thing if stress is caused by physical danger. BUT can also be bad, if stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength.
What Can Cause Stress? 4 Common Sources : Survival Stress - “Fight or flight". Common, instinctual response to danger in all people and animals. Internal Stress - Have you ever caught yourself worrying about things you can do nothing about or worrying for no reason at all? This is internal stress and it is one of the most important kinds of stress to understand and manage. People make themselves stressed. We worry about things we can't control or put ourselves in situations we know will cause us stress. Environmental Stress - A response to things around you that cause stress- noise, crowding, and pressure from work or family. Fatigue and Overwork - Builds up over a long time and can take a hard toll on your body. Caused by working too much or too hard at your job(s), school, or home. It can also be caused by not knowing how to manage your time well or how to take time out for rest and relaxation.
Types of Stress
How Does Stress Affect Me? Short-term stress can affect your body in many ways. Increased Heart-rate Increased Sweating Cold, clammy hands, feet, or skin Feel “sick to your stomach” or stomach'butterflies' Tightening muscles/ making you feel “tense” Dry Mouth Increased need to relieve bladder and bowels Muscle spasms, Headaches, Fatigue, Shortness of Breath
Short-Term Stress Physical Effects
How Can Stress Affect Me? Short term stress can also have bad effects on your mind and performance if there is no outlet for your stress. Effects may include: Poor judgement/decision-making Make you see difficult situations as threatening Reducing your enjoyment of life. Poor concentration Increased anxiety, frustration, or anger Feel isolated and unwilling to discuss problems or concerns with others.
Short Term Stress Mental Effects
How Does Stress Affect Me? Long-term stress can have an even greater effect on your body and mind. Long-term stress can affect your body by: Changing appetite-eating either less or more Changing your sleep habits-either sleeping too much or not enough Develop 'nervous' behavior-twitching, fiddling, talking too much, nail biting, teeth grinding, pacing, and other repetitive habits Decreased immunity and causing other illnesses such as asthma, headaches, stomach problems, skin problems, and other aches and pains Poor sex life Constantly tired and worn out
Long-Term Stress Effects on the Body
How Can Stress Affect Me? Long-term stress can also have serious effects on your mental health and behavior. Some mental signs of long-term stress include: Worrying, feeling anxious- can lead to anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Feeling out of control, overwhelmed, confused, and/or unable to make decisions Mood changes-depression, frustration, anger, helplessness, irritability, defensiveness, irrationality, overreaction, or impatience and restlessness Increasing dependence on food, cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs Neglecting work, school, and even personal appearance Develop irrational fears-physical illnesses, natural disasters, even ordinary situations like heights or small spaces.
Long-Term Stress Effects on the Mind
How Can I Combat Stress? Relaxation Therapy/Breathing Therapy Diet/Supplements Positive Visualization/Imagery Prayer/Meditation Involve your Senses Exercise/Physical Activity Chiropractic/Massage/Acupuncture/Reflexology Optimize Positive Social Environment
Relaxation Therapy Slow/stop the circular thinking that gets you nowhere. Simple thought or quote to derail train of thoughts and initiate relaxation response. Biofeedback training- sensitive electronic instruments measure bodily functions such as heart rate and blood pressure, and under guide of qualified practitioner, one learns to regulate them. Chronic heart failure patients used biofeedback in a UCLA study -improved blood flow compared to patients who only rested- Patients increased their skin temperature by imagining their hands becoming warmer. Patients preparing for coronary bypass surgery used self-hypnosis relaxation techniques -calmer, less pain medication after their operations. Simply imagine yourself in a favorite, tranquil place: serene scene from past or hopeful one in your future. Close your eyes, relax your breathing, and try to see and feel your surroundings. At the University of Miami, a form of music psychotherapy (Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music) tested on 28 healthy adults during six biweekly sessions. Significant decreases between pre- and post-session depression, fatigue, and total mood disturbance. Also, significant decreases in blood levels of cortisol were measured – even six weeks after the study. Sixty-five patients listened to guided imagery tapes for three days before and six days after surgery- less stress and physical pain than control group. Requested half as many painkillers as those who had not listened to the tapes. Tapes helped patients imagine themselves in a beautiful and peaceful place, along with a person they cared for. Visualized upcoming operation causing little pain or stress. Image therapy improved sleep and reduced nightmares and other symptoms in women who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from being sexually assaulted.
Stress-fighting Foods Asparagus: High in folic acid, can help stabilize your mood-help make serotonin-directly affects mood positively. Recommended Serving Size: 7 spears, 1/2 inch thick, cooked, 25 calories Beef : high levels of zinc, iron, and B vitamins, which are known to help stabilize your mood. Ask butcher for a lean cut if concerned about fat content. Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup of raw lean ground chunk, 137 calories; 1 cup of regular ground beef, 310 calories Coconut Milk: Milk is high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12, as well as protein and calcium. Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 40 calories Cottage Cheese and Fruit: Cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium. High protein foods that aren't loaded with sugar won't cause a spike in blood sugar and will keep you satiated for a longer time. Mix the cottage cheese with fruit high in vitamin C, which fights stress because it's an antioxidant that fights the free radicals that get released when you're stressed. Recommended Serving Size: Creamed cottage cheese, 1/2 cup, 79 calories One percent fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup, 72 calories 1 orange, 60 calories Almonds: Try crunching on almonds to get some aggression out. Good source of Vitamin B2,E, magnesium, and zinc. High fat, but most is unsaturated. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Recommended Serving Size: Shelled almonds, 1/3 cup, 306 calories Blueberries: Very rich in antioxidants. High-fiber, low-calorie fruit option also rich in stress-fighting vitamin C. Recommended Serving Size: Blueberries, 2/3 cup, 30 calories Tuna: High in stress-fighting vitamins B6 and B12. Also a good low-fat protein source. Recommended Serving Size: Tuna canned in brine, 3.5 ounces drained, 99 calories Tuna canned in oil, 3.5 ounces, drained, 189 calories
Supplements 2,000-5,000 IU/d Vitamin-D As many dietary Omega-3 FA as possible. 1 g/d of supplemental Fish or Krill oil. Ashwagandha mg 1-2x/d Stress Relief Combos-contain a number of vitamins, minerals and/or herbs-ie Ginseng, Rhodiola, B-vitamins, Astragalus, Ginger, Turmeric. All the above have minimal to no side effects such as upset stomach, increased alertness, or skin rashes. If any side effects occur, stop taking. Products such as Melatonin, St. John’s Wart, and Kava Kava are not recommended, as they can have more serious side effects.
Prayer/Meditation Prayer and meditation have been shown to bring calm and peace. If thoughts enter your mind, let them go. Passively disregard them. Instead, stay with your breath. Let it settle into its own circular rhythm. One or two daily sessions of meditation – preferably the same time every day – will change the way your body responds to stress. There are many nuances to meditation, and a qualified teacher may be advisable. Harvard Medical School researchers-Significant signal increases in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cingulate cortex-"meditation activates neural structures involved in attention and control of the autonomic nervous system." Study at the Medical College of Georgia- daily transcendental meditation kept blood vessels open, thus significantly lowering the blood pressure of meditators compared to those who just relaxed as completely as possible. 35 "stressed-out" people underwent a "mindfulness training" program- experienced average 54% reduction in psychological distress. Also reported a 46% drop in medical symptoms, compared to the control group. For about three hours a week for two months, participants learned stress- coping techniques -yoga postures and four methods of meditation – and how to apply these techniques to their lives.
Laughter Tensions released. The muscles de-contract and the nervous system goes into a more para-sympathetic state. On the physiological level-greater oxygenation, and metabolism slightly improved -allowing more efficient de-toxification of the cells-better nourishment and respiration, immune function improves. Balancing of hormones, with cortisol and adrenal reduction into the blood promotes better blood circulation. Even smiling confers notable benefit. On the psychological level- laughing at oneself is "self-humbling". Ability to laugh at oneself also indicates a sense of ease and comfort with oneself, resilience, flexibility, psychological stability, and emotional maturity. Laughing at oneself harmonizes the two hemispheres of the brain, allowing them to work more in synchrony, as well as promoting greater heart coherence. Belly laughs release pain-killing endorphins. The next time you feel road-rage starting to rear its ugly tail, just start making a funny noise. Such sounds are incompatible with anger.
Social/Emotional Stop getting caught in the avalanche information – much of it negative – that assaults you throughout the day. Go on a news fast for a day, or a week. Moderate your TV and Internet time. Information-overload is an insidious source of chronic stress. When two professors at the UC Berkeley School of Information Management & Systems analyzed all new data produced worldwide in 1999 – the Internet, scholarly journals, junk mail – they had to use the term "terabyte." One terabyte is million megabytes, the text content of a million books! Crying is another one of nature's stress-relieving strategies. Unlike tears caused by eye irritants, emotional tears contain abundant amounts of adrenaline and other stress-related chemicals. Friends who make you laugh are one of life's greatest blessings. Here's where the right social network pays off. One of the most important anti-stress coping skills is to develop a social support system, including pets septuagenarians (people in their 70’s) studied over seven years. Emotional support was significantly correlated with better cognitive function, such as language, verbal and nonverbal memory, abstract reasoning, and spatial ability. Hormones are potent "local" chemicals that travel throughout your body to help regulate metabolism and behavior. You also produce similar "long distance" chemicals called pheromones, which work outside the body and can affect the hormones of others. Your pheromones can excite, or even calm, others. Researchers at the University of Zurich- a friend's supportive presence may work with hormones in the body to reduce stress-Men less stressed when their best friend was present or when given a nasal of dose of oxytocin, an anti-stress hormone. Just the presence of a best friend, however, was better than oxytocin alone at reducing stress. The men who were given oxytocin while their best friend was also present showed significantly less anxiety and had lower cortisol levels.
Sounds and Smells What ever kind of music soothes your stress – classical, Celtic, Celine – shifts the brain into its parasympathetic state. "The most powerful aspect of music is rhythm," says music therapy professor Ron Borczon. "Rhythm will help you get more excited when sped up; when slowed down, it helps the body calm down." Smell is the most nostalgic of all the senses. A certain fragrance can immediately remind you of an experience in your distant past-smell takes direct route to the limbic brain, where emotional memories are processed – and stress hormones do worst damage. Unlike other senses, molecules of the object smelled actually come in contact with the brain. Olfactory receptors = the brain exposed to the outside.
Essential Oils "Essential oil." -obtain from the seeds and flowers, the roots and barks, and the fruits and resins of plants. Add to bath water or massage oil-heat helps the oils penetrate into the skin and bloodstream, as well as releases the oil's aromatic molecules for entry through the nose. Essential oils are very powerful chemicals-influence brain chemistry, hormone production, and stress levels. Obnoxious smells certainly demonstrate this, but positive scents also have a subtle but powerful affect on emotional well-being. Not known for sure how essential oils work on the brain, but thought to interact with certain membrane lipids as well as affect enzymatic processes. A study of depressed men showed that citrus fragrance in their room reduced their intake of antidepressants. Lavender is calming. A few drops of lavender oil on a handkerchief can help suppress the distress of frustrating situations, like being stuck in traffic or on the runway. Vaporized lavender oil was used in a British nursing home to help residents relax into sleep. It worked as well as sedative drugs. Andrew Weil, M.D.-research shows essential oil of a tropical flower called ylang-ylang causes the pituitary gland to secrete more euphoric endorphins. Oil of grapefruit stimulates the brain to produce natural painkillers called enkephalins. Oil of marjoram boosts production of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin.
Exercise/Activity The "flight or fight" stress response triggered by perceived threats that leave you stewing in your juices of adrenalin and cortisol – still sitting in your car or at your desk. One of the best ways to defuse these hormones is to MOVE! No matter what physical methods you use, your body and brain will reward you with good health. If stuck in your car or at your desk, practice progressive relaxation techniques. Tense, then release different muscles in a set sequence. It's easy to learn, simple to do, and it works. In several studies, chronic headache sufferers experienced a 50% reduction in pain and frequency using this approach. Doctors know that people who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick after stressful situations. On the other hand, exposure to mental or physical stress increases a person's susceptibility to illness or disease. Four related studies done in 1999 at the University of Colorado at Boulder looked at how regular exercise changes physiological responses to stress from the brain, hormonal system, and immune system. In first study, rats that ran on a wheel regularly for four weeks were compared to sedentary rats. After 90 minutes of moderate stress, the exercise rats had lower amounts of a protein produced in stress-reactive brain areas, including the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In a second study, the test was the same. The exercising rats released less of the adrenaline-like hormone norepinephrine than did sedentary rats, when both groups were under stress. In the third study, the rats were infected with E. coli bacteria. The exercise rodents had an increased migration of bacteria-attacking white blood cells to the infection site, and their healing time increased by three to four days. In the fourth study, exercise rats were significantly less affected by the negative effect of stress, including the suppression of cell division, decreases in cytokines, and increases in the production of stress proteins. Physically active rats had elevated levels of interleukin-2 and interferon-g, proteins essential for fighting disease. Exercise not only defuses a stressful situation, it better prepares you to cope with future stress and helps to fight depression. University of California at San Diego researchers kept track of more than 900 older adults-average age 70. Found that those who exercised regularly had the best moods a decade later. In contrast, men and women who never exercised, or quit during the study, more likely to develop a depressive mood. One of the study's authors, Dr. Donna Kritz-Silverstein, said this "shows there's a beneficial effect, but to reap the benefits you have to keep exercising" – especially with regular activities that break a sweat, such as brisk walking. But, she noted, "starting exercise at an older age can be just as beneficial." A Finnish study had similar results. Depressive symptoms compared with exercise intensity in 663 elderly people over an eight-year period- active physical exercise was associated with better mental health.
Proper Deep Breathing Breathing can be a powerful tool to bring yourself back into balance. Whether quieting a rapid fearful breath or boosting a shallow anxious one, just a few mindful breaths can shift your experience. The first step is to bring your breathing under control: Exhale completely. Then slowly breathe in through your nose. Expand your diaphragm/belly to bring air into the lower portion of your lungs. As you gradually fill your lungs from bottom to top, expand your chest. At the end, lift your shoulders for a last bit of volume. Briefly pause your breathing (and your thoughts). Then relax and let the air flow smoothly and fully out through your mouth. Pull in your stomach at the end to expel the last bit of air (and stress). Enjoy the emptiness for a few seconds. Then begin another breath. Do this a few times, pay attention to the sound and sensation of your breath. If you get light- headed at first, breath normally. Your brain is probably not used to all that oxygen. Individuals with normal blood pressure subjected to mental stress for five minutes- took an average of 3.7 minutes for their blood pressure to return to normal. But when they practiced deep breathing, it returned to normal in 2.7 minutes
Proper Deep Breathing
Massage Mind and muscle are connected – the central and peripheral nervous systems communicate with each other – massage does more than just relax your muscles. It can sooth your mood as well as your mind. Massage releases endorphins that calm the peripheral nervous system. Increases circulation and speeds up the removal of toxins from the body. Reduced levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in depressed mothers with infants. A study at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School- massage therapy improved sleep and reduced the mothers' depression. Preschoolers who received a 15-minute massage scored better on tests of cognitive performance, compared to children who just read stories with an adult for the 15 minutes prior to testing. Massaging infants is a time-tested practice all over the world. Traditional systems of medicine in India advocate oil massage as an integral part of infant care. Study divided 125 healthy six-week old infants into several groups to compare effects of different oils: herbal oil, sesame oil, mustard oil, and a mix of mineral oil with vitamin E. (A fifth group received no massage.) For a month, mothers massaged their infants' legs, back, arms, chest, abdomen, face, and head (in that order), for a total of 10 minutes each day. All massage groups showed increase in head circumference, body length, and weight, but sesame oil caused the most significant increase. Blood flow through the legs' femoral arteries was significantly improved. Also, the infants slept better soon after their massage. Study concluded that natural vegetable oils such as sesame oil are best suited for massage as they have a beneficial effect on growth and blood flow, and are well-absorbed. 18 (Note: Mineral oil is not recommended, because it is a petroleum product.) 18 Benefits of infant massage could have far-ranging consequences, since research shows that birth weight and head circumference are related to better brain power later in life. Weight and head size at birth are associated with growth factors- may influence the development of the central nervous system and cognitive ability.
Reflexology Reflexology foot massage works with the thousands of nerve endings in the soles of your feet. A session with an experienced reflexologist or even simply rolling your foot over a golf ball can be a good way to reduce tension. Chinese study of 86 individuals, blood tests taken before and after reflexology sessions, ten days in a row- levels of free radicals decreased while antioxidant enzymes increased. In a three-year study, Danish postal workers given access to reflexology therapy missed fewer days of work, saving thousands of dollars per month.
Chiropractic Benefits of Receiving Chiropractic Adjustments: Pain relief with one-time or regular adjustments Reduced stress with regular adjustments Lower blood pressure with chiropractic adjustments Facilitate proper bowel functions Relief from lower back pain Non-invasive and can increase your overall health, making your body better able to fight off other maladies. · Your chiropractor may give you exercises to maintain your spinal and extra-spinal health. · Some chiropractors may include in their treatment plan, the recommendation of massage and lifestyle changes that could include switching to ergonomic furniture and tools. · You may receive health counseling from your chiropractor. In 2007, a gold standard double-blind placebo study was presented in the Journal of Human Hypertension- a chiropractic adjustment to the upper neck lowered blood pressure significantly. group of 50 people with early stage hypertension- 25 people had the chiropractic adjustment and 25 did not. None of the patients were allowed to take medication during the eight week study. The patients that had adjustment saw average drop of 14mmHG systolic blood pressure and 8mmHg diastolic. It would take two blood pressure medications to have the same effect! The researchers also noted that none of the patients getting the adjustments had any adverse reaction to the chiropractic treatment.
Quick Word on Prescription Meds Over 100 million people prescribed benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Ativan, etc.) for anxiety and insomnia each year. Drugs intended for short periods, up to a few weeks, but often taken for years! Many side effects, with the worst being increased risk for dementia, cancer, dizziness, bone fractures, and addiction.
References 1. Spectrum, March-April Alternative Therapies, January Health Psychology 1997 July;16(4): Psychology Today, March-April The Journal of the American Medical, August 1, Neuroreport 2000 May 15;11(7): Psychosomatic Medicine, August 2, American Journal of Health Promotion, July Alternative Therapies, May Self Healing, October Prevention, June American Journal of Epidemiology, March 15, Preventive Medicine, May American Society of Hypertension annual meeting, May Psychosomatic Medicine 1999;61
References 16. Alternative & Complementary Therapies, Jan/Feb Touchpoints, Vol Indian Journal of Medical Research, 2001;112: British Medical Journal, January 27, British Medical Journal, August 11, China Reflexology China Symposium Report, October Self Healing, May Health Psychology, July American Psychosomatic Society annual meeting, March stress- relief/http://www.bhg.com/health-family/mind-body-spirit/natural-remedies/superfoods-for- stress- relief/ Bakris, G. Journal of Human Hypertension, March 2, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/13/benzodiazepines.aspx?e_cid= _DNL_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium= &utm 32.