by Susan Schachter May 02, 2019 3 min read
Everyone hates stress. Even hearing the word can make us nervous. But it’s important to know how stress works, because it can have a huge impact on our blood pressure.
When talking about stress, the medical community will sometimes speak of something called GAS, or General Adaptation Syndrome.GAS is the process the body goes through when it is exposed to stress. It includes 3 stages:
Aside from fatigue, anxiety, mental fog, and depression, if we don’t find a way to keep our bodies from entering that third stage, then we are at risk of developing decreased immune function, stomach ulcers, type-2 diabetes and cardiac disease (including high blood pressure).
But that doesn’t mean that avoiding stress entirely is the best option, either: there’s “good” stress and “not good” stress. “Good” stress is part of being alive. We’re nervous about a presentation, a promotion, a pregnancy, etc. It keeps us motivated, keeps our body working, and helps us stay alert and focused. This type of stress would take us through stages one and two of GAS.
Then there’s the “not good” stress, which comes about when you hear or see something that makes you feel a lack of control. That’s when your blood pressure medication has been recalled, your significant other is mad at you, the economy isn’t doing well, your favorite news channel keeps yelling about politics, you’re afraid of something, or you keep comparing your life to what you see on social media. That can take us into the third stage of GAS, and bring with it all the physical ailments I mentioned earlier.
Obviously, we can’t always avoid “not good” stress, and so we need to find ways to manage it. That way, we can reassert control of our own body and keep stress from causing physical problems.
Some suggestions for managing stress:
Anything that makes you feel more in control and/or brings you bliss is encouraged! Your heart will thank you later!
Here’s to your health!
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