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Stress Less With H We have all experienced the overwhelming feeling and collection of responses known as “stress” at some point in our lives. The National Institute of Mental Health defines stress as “the brain’s response to any demand.” This seems like a vague description, but it is purposefully so, as the term manifests in multiple ways. At the most basic biological level, stress can actually be very useful. Animals including humans have what is known as a “fight-or-flight” response in situations where the brain detects possible danger. You can see PTW Magazine in February this year to see the physiology of the fight-or-flight mode. Generally, once a danger or perceived danger has passed, bodily functions return to normal. Stress can be separated into two major categories: eustress and distress. Eustress is the helpful kind of temporary stress, often enjoyed and seen as a motivator. An upcoming deadline, or anticipation of the arrival of a loved one could be seen as eustress. The body will have that “excited” response, but a continuous negative feeling does not occur.

Alyssa Bolter

Distress is when the stress response becomes overwhelming or lasts longer than what is beneficial to the body, and is usually the type of stress that comes to mind when mentioning the word. Distress is often brought on by major life events such as losing a job, a bad illness, death of a loved one, a traumatic near-death experience, or routine daily pressures that pile up unresolved. The American Psychological Association suggests that chronic distress can affect your immune system and leave people at higher risk of contracting an infection. Furthermore, digestive, excretive, and reproductive functions may also be affected due to the hormonal imbalance that occur in a state of distress. There have been reports of those experiencing chronic stress also lacking appetite, abdominal cramping, headaches, missed menses, lowered libido, feelings of numbness, anger, fear, crying, and lack of control. While these are common, everyone’s body is different in how it responds to stress.

Physician Assistant Student, Rosalind Franklin University, America

Mental healt be afraid to problem. A l

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