Stress affects everyone at one time or another. There are different types of stress and not all stress is bad. There is such a things as “good stress”. The good stress energizes and improves performance. For instance, if someone started a fight with you on the street, you would stress (good stress) and would be able to run away due to increased energy and improved performance. Depends on the circumstance, you may chose to settle the fight. When stress starts building up and becomes high that is when problems start to develop. This is when people realize they are stressed out and reach out for help.
When the television goes on, there are stories of politics, financial deficit, terrorist threats, and natural disasters. Not to mention unemployment rates, people suffering with cancer or other terminal disease, and traffic. Traffic is something everyone challenges with and not only you. Stressful situations can be anywhere and they can’t be avoided they are inevitable.
According to an article from the American Psychological Association, they asked 166 married couples to keep a daily diary tracking 21 common stressors, such as arguments and overloads at home and work, for 42 days. This is the outcome found:
- Wives proved 5% more likely than husbands to report days marked by “any distress” and 19% more likely to experience “high-distress” days.
- The women did not typically carry feelings of “high distress” from one day to the next, but did report facing a greater overall number of stressful situations.
- Certain demands affected men or women more. Men reacted more strongly to an argument with a child, financial woes, or work overload, for example, while women were more distressed by arguments with a spouse, transportation difficulties, or family demands.
Sex hormones and the pituitary hormone oxytocin are partly responsible for gender differences in the response to stress, and suggest that the “tend-and-befriend” behavior may have held evolutionary advantages for women.
Age can affects stress for many reasons. As people age, major life events and physical problems can cause stress. These include:
- Death of a loved one
- Accident, fall or injury
- Chronic disease such as arthritis or multiple sclerosis which cause pain and disability
- Life-threatening illnesses such as cancer or cardiac disease
- Adverse effects from medications
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia
Some evidence suggests that disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which controls the stress response, compound certain health problems that are common among older people, such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. Aging and long-term stress both appear to trigger hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis disturbances in some people. In addition, constant exposure to certain stress hormones, such as cortisol, can harm nerve cells in the hippocampus, potentially affecting learning and memory processing.
Caring for others fulfills a basic social contract in ways that can draw generations and individuals closer to one another. Certainly, caring for an elderly parent or ailing spouse is a worthy, often satisfying pursuit. But it isn’t easy. If you’re a caregiver, you may often wrestle with stress as well as exhaustion, anger, guilt, grief, and other difficult emotions. More often than not, caregivers are women. The task is especially hard on women in the so-called sandwich generation, who are simultaneously caring for children and older parents, quite possibly while working outside the home, too.
While you attend to the needs of others, your own sense of well-being may head south. Studies of men and women responsible for the long-term care of relatives show that they have:
Suppressed immune response
Increased likelihood of dying
Research suggests that ongoing stress endured by older adults caring for spouses with Alzheimer’s disease had a negative impact on the caregiver’s own mental functioning. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, stressful lifestyle is a controllable risk factor for heart disease.
Once you know what is causing the stress in your life, you should be able to overcome it. There are many different techniques to help reduce stress or make stress more manageable. Download my stress free guide for some great techniques and start managing your stress. Access to download my Stress Free Guide in PDF format is included when you buy any Natural Stress Reducer product.