Totally Stressed Out? The Risks To Your Body

Totally Stressed Out? The Risks To Your Body

 

You’re trying to get the kids off to school, you can’t find your cell phone, and you’re sitting in traffic.  Your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, decides to send out the order: Send in the stress hormones! These stress hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. Your heart races, your breath quickens, and your muscles are ready for action. This response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly. But when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk. Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a New York City Neuropsychologist who breaks down stress and it’s risks to your body. 

 

Gastrointestinal: 

Esophagus

When you’re stressed, you may eat much more or much less than you usually do. If you eat more or different foods or increase your use of alcohol or tobacco, you can experience heartburn or acid reflux. Stress or exhaustion can also increase the severity of heartburn pain.

Stomach

When you’re stressed, your brain becomes more alert to sensations in your stomach. Your stomach can react with “butterflies” or even nausea or pain. You may vomit if the stress is severe enough. And, if the stress becomes chronic, you may develop ulcers or severe stomach pain even without ulcers.

Bowel

Stress can affect digestion, and what nutrients your intestines absorb. It can also affect how fast food moves through your body. You may find that you have either diarrhea or constipation.

 

Headaches:

“Fight or flight” chemicals like adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol can cause vascular changes that leave you with a tension headache or a migraine, either during the stress or in the “let-down” period afterward. Stress also makes your muscles tense, which can make the pain of a migraine worse.

Possible Solution:  Beyond treating the headache itself, focus on headache-proofing your home, diet, and lifestyle in general.

 

 

Respiratory System:

Stress can make you breathe harder. That’s not a problem for most people, but for those with asthma or a lung disease such as emphysema, getting the oxygen you need to breathe easier can be difficult. And some studies show that an acute stress, such as the death of a loved one— can actually trigger asthma attacks, in which the airway between the nose and the lungs constricts. In addition, stress can cause the rapid breathing or hyperventilation that can bring on a panic attack in someone prone to panic attacks.

Possible Solution: Working with a psychologist to develop relaxation and breathing strategies can help.

Totally Stressed Out? The Risks To Your Body - Ann Again and again Reviews

Female Reproductive System:

Menstruation

Stress may affect menstruation among adolescent girls and women in several ways. For example, high levels of stress may be associated with absent or irregular menstrual cycles, more painful periods and changes in the length of cycles.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Stress may make premenstrual symptoms worse or more difficult to cope with and pre-menses symptoms may be stressful for many women. These symptoms include cramping, fluid retention and bloating, negative mood (feeling irritable and “blue”) and mood swings.

Menopause

As menopause approaches, hormone levels fluctuate rapidly. These changes are associated with anxiety, mood swings and feelings of distress. Thus menopause can be a stressor in and of itself. Some of the physical changes associated with menopause, especially hot flashes, can be difficult to cope with. Furthermore, emotional distress may cause the physical symptoms to be worse. For example, women who are more anxious may experience an increased number of hot flashes and/or more severe or intense hot flashes.

Sexual Desire

Women juggle personal, family, professional, financial and a broad range of other demands across their life span. Stress, distraction, fatigue, etc., may reduce sexual desire — especially when women are simultaneously caring for young children or other ill family members, coping with chronic medical problems, feeling depressed, experiencing relationship difficulties or abuse, dealing with work problems, etc.

Fat storage

You can clearly correlate stress to weight gain. Part of that link is due to poor eating during stress, but the stress hormone cortisol may also increase the amount of fat tissue your body hangs onto and enlarge the size of fat cells. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked to more deep abdominal fat—yes, belly fat.

Possible Solution:  Luckily, exercise can help control stress and help keep belly fat under control.

 

Insomnia:

Stress can cause hyperarousal, a biological state in which people just don’t feel sleepy.

While major stressful events can cause insomnia that passes once the stress is over, long-term exposure to chronic stress can also disrupt sleep and contribute to sleep disorders.

Possible Solution: Focus on sleep hygiene (making your surroundings conducive to a good night’s rest) and try yoga or another stress-busting activity during the day.

 

Memory:

Too much of the stress hormone cortisol can interfere with the brain’s ability to form new memories. During acute stress, the hormone also interferes with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other. That can make it hard to think straight or retrieve memories.

Possible Solution: While it’s tough to limit stress in our hectic lives, some experts recommend trying meditation, among other solutions.

 

Blood sugar:

Stress is known to raise blood sugar, and if you already have type 2 diabetes you may find that your blood sugar is higher when you are under stress. Changing what you eat, exercising more, or adjusting medication can help to keep it under control. One study of obese black women without diabetes found that those who produced more stress-related epinephrine when asked to recall stressful life events had higher fasting glucose and bigger blood sugar spikes than those with lower epinephrine, suggesting it might raise your risk for getting diabetes too.

 

***Shared With Permission***  About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com 

7 Ways to Deal With Work-Related Anxiety

7 Ways to Deal With Work Related Anxiety - Ann Again and again Reviews

Whether you work from home or go to an office daily, you are always working for someone else. Your services, talents, skills and knowledge are being exchanged for money and that means meeting expectations. It also means dealing with daily triggers that create frustration. According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC-based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, these triggers build up stress which may negatively impact our personal relationships. Check out these physical health 7 ways to deal with work-related anxiety.

Fear Based Bosses

Bosses who focus on possibilities and solutions inspire creativity and collaboration. Fear-based bosses aren’t leaders they are energy drainers. They have quick tempers, focus on problems, complain and threaten. According to Dr. Hafeez people make the mistake of remaining in a job for the wrong reasons. “Being spoken to harshly every day is no way to live. It’s abusive and causes anxiety. My advice, file a complaint with human resources and resign. Your well-being matters first and most.”

Co-Worker Cliques

Some work cultures include gossip, passive aggressiveness, undercutting, sabotage, and verbal jabs that would rival any high school clique. “If your work is solid, align with others who are focused and keep your eye on the prize. You have a job to do and your focus will be thrown off by unnecessary cattiness. When you hear a group of co-workers gossiping, politely excuse yourself,” advises Dr. Hafeez.

Technology Glitches

We’ve all had instances where we want to throw our computers out the window, stomp on our cell phones and kick a vending machine after it gobbles up our last 2 singles. “Technology is what led to a higher standard for speed and efficiency. When we can’t get what we want in .005 seconds we get agitated. It’s conditioning,” she explains. “Centering is a great technique that helps delay reaction time to stressors. Before pounding on the copy machine, step back count to 5, breathe and pivot to fixing whatever may be wrong or finding someone who can assist.”

Presenting

You can be the most articulate, outgoing person and still have anxiety when it comes to presenting to a group. It is common for people to experience insomnia, nausea and tension headaches leading up to an important presentation. Preparation is key. “Allow ample time to gather key points and mentally rehearse your presentation while doing another unrelated activity such as cooking, cleaning, walking or running, to release stress and remain present suggests Dr. Hafeez.”

Your Commute

“Once you exceed 30 minutes one-way, your happiness level drops and your stress level rises,” says Dr. Hafeez. A coping mechanism she suggests is to use the commute as a time to learn. If driving, tune off the negative news talk radio and opt for interesting podcasts or audio books. If stuck on a bus or train, reading a book, watching a show on the iPad, or getting a head start on email are also ways to make the time fly.

Business Travel

Rushing for airplanes and dealing with weather delays and overbooked flights, not to mention navigating an unfamiliar place, will stress anyone out. “Preparation and a solid backup plan is a great way to ease pre-business travel stress. While face-to-face meetings may be optimal, skipping a flight and opting for a video conference may be a less stressful option.”

Quotas and Commissions

While most workers love the self-determined earning potential of a commission-paid job, they still find it stressful when they look at the numbers and fear coming up short. “Anxiety is caused by excessive worry about future events you believe you cannot control, explains Dr. Hafeez.” It may sound harsh but setting higher targets can be helpful. When you raise the bar at making 50 sales calls instead of coasting by with the usual 20, you’ll most likely complete 30 and will feel accomplished. “Acknowledge daily wins and break down the effort into smaller chunks of time so you focus on what’s in front of you,” she advises.

 

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com 

***********Shared with Permission***************

Excited For This WordPress Class!

So excited!  My new blog buddy Pepper from Pepper Scraps & UniqueHorn Designs.com (I love my new header!) has shared a class in WordPress that’s coming up in my area of Portland, OR through MeetUp.com called Portland WordPress MeetUp .  This is something I truly need.

Since I made the conversion from Blogger to WordPress.org about 4 weeks ago I’ve been flustered with the change.  I was on Blogger for over 4 years and maneuvering that system is almost second nature to me.  Now, however, I’m in a new world of WordPress plug-ins and what-not and my brain needs more assistance than viewing lessons on YouTube.  I want someone sitting next to me!  I want someone to hold me hand!  (I want someone to take dictation and put my ideas on the page!)  Ahem, no.  No.  I can do this.  I can.

I am excited about going to a WordPress class.   And I’m excited about creating a site that will be one that readers will like the look of – with good content to!  Until I finish that class, please bear with me while I do my best to learn my new system.

I’m glad you are here.  Thank you!