The stress is not as harmful as we think, and many adrenaline junkies enjoy stressful situations caused by extreme sports. However, stress is a normal reaction of the body, necessary for survival and adaptation to the conditions of the environment, which are constantly changing. In this article, we will tell you what useful and harmful stress is, and how to distinguish them from each other.
Stress is a normal reaction of the body to something new or unexpected. For example, if you are attacked, enjoy PlayAmo casino or extreme sports, your body triggers a response, and the first stage of stress – anxiety, or mobilization – turns on the sympathetic nervous system – part of the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for the operation of internal organs. The hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline are released into the blood, followed a little later by cortisol and corticosterone. They are called stress hormones. As a result of the autonomic nervous system and hormones working together, several changes occur in the body. The body’s energy resources are mobilized.
In a state of acute stress, some people are capable of doing the impossible, and from the biological point of view, such stress is a good assistant in the struggle for survival. The second function of stress is adaptive. Everything seems to be fine: stress helps us escape, and allows us to get used to various stressors. However, if the stressor is too strong or prolonged, the body cannot cope with it, the third stage of stress, the exhaustion stage, sets in – it can lead to various illnesses and even death.
WHY STRESS CAN BE HELPFUL AND JOYFUL
When stressed, endogenous opiates – enkephalins and endorphins – are released intensively. These compounds cause euphoria. That’s why pleasant experiences are rarely associated with the unpleasant word “stress”: the body experiences the same stress response, but the anxiety seems like a pleasant excitement. The normal stress reaction can be used for good, even if the situation seems unpleasant. Here the stress reaction can give you strength, energy, and excitement. If you positively perceive stress, you can adjust yourself to the task at hand – to outbid your boss and get the desired raise.
If a person considers stressing a positive factor, they cope better with the challenges they face. The mechanism of adaptation to stress is used to train and improve the body’s health. For example, a gradual increase in physical activity or dousing with a contrast shower is a stressor and subsequent adaptation to it, when the stimulus ceases to be an irritant. The body adapts to the load and becomes stronger. Stress can also be important for children’s development.
When there is severe or prolonged stress that cannot be stopped or adapted, the body changes. Negative processes are primarily associated with increased levels of adrenal hormones: adrenaline, noradrenaline, and glucocorticoids. Thus, the level of adrenaline in the blood during stress can increase by more than 20 times. As a result, the body becomes vulnerable to infections and cancer. Chronic stress causes structural changes in the brain, leading to a decrease in the weight of its cortex, which impairs cognitive ability and memory. Usually, prolonged stress is accompanied by anxiety and depression. This psychological state is caused by changes in hormonal status and structural changes in the brain. It should be understood that stress does not necessarily cause disease, but it can worsen a person’s condition.
If you’re stressed, there’s no guarantee of facing a heart attack or depression. The risk of these diseases increases, with those with a hereditary predisposition or other risk factors at greater risk. This explains why people get sick differently from chronic stress, and why some people don’t get sick even if they stress for a long time. Harmful stress can be distinguished by several symptoms such as headache, constant fatigue, muscle pain, digestive disorders, insomnia, decreased libido and constant anxiety. Stress should not be treated as evil – much depends on how often you experience stress, how you treat it, and what other negative factors affect your body and brain. Maybe the stress reaction is just what you need to get a taste of life?