When people hear the word stress, most think of mental stress. Like being "stressed out" at work or home. However, this is only one of many varying forms of stress. Each form has different negative effects on the human body. There are also good forms of stress too, and I'll briefly go over a couple common example's in this area, but spend a little more time on the bad stressors because they affect us the most in a negative manner. I feel most people have heard or know most of this already, but many times we over look it because we are often too busy with the day to day hustle, or other life demands. Our awareness of what we put our body's through usually doesn't get enough attention because of the busyness of life, but it shouldn't be this way and these things need to be addressed more often if we want optimal health and less disease in the future. This is why a good reminder is always good thing for all of us in this area of our lives.
So what are a couple examples of good forms of stress? Exercise and lifting weights would be one that most people can easily relate to. As we work out, we stress our muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments in a positive manner, this stimulates our body to strengthen and develop these tissue's and area's for the better, it's that simple. Falling in love or experiencing change in life are two more good stressors. These both cause us stress in different ways, but the nature of this stress is positive and is an opportunity for us to adapt and improve our current situation or state we are in.
There are three main categories of negative stress. The most obvious and possibly the one that effects us all the most in different forms is mental or emotional stress.
Emotional Stress: Or "thoughts" many believe are the number one cause of many health problems. Forbes recently reported that 85% of working adults in the United States say they are stressed about their job. Think about it; you can be lying on a sandy beach somewhere on vacation, and you start thinking about work or the problems you have back home, and it can instantly put your mind and body in a state of stress and negativity. Having a negative mindset and being unhappy in general causes a lot of harmful effects to your body many people are not aware of. Some of most obvious symptoms many people feel when stressed is the increased tension in your neck and upper back area along with a inner sense of unease and tension. This can lead to headache's, neck/back pain and tension, along with many other symptoms and health conditions which I help every day in my clinic. There are also many other varying aspects to emotional stress which abnormally effect physiology and balance of the body leading to problems in time. We all know the mind is a powerful thing, so be mindful of your thoughts and present state at all times if possible, and be careful how you direct your thoughts and emotions towards yourself and others.
Physical Stress: This one is pretty self explanatory. Auto accidents, or other accidents/injuries, falls, broken bones, poor posture, sleeping habits, poor work ergonomics, or repetitive movements, and many micro traumas occur every day which stress the body. These may surprise you. Some examples of these behaviors or habits that can lead to spinal problems or joint issues include: continuously carrying a purse or bag on the same side of your body, wearing high heels, sleeping on your stomach, crossing your legs, looking down at a computer monitor, or reading /studying for extended periods of time. These examples give you a good idea of physical stress, although there are many other negative physical stresses that lead to problems in the body.
Chemical Stress: When the body is healthy and balanced, it's in a state of what's called homeostasis. Depending on the toxic chemicals you take in through food, drink, and your environment, your body's homeostasis can be disrupted and become imbalanced due to chemical toxins. Chemical toxins can enter the body in multiple ways: through processed and GMO foods, alcohol, air pollution, medications, flu shots, cleaning supplies, paint and air borne fumes, automotive or other mechanical chemicals, and even the water you're drinking along with the plastic bottle it came in! Most manmade chemicals negatively affect your body physiology and function which causes negative changes to the body because they are not natural. This is why they can lead to disease, cancer, and other health issues in time.