• Stress is the natural response of the body to danger and has been a critical factor in the survival of our human species. Yet today, stress has become one of the worst plagues of our times.

    The World Health Organization claims stress has become a “World Wide Epidemic.”

    In 2017, 75% of Americans experienced at least one symptom of stress (American Psychology Association, 2017). So, if you’ve been feeling extremely tense and preoccupied lately, know that you’re not alone.

    How does stress work?

    During a perceived threat our Amygdala - located in the back brain and responsible for emotional processing - sends a signal to the Hypothalamus. It tells the body and mind to be on red alert: get ready for ‘Fight or Flight’. This fight-or-flight mechanism is responsible for the physical reactions we experience while stressed: increased heart rate, amplified senses, a deeper intake of oxygen and the excited rush of adrenaline. To restore the energies lost in response to the stressful event, the brain releases cortisol. While small doses of cortisol aren’t harmful, when stress becomes chronic too much cortisol damages our whole system. What was once the best mechanism to save our lives from predators and natural disasters is now killing us, slowly, one breakdown at the time.

    Let’s take a look at how stress negatively impacts our life. Afterall, awareness of the problem, is the first step in it’s solution, right?

  • 1. Sleep Deprivation

    Lack of sleep is one of the key symptoms of both mild and severe stress. This typically occurs as the inability to fall asleep or interrupted sleep during the night. Evidence shows how stress influences the quality of our sleep (Åkerstedt et al., 2006). Sleep deprivation can escalate quickly and lead to serious damage, such obesity, diabetes, depression; or those which can be deadly, such stroke and heart disease. Don’t underestimate your lack of sleep, your brain isn’t programmed to work non-stop, give it a break.

    I find a fitness tracker handy to understand more clearly how I’m doing.

    2. Lower Immune Defences

    Notice when you’re stressed you’ll get sick more often? Perhaps just a light flu or a cold sore, but still noticeable. Biological studies demonstrate that long-term stress can suppress immune function (Dhabhar, et al., 2010). So to get over next winter reduce your S-factor and boost your vit-C intake!

    3. Cancer

    The relationship between stress and cancer has been explored extensively by science. Recent studies illustrate how stress hormones – such as cortisol and corticosterone - promote breast cancers and reduce the effects of chemotherapy (Obradović et al., 2019). Moreover, in men under 65, work related stress has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer (Blanc-Lapierre et al., 2017).

  • 4. Heart Disease

    Heart disease is the number one killer in most western nations, but is there a correlation between stress and heart risk? The literature on stress and cardiovascular diseases is extensive and shows that reducing stress related behaviours such as smoking and overeating significantly reduces the risk of heart disease. (Dimsdale, 2009).

    5. Loss of Libido

    The excessive production of cortisol during chronic stress is accountable for loss of libido (Hamilton et al., 2008).

    6. Worse Job Performance

    According to the American Psychology Association, work is responsible for 61% of stressed Americans: 36% of reported nervousness or anxiety, 35% of irritability or anger and 34% of fatigue (American Psychology Association, 2017). But how does stress interferes with our working performance?

    Higher levels of work-related stress leads to problems such as low productivity, increased absenteeism and turnover (Mostert et al., 2008). Furthermore, pressured work environments coupled with psychologically induced stress, are strongly associated with burnout, reduced job satisfaction, and lack of organisational commitment (Noblet et al., 2005).


  • 7. Stress Makes You Stupid

    You heard me right! If all you have read to here didn’t convince you to take action perhaps the menace of reducing your true potential will. I’m not talking about the ability of computing and other basic skills, but our Emotional Intelligence. According to EQ expert, Dr. Stein, stress damages people especially in the workplace: it makes us too impulsive, affects our ability to make decisions, reduces productivity and obstructs relationships with clients and colleagues (Stein, 2006).

    Stop letting stress ruining your life, take action now!

    Wishing you a fabulous stress-free day,