Stress. The term is thrown around as loosely as anything these days, but what exactly is stress anyway? How does it manifest and how can we manage it?
April is National Stress Awareness Month, and in honor of that, Lehigh Center for Clinical Research is here to break down stress to its most basic fundamentals.
So What is Stress, Anyway?
Stress in a signal to the brain and body that can help us better identify, understand, and resolve both physiological and psychological issues.
The stress response occurs when there is a perceived threat in our environment. Often referred to as the “fight or flight” response, this uncomfortable feeling is our brain’s natural way of preparing us for anything.
Stressors are the stimuli that cause stress. They can take the form of pretty much anything, including both big and small life changes, simple irritants, emotional instability, or sometimes even physical illness.
Stress can manifest in a variety of ways that may impact logical thinking, peace of mind, behavior, and emotions. When confronted with stress, the human body may naturally experience increased alertness, raised blood pressure, rapid breathing, raised heart rate, tense muscles, and trouble with the digestive and immune system.
The bottom line is, stress never feels good, but it can serve a useful purpose.
Good Stress vs. Bad Stress
Sometimes, stress can be considered beneficial when it provides a much needed burst of energy or boost in productivity. A few positive repercussions of stress include heightened awareness, a better memory, and increased motivation.
However, negative, chronic stress can be a catalyst for serious mood disorders like depression and anxiety, as well as physical symptoms like a loss or unhealthy increase of appetite, dizziness, dramatic changes in sleep patterns, fatigue, headaches, nervousness, nausea, and a lack of energy in general.
Typically, it is best to seek professional help if you feel you are experiencing chronic stress, as this condition can be long-lasting, less manageable, and may lead to a detrimental decrease in basic cognitive performance.
The Importance of Understanding Stress
Recognition, understanding, and tolerance of your personal stress (as well as the stress of others) is incredibly important to the fabric of society. Chronic, negative stress can interfere with day-to-day life, potentially leading to dangerous thoughts and behaviors.
Serious conditions that may develop from untreated chronic stress include depression and anxiety, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, heart disease, and obesity.
At Lehigh Center For Clinical Research, we strive to make the world a better place for those who deal with chronic stress and the many detrimental conditions it can lead to.
Our team sets a higher standard in delivering both quality and care to our participants and reliable clean data to our pharmaceutical partners. Our study experience is diverse and effective, and we’d love for you to come and see that for yourself.
If you’re interested in being a part of our journey to create better lives for those suffering from mental health disorders, click here to check out how you can get involved in one of our many ongoing studies or clinical trials. We look forward to seeing you!