Stressed to the Max? Try This - Part 1

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted June 14, 2022

Dear Longevity Insider,

Many people deal with chronic stress. It can be tough to manage, and it sometimes feels like there's no end in sight. It's no secret that stress can take a toll on our physical and emotional health. In fact, feeling overwhelmed and stressed out is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help.

If you're feeling stressed out and don't know where to start, keep reading… This I'll outline some simple steps you can take to reduce stress and regain control of your life.

What is Stress?

Stress is a normal physical and psychological response to the demands of life. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. It can also come from an accident or an illness.

When you perceive a threat, your body responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speed your reaction time, and enhance your focus. This "fight-or-flight" response is a natural survival instinct that has served humans well over the centuries.

In today's world, most stressors are not life-threatening. But your body doesn't know that. To your body, stress is stress, whether it comes from an angry boss, a looming deadline, or a traffic jam. The physical response is the same.

A certain amount of stress is necessary for survival; however, too much stress can have negative effects on your health and well-being. Too much stress can take a toll on your health. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, speed up the aging process, and leave you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression

The symptoms of stress can be physical, psychological, or behavioral.

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, restless sleep, or nightmares)
  • Stomach problems (upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation)
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Weight gain or loss.

Psychological symptoms of stress include:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression
  • Loneliness or isolation.

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Overeating or undereating
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to cope
  • Withdrawing from friends and activities.

On Thursday, we’ll dive in more about stress and how you can beat it!

To your longevity,

anil bajnath signature

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ

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