How to avoid the 3 stages of stress that are killing you!

Have you or any of your friends or family members ever been on holiday and gotten sick after a day or two of relaxing and sun baking? Well it isn’t necessarily the tap water you just drank. It could be the result of stress. Think about the weeks or even months leading up to the holiday and ask yourself if you were feeling a bit tense before you left. Maybe things at work were getting stressful and you were working towards a deadline. Or maybe stress was the reason you organised a holiday in the first place. Unfortunately stress rules the lives of many Australians today. When we are physically or emotionally under pressure, we release adrenalin among many others hormones, which help us protect and preserve the body. However if we overload our body with stress for long periods of time it can lead to serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. However if someone unfortunately suffers from one of these illnesses, they will have a cause of death listed as “heart attack” or “stroke” not “stress”.

There are 3 stages our body goes through when we are stressed which is also referred to as general adaptation syndrome:

Stage 1: Alarm Reaction

This is our body’s immediate reaction to a stressor. In this first stage we exhibit a ‘fight or flight’ response, which prepares us for physical activity. However this stage also decreases our immune system making us more susceptible to illness.

Stage 2: Stage of Resistance

Also referred to the stage of adaptation. If the stress continues, our body adapts to the stressors to minimise the effect. This causes many other things to change as well. For example if someone is suffering from starvation, they would have less desire to do physical activity so they can conserve energy.

Stage 3: Stage of Exhaustion

At this point the stress has continued for a fair amount of time and the body’s resistance to the stress may gradually be reduced, or may collapse quickly due to exhaustion. It’s at this point you would usually take a break such as a holiday. And now your body thinks it’s a great time to rest and recharge, however due to the length of time you have been under stress, your immune system is almost depleted making you much more susceptible to colds, the flu and other ailments. This then results in people Australians spending their whole holiday fighting off an illness instead of enjoying their holiday. And that’s where I come in.

As previously stated in my last post you desperately need to look after yourself and massage is one of the best ways to reduce stress. If you are stressed, come in for a massage and feel the results. There’s nothing worse than spending money on a holiday and not being able to enjoy it!

See you in the clinic!

Dave Ward

Massage Therapist