Average Resting Heart Rate For A 12 Year Old Boy Stress – How Perceived Stress Vs Actual Stress Affects Your Health

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Stress – How Perceived Stress Vs Actual Stress Affects Your Health

Stress affects your health in different ways, all of which are negative. Without going into all the biochemical specifics, suffice it to say that stress, perceived or real, floods your body with powerful stress-related chemicals that would be very helpful if you were literally fighting or running for your life, but otherwise very destructive to health.

Effects of stress on the body

  • Stress causes platelets to stick together, which raises blood pressure.
  • Stress causes your body to burn essential nutrients at a high rate, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies that cause organs and glands to malfunction.
  • Stress interrupts digestion, which means that food remains partially undigested and you get only a fraction of the nutrients from the food you would normally get.
  • Stress floods your system with homocysteine ​​and cortisol, which are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and weight gain.

Types of stress: real and perceived

Real stresswhich is mostly unavoidable, includes environmental stress such as air, water and noise pollution, and other environmental factors including extreme temperature, dangerous weather and so on.

Real stress, which is completely avoidable, includes things like smoking, excessive drinking, junk food, fast food, high sugar diets, nutritionally deficient diets, lack of sleep, pushing yourself beyond your limits, and doing anything that obviously it works against your health and well-being.

Sources of psychological stress, most of which are avoidable or certainly modifiable, can include things like relationship problems with a spouse, child, or anyone; work-related issues; financial issues; problems with self-esteem; issues related to goals and achievements, issues of personal integrity and so on.

When something happens that directly, physically affects you, that is REAL stress. Drink polluted water, throw a hammer at your leg, eat a bag of cookies and drink a liter of sweet tea; these are sources of real, real stress.

Perceived stress not real, perceived stress has to do with the story you tell yourself about what something means. If your spouse is late without a phone call and you get upset because you’ve assumed he or she is having an affair, then you’re getting upset about something that may never happen, and getting upset about what you IMAGINE produces the SAME negative cascade of powerful stress chemicals that flood your system as if actual physical stress had occurred.

Perceived stress can be more destructive to health than actual stress

If you think about something that didn’t happen, and your thoughts disturb you, the stress reaction to those imagined events is REAL STRESS that affects your health. This is how someone can destroy their health with their mind, and while stress is fictional, the damage is real.

A study published in Journal of psychosomatic medicine reports that perceived stress is more destructive to your immune system response than actual stress.

Using blood samples taken over a 16-month period from study participants who had been vaccinated against meningitis C, the researchers found that people with high levels of PERCEIVED STRESS consistently measured fewer protective antibodies than all other groups.

The participants were divided into 3 groups;

1) The first group had low ACTUAL stress without any stressful conditions out of the ordinary. 2) The second group had high ACTUAL stress with unusually high stressful circumstances. 3) Group three had high PERCEIVED stress. Most of the participants in the third group had low to normal levels of stress, however, they perceived their life as very stressful.

The group with high perceived stress often had very low actual stress.

The HIGH PERCEPTION OF STRESS group tested 80% less protective antibodies in their blood than either of the other two groups.

Discussion: The message here is clear; there is a DIRECT and MEASURABLE connection between the strength of your immune system and how you react to the world around you.

The most significant thing in this study is the clear difference between ACTUAL STRESS and PERCEIVED STRESS.

Several study participants experienced the loss of a parent during the 16-month study period. By any standard, the death of a loved one is a very stressful event, but even those in this most stressed group had perfectly normal levels of protective antibodies.

Twenty-seven percent of participants reported high levels of perceived stress during the study, and for a person, those 27% had up to 80% fewer antibodies, although in most cases their ACTUAL stress was far less than the other participants.

The message is clear. If you think you are stressed, you will get negative health consequences whether the stress is real or not.

How does experienced stress weaken your immune system?

When you feel stressed, your brain produces a cascade of powerful biochemical substances called neurotransmitters. There are many different types of neurotransmitters, but in short, the neurotransmitters associated with stress can be VERY DESTRUCTIVE to your health.

Constantly feeling stressed means you’re constantly flooding your body with powerful chemicals that weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to disease.

Practical application: The practical application of this information is obvious. Take control of your emotions and never let the little things (or the big things) get you down.

Stressful situations happen, but REAL STRESS, stress that you recognize, deal with and move on from, will not harm your health.

Follow your feelings and emotions. If something is bothering you, FACE IT. Your health is too important to let things trouble you for very long, and besides, (to quote my father), what difference will it make in a hundred years? And to quote my wife, what difference will it make in an hour?

Remember this. . .

The biochemicals associated with stress damage your health, and these chemicals are produced AS A DIRECT RESPONSE TO YOUR PERCEPTION, not in response to the actual situation, which means that simply controlling your response to things can go a long way in protecting and preserving your health.

Remember, great health is a choice you can make, and you make that choice every day through your diet, nutrition, and lifestyle decisions. So learn all you can… and choose wisely.

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