An In-Depth Definition of Stress

Stress is normally seen as tension, pressure, worry and strain, which consequently can lead to other problems as well.  As an example, let’s say you were a student taking a test, you would:

  1. Feel a lot of pressure to prepare because you would have to gather the information and study for the test
  2. You would feel some worry and tension whether you’ve prepared adequately or not
  3. When you go into take the test you would feel some strain as to whether you’ve interpreted the questions correctly and prepared the answers in your mind according to what the test was seeking to get from you

Stress can have an impact on your life physically, mentally, and emotionally.  It has ramifications that that can seep into your relationships at work and at home, as well as causing you to self-sooth, and can even negatively affect the foods you eat. Stress causes the adrenal glands to start to seek more fat and salt, which is one of the reasons people under high stress levels tend to gain wait.

Eustress vs. Distress

There is a difference between Eustress and Distress.  Eustress is a form of healthy stress, or as defined by dictionary.com as “stress that is deemed healthful or giving one the feeling of fulfillment”.  Examples of Eustress would be getting married or having a baby or going on vacation.  

Distress, as you probably already know, is unhealthy stress that causes pain, suffering, and anxiety.   Distress could be caused by a divorce, moving, losing a job, having a health condition, having a boss that is difficult to please, etc. 

Adrenal Gland Damage caused by Stress

Many years ago the Phillip Morris Tobacco Company funded a study performed on stress where they put rats in cages in very adverse conditions such as putting them on top of a very windy building, or would feed them low calorie diets, among other stress related situations.  Later, when the rats died and were autopsied, the common factor they found in every single rat was that there was an adverse effect on the rat’s adrenal gland function, meaning all of the adrenal glands were damaged.  Therefore, when you think about all the different ways we can have stress, it doesn’t matter the root. It all causes damage to your adrenal glands, and your adrenal glands release up to 1,400 toxic chemicals in your body that sends you into “fight or flight” mode to cope with that stress.  Anxiety is one of the things used to cope with stress, which can cause more stress, and it becomes a vicious cycle. 

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