Stress can kill

Changing times leads to increasing stress. A survey done in 2005 on over 1,000 executives from Singapore, US, Hong Kong, Britain and Australia revealed that a high percentage of Singaporean managers, are more prone to information overload stress.

They remain pessimistic that such situation will only worsen over the next two years. And this is not only happening to executives, in fact all humans at any age, will face stress, the only difference is in the level of stress which can be very individualistic.

Technology is not helping as it should. Remember those days when handphones/internet are not so common. Getting out of your workplace and away from telephones and faxes mean we can “escape” from dealing company matters awhile since we are unable to communicate.

Now with handphones, internet and so on, we remain contactable and unless we make it a point not to touch those gadgets, it becomes an invisible pressure to continue responding to those information/people, while we are away.

When we are under stress, the HYPOTHALAMUS which is part of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger and thirst, gets triggered. The next thing HYPOTHALAMUS will do is to instruct the PITUITARY GLANDS to release a hormone chemical ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) into the bloodstream. This further stimulates the ADRENAL GLAND to secrete more chemicals (eg CORTISOL) that affect various part of our body.

The net results : our bodies become charged on full alert for a fight or flight response ; tense and highly strung. We will feel cold, hot or thirsty suddenly and have a queasy feeling in our stomach.

Continuing exposure to excessive stress weakens us, giving chance for virus to invade into our body system.

This is partly due to the CORTISOL released during stress which kills the good killer cells, MACROPHAGES in our body. MACROPHAGES “eats” invading bacteria, keeping us healthy. It also badly affects the functionality of THYMUS GLAND which plays a key role in the body’s immune system. LYMPHOCYTES are produced by the THYMUS GLAND everyday. LYMPHOCYTES benefits you because it kills bacteria in your system.

It affects you physically and mentally. Too much stress leads to burnout, which is characterised by emotional and physical exhaustion. What follows would be all kinds of illness, emotional and physical as well.

In more serious cases, some choose to end their livesÂ…it’s sad and frightening, isn’t it?

Who are under more stress ? Men or Women ?

Studies have shown that sex hormones somehow modulate the stress response, causing stresssed females to secrete more of the trigger chemicals than do males. Men may protest but more often, women have so much more to cope with than men – parents, children, other family members, their jobs and their health.

Women tend to be more affected by personal relationships longer than men. So they become worn out from it all more visibly and sooner.

If you wants to stay healthy, learn to say “No” and organise your priorities. Going for relaxation, meditation, exercise and prayer do help.

Take care of your health, starting now.