Stress & Adaptation: How stress affects the heart, mind and body
By Lori Hudson D.C., R.N.
My name is Lori Hudson. Some of you may know me already, I have been with DEFINE since the beginning. My training at DEFINE started before the first coat of paint ever went on the walls at the Tanglewood location, more than 3 years ago. My background – I was a competitive gymnast for 18 years; earned my doctorate in chiropractic; which was followed by a degree in nursing. My love for helping people and education of anatomy and physiology in the human body drives me to continue to share my experiences and knowledge with those around me!
If you asked the average person if they have feelings of stress and tension today, undoubtedly most would say yes! In a lot of ways it seems stress is more heightened for people today than it was 75 years ago. The truth of the matter is stressors have always been present; the difference is that we now have a better understanding of just how detrimental stress can be on the entire body.
Stress–anything that upsets homeostasis and threatens our physical and emotional wellness. This can be psychological or physiochemical. Attitude has a lot to do with how we process and deal with stress.
Three types of stress:
1. The good: Eustress–things that enhance good health and motivation where the body releases endorphins and places it in a euphoric state. These keep the body vital!
2. The bad: Distress–diminishes immunity and the bodies capacity to function in a healthy way. Can be healthy or harmful. The body releases hormones such as norepinephrine, epinephrine and cortisol. Considered your “fight or flight” hormones, these are crucial to the body, but when exposed in excess, can become harmful.
3. The ugly: Chronic stress– takes place when the body is in a constant state of emotional and physical disruption. Continuous stimulation and bombardment to the nervous system can weaken the immune system and put the body at risk for illness.
The effects of stress can be detrimental to the heart and mind
Heart disease is a major problem effecting both men and woman. The statistics and information surrounding this disease can be overwhelming. But, this condition can be controllable and even preventable. A diet specifically high in vitamin
D, C, omega 3, magnesium and calcium have been shown to be beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease and in return protect both the heart and mind.
For the mind–begin incorporating healthy habits to reduce and relieve stress: physical exercises, stretching, adequate sleep, think positive, listen to music and don’t forget to laugh!