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vicious circle
adrenal glands
body stress
type of stress
stress hormone
chronic illnesses
chronic stress
effects of stress
flight response
risk of obesity
natural response
exercise program
Stress, The Vicious Circle And How To Stop Spinning Your Wheels
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Stress, the Vicious Circle And How to Stop Spinning Your Wheels

Researchers have long debated about stress, including whether good stress exists at all. A recent study has concluded that what is typically deemed "good" stress is better classified as a challenge, one that the body can meet and adapt to or conquer rather than one that influences overall behavior. Also referred to as skill building, that learning experience can refer to new languages, an exercise program or anything that is difficult but not impossible.

Stress has long been known to increase problems such as addiction and obesity but has more recently been linked to worsening symptoms of other conditions including chronic illnesses and diabetes. It is also greatly impacted by certain emotions, most notably anger and sadness but in some people, those deemed most susceptible to stress related upsets, even positive emotions like happiness can cause stress.

Physically, the effects of stress can be either subtle or obvious. The higher the level of stressors, the more likely there are to be serious physical symptoms that accompany them. In most people, the first reaction to stress might be mild in nature but ongoing, chronic stress as well as sudden, high impact stress can cause the fight or flight response, the body's natural response. It is that response that helps both humans and animals to choose whether they can stand their ground or are better served by a hasty retreat and a safe escape.

Deep inside of the body, adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, release certain hormones in response to stress. An abundance of these hormones can create problems for health, depending on the type of stress and the length of time that the stress is present. A flood of cortisol, a stress hormone, for instance can lead to an increased risk of obesity, especially belly fat, deemed the most dangerous type of fat in the body.

Stress modifiers, which include drugs or comfort foods are often used to soothe stress which can in turn lead to more stress. That vicious circle has been shown to increase simple problems like cold and flu but may also cause more serious problems, including a decrease in brain volume.

Learning to deal effectively with stress can prevent some of the problems it causes which in turn can help the body to handle new stresses more effectively, creating a new, more positive circle. Stress is an individual and relative issue, with each person reacting and handling stresses in different ways.


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