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  • Dr. David Della Morte Canosci

STRESS AND SYMPTOMS: WHEN RELAXATION IS NOT ENOUGH

Stress is a physiological reaction of our organism that is not necessarily negative, as it can provide extra energy and it can be of vital help in dangerous situations. In these cases, we speak more properly of eustress.


However, there are situations in which exposure to sudden events (stressors) for a long period of time, together with the inability to react promptly, leads to exhaustion and/or illness. In these cases, we speak of distress.


STRESS AND CONSEQUENCES

The consequences of stress are numerous and they vary from individual to individual. In fact, even though the physiological responses are the same in each organism, the ways people react can be remarkably different.


For example, there may be a worsening of pre-existing symptoms or pathologies or the onset of new diseases, such as increased blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia and chest pain.


This happens because, when we are stressed, all the systems are activated:

  • the Endocrine System works by modifying the production of different hormones, i.e. adrenaline and noradrenaline (catecholamines), cortisol, growth hormone (GH) and prolactin – which increase rapidly. In addition, the thyroid hormones rise but more slowly.

  • sex hormones are lowered, while blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides increase. The Immune System is also affected, through a decrease in the immune response and, consequently, an increase in the production of antibodies.

  • finally, the Autonomic Nervous System sees a hyper-uplift of the Sympathetic Nervous System in order to cope with or avoid the stressful situation.


Palazzo Fiuggi also recommends that you read STRESS AND LONGEVITY: THE ROLE OF TELOMERES (palazzofiuggi.com) to learn more about the effects of stress on our body.



Although there are substances that seem to be able to alleviate this stress states – such as alcohol, smoking, drugs – it should be noted that these do not have a relaxing effect but, on the contrary, they help keep our body in a stressful condition.


Here is a list of psycho-physical consequences due to pathological stress:

  • agitation, frustration and sudden mood swings;

  • the feeling of overwhelming, as if you were losing control or you needed more of it;

  • difficulty relaxing;

  • low self-esteem, loneliness, depression and constant worries;

  • tendency to avoid relationships with other people;

  • lack of energy;

  • stomach upsets such as diarrhoea, nausea, constipation;

  • headache;

  • muscle pain and tension;

  • chest pain and increased heart rate;

  • insomnia;

  • frequent colds;

  • decrease in sexual desire;

  • nervousness;

  • ringing in the ears;

  • cold hands and feet;

  • increased sweating;

  • dry mouth and difficulty swallowing;

  • teeth grinding.

STRESS AND MEDITATION

Meditation can relieve stress, as revealed by the study of a highly regarded German school – the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig – whose work was published in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal.


The research was conducted by examining the levels of cortisol, a hormone that mobilizes special energies to cope with situations of high stress and which, once produced by the Endocrine System, is particularly concentrated in the hair.



The individuals subjected to this examination had learned some meditation techniques, which consisted of self-care and compassion practices, together with the ability to observe themselves and the world from a different perspective. After a of six-months period, it was shown that the levels of the hormone in the hair had decreased by 25%.


If you are interested in the benefits of meditation on our body, you should also have a look at YOGA AND WELLNESS: THE ENERGY OF THE CHAKRAS.


In this regard, we remind you that Palazzo Fiuggi provides a team of experts in the field, who will create personalized programs for the total well-being of your organism, both physically and mentally.


If you are interested in the subject, we also invite you to read MENTAL FATIGUE.