In this second module you will learn more about the stress in your life by building on the knowledge of Module One, specifically that stress is a normal reaction taking place in the body in response to a perceived threat via automatic fight or flight mode. This module discusses how the body knows when to switch this on and points out a few of the things that cause this stress.
The Toxic Bath
Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. It is created by your adrenal glands and helps your body to respond to stressors. When your body is in this high alert state it can shut down functions that it seems are not essential to survival, such as your digestive system and your immune system. (Which is why you may get butterflies in your stomach or feel run down when stressed.)
Shutting down non-essential functions can actually be an excellent approach for your body to survive short bursts of stress. But the problem- which arises for a lot of us- is when cortisol levels are too high, for too long, our body and minds think and feel that we are in a constant state of stress.
When cortisol levels are too high for too long this can lead to:
- Anxiety and depression
- Memory and concentration problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
- Heart problems
Imagine sitting in a toxic bath of chemicals- that is what it is like for your body. We are not designed to spend long periods stewing in these chemicals, as just like sitting in a bath too long and cause our skin to shrivel up and go wrinkly. So too being in the cortisol toxic bath will have the same effect on our insides!
It is essential that we realise that our in built stress response is brilliant for our short term survival, but there are huge negative consequences for our health that can build up by repeated unbroken exposure to stressors over a prolonged period of time:
What We Can Do About It
This would be a good time to take out your Stress Success course notebook and work through the the following self reflection questions:
- What are my stressors at work?
- What are my stressors at home?
- What does it feel like in my body when I am stressed?
Module Two: Quick Quiz
The following short quiz consists of multiple choice and true false questions which pertain to information delivered in this module. Proceed through each question by selecting the arrow at right to complete this module.
Upon completion of this module’s material above, select the “mark complete” or “next module” button below to record your progress to proceed to the next module. This will save your place and your work on the course thus far and will enable you to complete the assessment at the end of the course.