Anxious Meditation Can Help You ‘relax Into The Uncertainty’ Of The Pandemic
The rise in symptoms of anxiety and depression, which include exhaustion, is a predictable response to the trauma of the pandemic, says Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the School of Public Health at Boston University.
“The definition of a trauma is an event that threatens people’s sense of safety and stability,” which this pandemic is, he adds.
Nearly all of us are grieving the loss of life as we knew it, says Dr. Jennifer Payne, director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. “We’re just in a completely different world right now,” she says. “A lot of things are not going to go back to the way they were. And so that causes grief and is a normal reaction to a big change.”
Stress Causes Fatigue By Causing Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is now being linked as a causal factor in hundreds of diseases.
Despite that, the truth is that inflammation isnt all bad. Its actually an important natural biological response to many threatening agents such as microscopic invaders . Its also part of our bodys response to wounds, infections and many disease processes. The main purpose it serves is to eliminate dead and damaged cells, which is a critical process to repair those tissues back to normal. So, inflammation is a very important and beneficial thing in our bodies. Indeed, we could not live without it.
But chronic inflammation is another story altogether. In normal healthy circumstances, the inflammation response happens rapidly and then goes away when no longer needed, after a few hours or a few days. But when it does not go away, that is when things get bad
Mood problems, fatigue, fat gain, weird symptoms popping up.
With chronic inflammation, all sorts of things go wrong with our body. And chronic stress is a major cause of chronic inflammation.
If you know anything about the physiology of stress, it might seem counterintuitive that stress increases inflammation, because it is known that cortisol is actually anti-inflammatory. But with chronic stress, the body loses the ability to regulate inflammation properly and the situation changes dramatically
And it has a very clear and direct impact on our energy levels by shutting down orexin levels. .
Physical Factors Of Ptsd That Make You Fatigued
There are also some physical factors at play when PTSD causes fatigue. They may be brought on by psychological factors, or vice versa. There’s that mind and body connection again . Here is what may be happening physically that is exhausting:
- Hormones–the stress hormone cortisol is released during trauma. It desensitizes us so that we feel less pain, and it gives us a boost of energy. In people who have PTSD, cortisol is produced in higher levels and for a prolonged period of time, which can cause fatigue, as well as memory loss and decreased serotonin levels.
- Adrenal system–cortisol and other stress hormones are produced by the adrenal system. When there is an overload on the adrenal system, people with PTSD are likely to experience fatigue, exhaustion, and increased stress.
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How To Overcome Stress By Minimizing Or Eliminating Stimulants
While it is not known by most people, caffeine use have been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits for both mental and physical performance, and even in health and disease prevention in many cases.
However, chronic use of stimulants can be counterproductive. There are several reasons why. For one, it tends to stimulate the stress-response pathways of the body so if youre already stressed and have overactive stress response systems in your body, caffeine will stimulate those systems even more. Also, it can create too much release of stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain, which eventually leads to neurotransmitter resistance and imbalances of several neurotransmitter systems in the brain. .
To sum up, what I go over in that article, caffeine works by blocking one of the brains neurotransmitters called adenosine. Adenosine normally works to calm the brain and make you relaxed. So by blocking adenosine, caffeine creates a stimulating and energizing effect. The problem is that when you do this every day, the brain feels overstimulated and then actually creates negative neurotransmitter adaptations to try to calm itself back down. What that ultimately means for you is that it lowers your baseline levels of mood, performance, and energy.
When Should I Talk To A Doctor About Stress
You should seek medical attention if you feel overwhelmed, if you are using drugs or alcohol to cope, or if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Your primary care provider can help by offering advice, prescribing medicine or referring you to a therapist.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Its natural and normal to be stressed sometimes. But long-term stress can cause physical symptoms, emotional symptoms and unhealthy behaviors. Try relieving and managing stress using a few simple strategies. But if you feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor.
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Why Should A Person Seek Help
Its important to pay attention to the bodys warning signs and seek help in time. Coming back after a bout of exhaustion is hard and can take a long time, but the earlier you seek care, the less harm the illness will be able to cause. No one will thank the exhausted person for how long they held out before they became ill.
If you or a relative is in the danger zone for ill health related to stress, you should seek help at a healthcare centre or occupational health services. Outpatient psychiatric care is recommended for acute symptoms. A doctor will perform a physical examination and listen as you explain your difficulties. A blood sample is often taken to rule out other illnesses.
The Process Of Recovery
It is important to know that recovering from a trauma is a process that may take a long time. The initial response of disruption may last days, weeks, or longer. Dont be surprised if you continue to experience these reactions for longer than you expected. It is impossible to predict how long you will experience effects of the trauma, but usually trauma reactions gradually decrease over time. If you experience another stressful event while recovering from this trauma, you may find that your trauma reactions reappear for awhile. This re-activation, or delayed trauma response, is perfectly normal.
At any time during this process, you may find it useful to ask for professional help form a counselor or mental health professional. There are some circumstances under which you should definitely get professional help:
- if you find yourself feeling suicidal or contemplating suicide
- if you find that your daily functioning continues to be impaired so that you cannot carry out your life tasks
- if post-trauma fears interfere with your ability to return to certain places or situations that remind you of the trauma
In addition, University of Notre Dame full-time and part-time employees and faculty and/or their families may seek assistance through the Employee Assistance Program at1-888-267-8126. This is a no-cost, confidential, assessment/referral service. For more information about the EAP program see http://hr.nd.edu/nd-faculty-staff/forms-policies/employee-assistance-program-eap/
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How The Stages Of Adrenal Fatigue Affect Crashes
As you know by now, the intensity and length of an adrenal fatigue crash depends on your current state of health. If youre in the earlier stages of AFS, a crash might be so mild that you dont even notice it. But if youre in the more advanced stages, you can go into a major crash from a minor trigger.
This is why its important to really take the time to analyze and understand your condition from the stage of adrenal fatigue youre in, to the types of triggers that set off your crashes.
In stage one of adrenal fatigue, called the Alarm Reaction, you probably wont notice a lot of symptoms, if at all. You might have a minor crash and not even know it. Fatigue can keep you from reaching peak performance, but otherwise, you function normally.
Stage two, called the Resistance Response, is more symptomatic. Crashes become more noticeable and more common. You get more frequent fatigue, and you might have a harder time functioning normally.
Stage three, called Adrenal Exhaustion, is where you really start to see the symptoms of AFS clearly. Youll experience minor crashes every few weeks, and major crashes every six months to a year. During these crashes, the AFS symptoms you have worsen, and they dont disappear after the Recovery Phase.
How To Get Sleep In Uneasy Times
Chronic stress also triggers low-grade inflammation, she adds.
“We have this inflammatory response when we’re feeling severe states of stress that can last. It’s subtle, it’s low grade and it can absolutely cause fatigue and a worse mood.”
A year of anxiety, grief and trauma
The fatigue and fog so many are feeling now also could be symptoms of other mental health issues that flared over the last year, says Dr. Jessica Gold, a psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis. “After this long, most people have had some degree of anxiety, depression, trauma, something,” she says.
As studies have shown, rates of anxiety and depression in the population have gone up during the course of the pandemic.
I think that because so many people are struggling with this and because it is so normal, everybody has something to say. If we could just get to the point where we could be talking about the stuff more openly, we’d feel a lot less alone.
Dr. Jessica Gold, psychiatrist
Long-term anxiety can also exhaust the body, says Gold.
“We evolved as creatures, people that run from predators in the animal kingdom, right? To have anxiety as a way to predict and run from threat,” she says.
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Pandemic’s Emotional Hammer Hits Hard
This kind of mental fog is real and can have a few different causes. But at the root of it are the stress and trauma of the past year, say Cyrus and other mental health experts. It’s a normal reaction to a very abnormal year.
And while many people will likely continue to struggle with mental health symptoms in the long run, research on past mass traumas suggests that most people will recover once the coronavirus pandemic ends.
“We know that the majority of people tend to be resilient,” says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist with the American Psychological Association. “They may have struggled during the time of the challenges but generally come out OK on the other end.”
In the meantime, Bufka and other experts say that there are things we can do now to fight the mental fog and exhaustion.
How stress and sleep are linked
“Exhaustion can be a symptom of many things,” says Cyrus.
For one, it can be a symptom of stress.
“We know from other research that people will talk about fatigue as something that they experience when they’re feeling overstressed,” says Bufka.
How Much Stress Is Too Much
Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, its important to know your own limit. But just how much stress is too much differs from person to person. Some people seem to be able to roll with lifes punches, while others tend to crumble in the face of small obstacles or frustrations. Some people even thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.
Factors that influence your stress tolerance level include:
Your support network. A strong network of supportive friends and family members is an enormous buffer against stress. When you have people you can count on, lifes pressures dont seem as overwhelming. On the flip side, the lonelier and more isolated you are, the greater your risk of succumbing to stress.
Your sense of control. If you have confidence in yourself and your ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, its easier to take stress in stride. On the other hand, if you believe that you have little control over your lifethat youre at the mercy of your environment and circumstancesstress is more likely to knock you off course.
Your attitude and outlook. The way you look at life and its inevitable challenges makes a huge difference in your ability to handle stress. If youre generally hopeful and optimistic, youll be less vulnerable. Stress-hardy people tend to embrace challenges, have a stronger sense of humor, believe in a higher purpose, and accept change as an inevitable part of life.
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Stage Two: Continuing The Alarm Phase
As the stress response continues, so does your bodys reaction to it. During this second stage, your endocrine system is still fairly well equipped to produce the hormones that you need, but your levels of DHEA and other sex hormones may start to drop. This is because the resources needed to produce the sex hormones are being diverted to production of stress hormones like cortisol.
During this stage you will start to feel the effects of over-exertion of your adrenals. A common feeling is that of being wired but tired, where you are maintaining alertness when you need it during the day, but then crashing hard in the evening. Many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers begin to develop an unhealthy dependence on coffee during this stage.
Does Sleep Help Stress
Getting enough sleep on a nightly basis can alleviate stress quite effectively. Unfortunately, a good nights rest can be elusive if youre stressed out especially if sleep problems are a major source of your day-to-day anxieties.
There are other measures you can take to relieve stress. These include regularly exercising and maintaining a healthy support network of friends and family. However, keeping stress at bay often demands adequate sleep. National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults should sleep between seven and nine hours each night.
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How Eye Twitching And Stress Are Related
Have you noticed your eye twitching lately? If so, you might be concerned that something is wrong. It can be a bit unnerving to experience eye twitching problems, but they usually arent an indicator of anything being seriously wrong. In fact, the most common cause of eye twitching issues is stress. When people are stressed out, its possible that they will experience physical symptoms.
There are many different physical effects of stress, and eye twitching is just one of the most common ones. Eye twitching & stress are related, and you might want to learn more about it if youre experiencing these problems. Read on to get more details about eye twitching and how you can stop it from happening. It might be important to learn how to manage the stress in your life more effectively.
The Causes Of Eye Twitching
Eye twitching is something that can be caused by several different things. Its simply important to keep in mind that most of the causes of eye twitching are very rare. For example, eye twitching can be caused by serious diseases or conditions such as Parkinsons disease, Tourettes syndrome, multiple sclerosis, dystonia, bells palsy, and more. Its just incredibly unlikely that any of these diseases or conditions are causing your eye twitching problems. There are many common causes for eye twitching that youll need to consider.
How Can I Stop Eye Twitching?
Other Physical Effects Of Stress
Take Time Off Of Work
Spend Time With People You Love
Where To Get Help
- Your doctor
- Wilson J, Morgan S, Magin P, et al. 2014, Fatigue a rational approach to investigation, Australian Family Physician, vol. 43, no. 7, pp. 457-461, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. More information here.
- Fatigue, 2013, MedlinePlus, US National Library of Medicine. More information here.
- Fatigue, Mayo Clinic, USA. More information here.
- Fatigue in the workplace, WorkSafe Victoria. More information here.
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What Is Psychogenic Fever
Among those who develop episodic or persistent high core body temperature without any inflammatory causes, there are patients whose high Tc is associated with psychological stress. Some patients develop a high fever when they are exposed to emotional events , whereas others show a persistent low-grade fever lasting months and even years, either during or after situations of chronic stress . The existence of such patients has been recognized since the early twentieth century and their high Tc has been called psychogenic fever or neurogenic fever. Psychogenic fever is bothersome for both patients and physicians because, although many patients consider the fever to be disabling, there is no abnormal finding to account for their high Tc and antipyretic drugs do not reduce their fever. Moreover, there are still physicians who do not recognize the fact that psychological stress can cause high Tc.
Therefore, to obtain a better understanding of patients with psychogenic fever, this article reviews how psychological stress affects Tc in laboratory animals, healthy human subjects, and clinical populations.
Tip : Reframe The Way You Look At Work
Whether you have a job that leaves you rushed off your feet or one that is monotonous and unfulfilling, the most effective way to combat job burnout is to quit and find a job you love instead. Of course, for many of us changing job or career is far from being a practical solution, were grateful just to have work that pays the bills. Whatever your situation, though, there are still steps you can take to improve your state of mind.
Try to find some value in your work. Even in some mundane jobs, you can often focus on how your role helps others, for example, or provides a much-needed product or service. Focus on aspects of the job that you do enjoy, even if its just chatting with your coworkers at lunch. Changing your attitude towards your job can help you regain a sense of purpose and control.
Find balance in your life. If you hate your job, look for meaning and satisfaction elsewhere in your life: in your family, friends, hobbies, or voluntary work. Focus on the parts of your life that bring you joy.
Make friends at work. Having strong ties in the workplace can help reduce monotony and counter the effects of burnout. Having friends to chat and joke with during the day can help relieve stress from an unfulfilling or demanding job, improve your job performance, or simply get you through a rough day.
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