What kinds of stress are there?

Keeping with the theme of stress from last week, let's look at another facet of this "silent" killer.  We’ve all experienced it… stress! It may come as feeling overwhelmed because of work or frustrated from sitting in a traffic jam. Many people think that stress is just in the mind, however, there are many different types of stress that the body can have. In this article I am going to briefly address a few of other forms of stress that everyone is exposed to on a daily basis, but take little or no notice of.

First, which is now probably the most common in today’s world is electromagnetic stress. Wherever you go in the world today (with a few expectations of course) we are exposed to cell phones, computer, tablets, microwaves, electric cars, etc. These types of electronics emit a ton of Electromagnetic Frequency, or EMF, which is extremely harmful to the body. I will cover the dangers that EMF’s have on the human body in another article, but in the meantime, here a few concerns. EMF’s over stimulate the sympathetic nervous system leading to all sorts of biological and hormonal problems, they disrupt our bodies natural electromagnetic field and internal communication process and if that wasn’t enough EMF’s can literally microwave the water in our muscles and cells making it harmful and also useless to the body (has your ear ever gotten hot from talking on a cell phone for too long?)

Secondly, another form of stress that is very common is nutritional stress, which is also associated with digestive stress (so that’s two types). Eating poor quality food that contains chemicals and toxins is very harmful and stressful on the body. The liver doesn’t really want to spend it’s time figuring out what to do with all of the toxins in our food supply. So, when too much stress gets put on the organs, this leads digestive stress, which shows up as bloating, gas, belching, irregular bowel movements and constipation.

The next form of stress I want to tell you about it is circadian stress. We are exposed to this type of stress when we do not get enough sleep or get the wrong kind of sleep by going to bed at crazy hours, which disrupts our natural circadian rhythms. Sleep is the number one way that our body energizes and repairs itself and without it we start to burn the candle at both ends, as the old saying goes.

Lastly, I want to mention thermoregulatory stress, which is the body’s ability for thermoregulation. So, what is thermoregulation? I like the simple explanation given by healthline.com, which simply says, “Thermoregulation is the process that allows the human body to maintain its core internal temperature. The state of having an even internal temperature is called homeostasis. All thermoregulation mechanisms are designed to return the body to homeostasis.” This means that when we are exposed to cold temperatures and then enter into a hot house or room, our body then has to go back and forth to regulate our internal temperature, which is around 98.6°F. As you can image and have probably experienced numerous times, this is very common regardless of the climate you live in.

So, as you can see there are many different types of stressors besides emotional or mental stress, which is more commonly associated with the word stress in general. Also, we have to remember that the body doesn’t care what type of stress it is and that stress always summates (or adds up). Finding the right balance of stress in our lives is critical to maintaining a healthy body and mind.

Stay Fit and Functional,

Jim Burdumy