Stress: How the Dysfunction Impacts Your Health
Stress, especially chronic stress is linked to illness, both mental and physical. We all know that stress can lead to behavioral changes, depression and mood disorders, anxiety, and other psychiatric problems, but physical illness is just a prevalent. In fact, clinical depression is present in up to 50% of patients with chronic systemic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and chronic pain. This is in comparison to a rate of only 5-8% when depression is not present (1). It is important to note that the cause of stress can be both the contributor to these conditions, as well as the result.
There is real science, brain science that confirms the physiological effect of stress on the brain. This brain scan has large amounts of red gamma activity, particularly on the right side of the brain, indicating heightened-stimuli and avoidance. This baseline brain image is consistent with someone experiencing high levels of stress for extended periods of time.
Take a look at the latest episode of the Science of Self in 60 video series, Episode 4: Effects of Stress on the Body. I explain three things that happen to our mind and body when we are under stress. If staying healthy is one of your priorities, you will see in 60 seconds that extended periods of stress are quite harmful.
While stress can come from a number of sources, the work environment can be a major contributor. The first step to any solution is diagnoses. Identifying the source of stress allows each of us to address remedies. And that is where assessments can help. Our Stress Quotient® has been successful in measuring the stress of an organization at the beginning of a client relationship. The assessment results have been used as a diagnostic way to develop coaching and training strategies to directly address problem areas.
In fact, TTI SI is not only helping identify workplace stress, we are working with clinicians to examine how our behavioral style may actually contribute to stress. This and many more hard science findings are coming your way in the months to come.
Make sure to subscribe to the SOS in 60 Seconds channel to receive notification of new episodes. Please feel free to share the SOS in 60 channel and videos with your social networks. We encourage our Value Added Associates to embed the link to the videos into your client communications — prospect education, newsletters and social channels.
Duric, D., Clayton, S., Leong, M., Yaun, L. (2016). Comorbidity Factors and Brain Mechanisms Linking Chronic Stress and Systemic Illness. Neural Plasticity. Hindawi Publishing Corporation.
About the Author
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Intrigued by the science of the brain, inspired to teach and intent on developing a better understanding of how the human brain informs human behavior, Dr. Ron Bonnstetter serves as the senior vice president of research and development for Target Training International. Read his blogs, where he writes about applying research, innovation and thought leadership to everyday life.