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How do we respond to stress?

It is popular associating “stress” with something wrong with our health. Stress is part of our daily life, and we cannot take it away. According to experts, we have two different types of stress: Eustress and Distress

Eustress is a term used to describe good stress. This type of stress helps us deal with situations and events in certain circumstances. Examples of eustress are:

  • Play a game or participate in a competition.
  • Celebrating a birthday, getting married, promotions and similar events.
  • Watching a movie.
  • Eating a cake.
  • In other words, eustress is related to our perception (the interpretation we give to our sensation), and it is strictly related to Self-Efficacy (the belief that we can complete specific tasks).

    Distress is a term used to indicate bad stress. This type of stress is harmful to our health and can lead to severe disorders and health diseases such as mental health and gut problems. Excellent examples of distress are:

  • Participate in a funeral.
  • Being a victim of domestic violence.
  • Losing a match.
  • Job problems.
  • Health Issues.
  • We have different ways to respond to stress.

    In both cases of stress, our bodies change to bring our mental and physical conditions to be expected. These changes made by the body are termed: “Stress Respons”, and it occurs in three different stages.

    1) Fight or Flight. That is the initial stage. When we advert stress, our nervous system stops different body parts from working, such as the digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. On the other hand, more oxygen and glucose are provided to other organs such as the brain, skeletal muscles and heart. That will increase the level of alert, and our heart will pump more blood that will supply oxygen to the muscles. The kidney will promote water retention and, consequently, increased blood pressure. To conclude, that explains why during the fight-or-flight response, we experience the following:

  • Our eyes pupils dilate.
  • Our heart palpitates increase.
  • We breathe rapidly
  • Our muscle contracts, ready to react.
  • The resistance reaction. This stage helps our bodies and brain to keep fighting the stress. That involves different areas of the brain and different hormones. Cortisol is one of the specific hormones related to stress, and it is responsible for

  • Protein breakdown.
  • Regulate glucose in our bodies.
  • Breakdown of triglycerides.
  • Depression and immune response.
  • Stress resistance.
  • Right now, it is clear how nutrients are involved in stress,  in our bodies and our mood. Sometimes resistance reaction fails, especially when someones experience chronic distress. Consequently, our systems cannot bring our bodies to a normal condition. In that case, we move to the next step.

    3) Exhaustion. As mentioned above, sometimes, our bodies cannot deal with chronic distress. When this happens, increased cortisol levels and other hormones occur with catastrophic effects in our bodies, such as suppressing the immune systems, creating gut problems, and wasting muscles. Unless there are no irreversible damages, everything will go back to normal as soon we remove the source of stress. In other cases, professionals need it. When our systems can deal with that, we go through different situations termed as digest and rest.

    What is SLUDD?

    SLUDD is an acronym, and it stands for Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Digestion, Defecation. These are five responses to the Fight-or-Flight by other nervous system divisions. As soon these response starts heart rate decrease, blood pressure and breath back to normal conditions. That also explains why uncomfortable things happen when we experience distress, leading to fear anxiety.


    We have two types of stress: eustress (good stress) and distress (bad stress), and both occur in certain circumstances and are related to our perceptions and self-efficacy.

    Fight-or-Flight is a stress response that causes changes in our bodies and brain. It is followed by stress resistance, where our systems deal with stress and the last stage, Exhaustion. Exhaustion is the last stage and tells us that we cannot deal with stress. Exhaustion can lead to disorders and health issues.

    Opposite to the Fight-or-flight response, we have a different response that brings our bodies to usual conditions: digest and rest.

    five different responses will help our bodies to back to normal these are:
    Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Digestion and Defecation.


    Stress Facts


    Stress is very harmful and, in the long term, can cause mental health.


    Stress leads to unhealthy lifestyles such as drinking, smoking and using illegal drugs.


    Stress can come from different sources: emotional, financial, health, jobs.

    Planning On Changing Your Lifestyle?

    Trying to focus on the solution rather than the causes. That will lead you to a different level of thinking, reduce your stress, and make you feel better. Being constantly under stress increase the level of cortisol. Cortisol loves to help our body to store fat in our hips and our abdomen.

    Right now, we know how to identify our triggers and learn how to deal with them. After that, the biggest challenge has an action plan to prevent relapse. A good relapse prevention plan includes three main steps. Firstly, recognize your triggers, secondly, deal with them and finally use our self-efficacy to deal with them without back in the old habits.

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    Nutritional Counsellor| specialised in Mental Helth and Eating Disorder| | Food Production

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