Lifestyle,Think Healthy

Stress Management Part 3 – Why it’s bad for you

A few weeks ago. Or maybe months…it was right as the holidays were starting to kick in. I thought it would make sense to open up the topic of stress management as a fun series of posts. Well, the holidays came and went with a flurry of fun and I was treading water just to keep the fun cocktail and skinny tack recipes coming. So hopefully you made it through the last bits of 2012 and you’re staring at your clean 2013 plate wondering how you’re going make this year better than the rest. Well, let’s get a handle on how you handle the hard stuff.  Sit back, kick back, review the last few blogs here and read on this week to continue to firm your grasp on this typically intangible topic. And next week I’ll post the last quarter of this series.

Part 1: What it is/why pay attention

Part 2: Where does it come from?

Stress Management Part 3: The Physiological Impact of Stress

I don’t know where you personally sit on the “mind-body” connection theory, but there is scientific proof that the way your mind is processing “stress” has a true effect on your body. When you’re “stressed,” your body is sweating, your heart rate is increasing, your hands are shaking, and it may feel like your heart is in your throat. All those things are going on because you’re preparing for “fight or flight.”

The term originated from the cave man days when a bear was hunting you. You see a bear in the woods and your body automatically assesses the situation. Either you’re going to fight like a beast or run like hell. And I’m sure many of you haven’t found yourself in this wild adventure scenario lately, but the physiological response is still equally relevant today. Let’s say for instance you run into an ex-boyfriend at the grocery store when you look like a wet dog.  You have two choices, pull it together and prepare for a physical conversation where your words will outwit and shame your ex to pieces, or you’re diving behind the nearest produce stand.

Fight or Flight is Still Relevant Today!

This “fight or flight” response physically takes precious resources on a micro level. Blood is diverted from the skin to large muscle groups. Stress hormones are released as you are on heightened alert. This shuts down other biological functions like tissue repair, digestion, reproduction, growth, and immune and inflammatory response. It’s no wonder we get sicker more often and older faster when we live with a constant level of stress in our lives.

Got it? Stress is bad.

It makes you fat, sick and old. So does this mean that the secrete to health, youth and vitality could be as simple as mastering some stress management techniques? I don’t think there is a magic pill, but I do think there is some science here that would indicate there is some truth in the matter.

So in summary, we know almost everything causes stress, and it’s really bad for you. Now what? Next week we get to the good stuff. Effective techniques and strategies that will help you effectively identify and manage some of this external nonsense that is causing internal deterioration.

Strengthening from the inside out  – that’s what we’re doing here !



Here’s the Stress Management Article Breakdown:

  1. What it is/why pay attention
  2. Where it comes from
  3. Why it’s bad for you
  4. How to deal with it



  • Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    I can’t wait to hear about some of your stress busting tips (hopefully it involves lots of alcohol 😉 All joking aside, I am a total stress case. I am constantly stressed out from work. The year before my wedding, I became severely physically ill from work stress combined with worrying about paying for and planning the wedding. I was nauseous all the time and couldn’t eat anything except water and crackers for months on end. I know very well firsthand the havoc stress wreaks both physically and mentally. I’m better now but I always feel like I’m in a heightened level of anxiety. I’ll welcome any suggestions you have!

    • Teresa

      Hey Nancy — I hear you. I grew up with my dad always telling me “stress is the killer” so it’s always kind of been a joke in my family. But in all seriousness – it’s bad! Ages you and weakens your immunity. So glad you hear you have learned to manage stress – it’s tough! Next week I will post some behavioral and cognitive strategies…and just some good mind set stuff. You’ll have to let me know what you think! If all else fails — shake up a SkinnyTini — lol 😉 Cheers!

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