Stress: A friend that can turn foe

Stress, in many ways, is our friend. It’s part of our programming, that automatic fight or flight response that helps us dash for cover when we spot danger, or knuckle down to get jobs done. It’s all thanks to that surge of hormones – including adrenaline and cortisol – our bodies produce when the brain registers it’s time for action.

But there are also times when stress is bad. When we’re screeching, jaw clenched, that somebody is really “stressing us out”, for instance, or yelling at everybody to get the heck out of the kitchen as we’re juggling what feels like five billion trays in the oven and, any minute now – never mind the gravy – we’re going to boil over....

.... “Prolonged stress is linked with higher levels of cortisol and we know this chemical reduces the activity of our immune system, making it more likely we pick up bugs,” says Wakeman. You may find you take longer to shake off colds and infections, and they wipe you out more. Plus, stress can worsen symptoms, or ‘trigger’ episodes of pre-existing health conditions, particularly things like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), psoriasis, or autoimmune diseases....

Thank you for posting this Priya. This plays a major roll in how well or not well your body copies with illness not to mention as you mentioned for those that are well it can open up the doors to coming down with something.

You're right. Stress can be both a blessing and a curse.

When I had UC, I hated hearing that I needed to lower my stress level. I never could figure out how to do that. From worrying about being stuck in a traffic jam (in Atlanta) to worrying where the nearest bathroom was, stress was always there.

With psc, my symptoms have not yet caused many problems, but I learned during my post UC recovery that the mental aspect of one day at a time is a great stress reliever. I also came to realize that bad days will come and to do what I need to do to get through it without stressing. On most days, I succeeded.

So when my meld score goes up, one day at a time.

I watched a Ted talk recently about stress that mentioned a study showing that those who believed stress was harmful to their health were in fact harmed by stress, while those who believed that stress was helping them "rise to the occasion" and cope with life's difficulties lived longer than those who had lower levels of stress. Here is a link to it:

I am trying to change the way I view my own stress accordingly.

Wow... that was a really good view. Thanks for that dancermom. For those who haven't seen yet, it's a must watch. Fifteen minutes well spent! :-)

I love how the body works and I'm pretty sure after watching that, that the only reason I've managed to keep my UC at bay all these years, with limited meds, is because I've never accepted that stress affects 'me' negatively. I love huge family get together's and am usually at my best when it come's to organising big functions. I love the rush that comes with seeing an event or function unfold.

That said, disorganisation stresses me so my views on that are something that I too must work on changing.