Health Risks from Stress-Heart Disease, Hypertension, Cancer, and Diabetes
Many health risks are associated with stress and health experts believe that extended stressful situations are the cause many health related issues. Michael Olpin and Margie Hesson report that stressors contribute to a variety of illnesses and 70% to 80% of all doctors visits are due to stress-related events (2007). The main health issues associated with stress are heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.
There are 180,000 deaths a year that can be attributed to stress on an individual's heart (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997). Over 70 million work days lost a year from heart disease related from stressors (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997). This would indicate that high levels of stress are bad for a person's heart over both the short- and long-term. Heart issues are closely related to smoking and obesity and the triple threat of the three are damaging for the well being of an individual.
Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure is another disorder closely related to stress. Many cases of HTN are primary with no true medical cause, but those ones that are of interest to stressors are the secondary cases. Secondary cases of HTN may be caused by the heart or kidneys. The common bond is that HTN and Heart disease are closely related and if stress is bad for the heart it is simply as bad for someone with HTN. When looking at stress and stressors caused at work it is easy to see why heart disease and HTN cause many illnesses and deaths.
Cancer and stress are two words that most people do not want to hear. Stress may not have a direct correlation to causing cancer but will not help an individual who has been diagnosed with cancer. A family member was recently diagnosed with cancer and the first words from the doctors were to try to avoid stress. The medical staff working with the family member said on several occasions that people who have more stressors have a harder time battling cancer. Cancer may not be caused by stress but unfortunately it can be the stressors that make fighting cancer a more difficult task.
Diabetes is an illness that inflicts many people. Stressors help to lead people to bad eating habits and poor lifestyle choices. The lack of eating right and limited fitness can lead to an individual to developing adult-onset diabetes. Stress may not cause this dreaded disease, but it plays a major part in it. Stress also may cause diabetes to grow worse especially in the case of rising blood sugar levels. Several family members and friends have diabetes, and they have all stated that high levels of stress make the dreaded disease more debilitating.
Dealing with Stress
Stress affects everyone in all walks of life. Whether male or female, or young or old, stress is a part of everyone's life. Dealing with stress is an important aspect in life because of the consequences that can happen. If stress is a negative for so many there has to be a bevy of ways to deal with it. In researching stress and the ills from it many experts have written guides and advice to cope with it. These helpers are called stress management techniques, and they are meant to help people alleviate or reduce the amount of stressors they have.
Stress management techniques
When dealing with stress the best way to cope is with techniques in managing stressors. Experts state that muscle relaxation and positive thinking are two ways to deal with stress (Smith, 2002). Muscle relaxation usually obtained in massages can be extremely relaxing and help to break stress. The power of positive thinking is another technique to help deal with stress. Thinking positively and trying to avoid the negativity of stressors can be beneficial.
Other techniques include deep breathing exercises and meditation often found in exercises like Yoga (Smith, 2002). The relaxation offered in deep breathing and Yoga is therapeutic to some and relieves stress of daily life (Smith, 2002). Exercise and fitness are two physically ways to relieve stress and can be done at any time of the day since most fitness centers have extended hours. Physical exercise like weight lifting, running, boxing, etc. can help break stress at the highest levels. Many employers offer fitness memberships as one outlet for employees to be healthier and to relieve much of the stress in their lives.
Time management is another factor in dealing with the stressors of life. The ability to manage time by using daily planners and calendars to prioritizing key events help to alleviate stress in people's lives (Smith, 2002). Stress relief is ultimately up to each individual. How people deal with stress is in actuality all in what works best for that person. Many psychologists have come to the belief that stress management is key to a happy and successful life in modern life (Smith, 2002). Many demands in life may be overwhelming, but good stress management techniques are the best way to deal with the stressors (Smith, 2002).
In short, the portfolio is based on one of my real life experiences dealing with stress. My work is as a team leader in a manufacturing plant. This experience is my focal point behind the exploration of stress and how to manage it. Being a team leader is very stressful as many of the failures on my team are bestowed upon my shoulders. One of the most common forms of stress is work related. Stress from the job causes burnout and can eventually lead to major psychological issues. Stress causes people to make unhealthy choices like smoking and eating that contributes obesity and eventual health issues. Health risk from stress are not limited to but are highlighted by heart disease, hypertension, cancer, and diabetes. Recognizing stress and developing techniques to deal with it are necessities in life. When an individual learns to master his or her stress levels he or she can truly enjoy the finer aspects of what life has to offer.
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Cartwright, S., & Cooper, C. (1997). Managing workplace stress. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
Fink, G. (2000). Encyclopedia of stress. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Heller, R.F., & Heller, R.F. (2010). The stress-eating cure. New York, NY: Rodale Books.
Olpin, M., & Hesson, M. (2007). Stress life management for…