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Tips from Dr Donna for dealing with your stress

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March 1, 2022

Stress impacts us all at some point in our lives. Some types of stress are actually good for us and help us perform better. Some stress is known as bad stress and we can’t manage it or relax from it. The feeling lingers all day, and we suffer from it. Dr Donna features a short story and video explaining how to recognize the difference (good and bad stress) for yourself and tips you can use to manage your stress yourself today.

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The stress response as we all know it, is the body’s biological response designed to help us react and adapt to best cope with something that our body perceives as potentially threatening. It prepares our body in what it thinks is the best way possible for ‘fight or flight,’ to combat the danger or flee from it. Research shows that there is a moderate, optimum stress level which is generally short-lived and this can improve our alertness, performance and boost memory among other positive reactions. When we exceed this level of stress (high stress) or experience it for too long (chronic), the body’s biological response becomes overwhelming and our performance surfers in many areas.

Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress

The primary hormone in the body responsible for our stress reaction is known as Cortisol. It increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or harmful in a ‘fight or flight’ situation. As Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, it can be helpful to measure and monitor it. This is achieved through saliva testing taken twice daily at 9am and 10pm typically. 

When we talk about ways to handle stress we are referring to the overwhelming, high levels of stress, or chronic stress experienced over a sustained period of time. Chronic stress can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems such as: mental health problems, anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks and stroke.

Not all stress is equal

However, as mentioned not all stress is equal and moderate levels optimise our performance. This can be a hard fact to see sometimes while we are feeling even slightly stressed, but it has been proven and you can likely relate from personal experience when you stop and think. This doesn’t mean you should seek to make your life as complicated and stressful as possible. It is about managing our stress levels on a daily basis and preventing it from spiralling out of control to the high end of the scale. The saying “stress kills” still couldn’t be a truer statement. 

Laughing is an excellent way to destress

Some typical ways to cope with stress which are often suggested to patients are things we can all starting practicing as soon as reading this, without visiting your doctor! Running or exercise are great ways of taking your mind off the things causing you stress. Additionally massages and Onsen are also highly recommended. One of the best ways and a favourite of many patients is going out with a group of friends and laughing together. Laughing is an excellent way to destress overlooked by so many and it doesn’t cost us anything!

For more information visit or call 02 018 7855.

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