Most of us worry sometimes, many of us often worry, and some of us worry constantly. We worry about all kinds of things, our finances, our relationships, our responsibilities, our health, climate change, and politics. We worry about things we can control, as well as things we can’t. No matter what we worry about or how often we worry, the impact of constant worrying on our health is actually what is worrisome. There’s some truth to the expression “worried sick,” as worrying is stressful, and stress can undermine physical and mental health. Excessive worry can lead to anxiety and that, in turn, can erode the ability to function well in daily life. While some anxiety is normal when we face temporary stressful situations, prolonged worry and anxiety can have wide ranging effects on bodily systems and organs, as well as emotions, mood and behavior.
When the automatic stress response activates, the body is flooded with hormones that ramp up the systems necessary for survival. This elevates heart and blood pressure to circulate more energy throughout the body to prepare one to deal with an imminent challenge. At the same time, systems not necessary for immediate survival tamp down, hindering digestion, the immune response and the reproductive system. Worry and anxiety on a continual basis contribute to chronically elevated cortisol, which can profoundly impair health. Even short lived minor stress can have a harmful effect.
Numerous physical and emotional disorders are linked to stress. In addition to hypertension, increased susceptibility to infections, and a higher risk of depression, diabetes, heart attacks and stroke, the negative effects of stress can contribute to autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel, dermatitis, and degenerative neurological disorders. In short, the side effects of stress and its detriment to long-term physical health and emotional wellness are likely much worse than what you are worrying about. The ability to handle and manage stress can make all the difference in maintaining homeostasis and reducing the risk of stress-related illness.
While chronic stress can be highly unpleasant and even emotionally debilitating, we have evolved and adapted to deal with a certain amount of short-term stress. Stress responses are meant to be protective, not harmful. It’s only when stress becomes chronic that it negatively effects our wellbeing. Short-term stress can be a positive advantage, enhancing performance, giving one a competitive edge and building the enthusiasm to rise to a challenge. Stress is negative when its exceeds our ability to cope and overwhelms normal bodily functions. Contrarily, stress is positive when we can perceive a stressful situation as an opportunity that will lead to a good outcome.
As some stress is unavoidable, using stress to one’s advantage by managing reactions to situations that trigger it, can enhance overall wellbeing and result in feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment. Per the World Journal of Medical Sciences, there are important factors that help individuals view and respond positively to a stressful situation. This includes the belief in one’s ability to manage the stressor or task, the perception that one has power and control over the situation, and a mindset of hope, great expectations and a positive outlook on life. When used correctly, stress, or eustress, can have a positive impact on performance and productivity, and leave one feeling optimistic and energized as the body returns to a normal state of balance.
The understanding that worry is an indicator of the importance of a situation rather than a reason to panic can result in a more rational reaction to stress. Worrying limits the ability to think clearly, hindering one’s ability to focus on positive solutions. Viewing stress as a challenge rather than a threat allows one to bring forth more possibilities. Concentrating on the things one can control allows for concrete action that can begin to broaden one’s thought processes to overcome difficulties. Rather than worrying, focus on what matters most, and very importantly, respond accordingly.
Professional Supplement Center carries many fine quality products formulated to support a healthy stress response:
L-Theanine by Enzymatic Therapy™: This product supplies a clinical dose of Suntheanine®, a trusted and well regarded powerful amino acid that helps manage stress and promotes daily relaxation without diminishing alertness. Gluten, soy, dairy, yeast, preservative and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.
PheniTropic™ by Biotics® Research: This product supplies GABA, a naturally occurring inhibitory neurotransmitter that supports the natural relief of stress and anxiety, and may also aid restful sleep. Gluten free.
StressArrest™ by Designs for Health: This synergistic formula delivers comprehensive support for relief of stress and anxiety with ingredients that include GABA, glycine, niacinamide, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Non-GMO formulation.
Daily Stress Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypo-allergenic all-encompassing formula provides a blend of botanicals and nutrients designed to provide synergistic support for mental relaxation while counteracting the metabolic effects of occasional stress. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
B-Complex Stress Formula by Pioneer®: This comprehensive clinician-formulated product provides balanced support for stress relief with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and coenzymes delivered in appropriate ratios. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation.
Stress Effects. https://www.stress.org/stress-effects/
Time to Worry About Worrying Too Much. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-risky-is-it-really/201112/time-worry-about-worrying-too-much
9 Stress Side Effects That Are Worse Than What You’re Worrying About. https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/side-effects-anxiety-and-stress-management-tips
How stress affects your health. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx
Life Event, Stress and Illness. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/
What is Positive Stress? http://stress.lovetoknow.com/about-stress/what-is-positive-stress
The Eustress Concept: Problems and Outlooks. http://www.idosi.org/wjms/11(2)14/6.pdf
Turning Stress into an Asset. https://hbr.org/2011/06/turning-stress-into-an-asset