Toxic Stress Test
The STRESS Epidemic: Join the Club
Has your life felt out of control lately, with too much to do and too little time to do it? Is your body starting to tell you in little ways — you’re exhausted all day and you can’t get a good night’s sleep — that it’s time to slow down? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that 43 percent of adults suffer stress-related problems, and that 75 percent to 90 percent of visits to doctors’ offices are for stress-related illness.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with constant financial pressures, emotional strain, health care problems, poor diet and lack of sleep. We feel that, whatever we do, it’s never enough. With our busy lives, we have less time to deal with our stress, less energy to recover from it, and are less likely to make permanent changes to become stress-free. For some people, this stress never goes away.
It just gets worse.
Can you find yourself in any of these scenarios?
- You’re late again. Work is 20 minutes away, and you’ve got just 10 minutes to get there. You tried to do too many things before leaving the house. You’ve just noticed you’re out of gas, and your boss is counting on you to lead the meeting.
- You typically don’t eat breakfast, and today your workout lasted longer. You rush to work, where you get caught up in meetings that don’t leave time for lunch. You grab a doughnut from the break room at 2 p.m., and by the time you get home, you’re not only famished, you’re also dizzy and irritable. You snap at the kids and
- You’re thinking of going back to school because your career has hit a dead end, but it’s been years since you were in a classroom. You’re getting hives, just worrying that you won’t have what it takes to succeed in school.
- You’re having a great day when your sister calls. She’s crying and tells you that your mother was in an accident and “it’s not good.”
- You’re on your way to pick up your child, and the freeway you’ve just entered is gridlocked. Your child will worry if you’re not on time, but you can’t call because the battery in your cell phone is dead. Now, you’ll be late getting back to work.
- You can’t sleep again tonight. Your brain hasn’t been functioning well during the day due to lack of sleep. You toss and turn, and the more you think about not sleeping, the more you worry about how bad you’ll feel the next day.
Most of us experience a stress-filled situation once in a while. But for some of us, it’s a lifestyle. Stress can affect anyone, from “Type-A” perfectionists to “Type-B” procrastinators who worry themselves sick not getting things done on time.
University students, mothers with several children who get little support from family or friends, single parents and teenagers with too much on their plate often are under stress. Spouses in an unhappy marriage and those who abuse drugs and alcohol are particularly vulnerable.
The workplace can be a pressure-cooker of tension, especially for employees whose jobs aren’t secure, or for an owner of a new or struggling business. People who work alternating shifts, requiring them to frequently adjust sleep patterns, often show signs of stress.
We know that chronic stress is bad for us, especially when we react to it with anger, depression, too much alcohol, excessive shopping, binge eating or piling on even more stressful activities. We call people with high stress levels “adrenaline junkies,” like it’s a good thing. It isn’t.
Consider what happens when we are in “trauma” mode all day long: We battle traffic to get to work or handle errands. Maybe we’re planning a party or starting a new job. We constantly run late because we try to cram in too many things on our “to-do” list, then we eat a high-junk diet because we don’t have time to prepare healthy meals.
As if dealing with the pressures of daily living weren’t enough, a sure way to add even more stress is to read in a medical journal how stress affects the body and brain.
Toxic stress, the type of stress that causes disease, actually can scramble and cripple the neurons in our brain. When we flip on the “stress switch” and leave it on all day and night, our brain’s receptors and neurons no longer respond as sharply as they should. Our neurons begin to shrivel and stop communicating with each other. Tissue in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex areas of our brain also shrinks. We begin doing crazy things like forgetting what we said five minutes ago anything new and remember it.
Not only does chronic stress negatively affect our brain, it eventually damages nearly every part of our body. Sometimes, degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can develop and destroy what neurons we have left — that is, if some other stress-related illness such as heart disease or cancer doesn’t kill us first.
But the good news is, you can do something about your stress. You can put your body back in balance again and put an end to hormonal turmoil. It all comes down to self-care, which this book will help you achieve.
Take the QUIZ
If you’ve been under a lot of stress lately and wonder whether you may be developing chronic or even toxic stress—a poisonous level of stress that robs you of good health—take this quiz. If you decide to complete this program to reduce and even eliminate your stress, test yourself again later to see how things may have changed.
Are you tired for no reason?
Do you have trouble getting up in the morning?
Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep?
Are you sick often, or feel you have lowered immunity?
Have you gained weight around your mid-section?
Do you often feel light-headed or dizzy?
Do you fly off the handle for no apparent reason?
Have you lost your zest for life?
Do you notice exaggerated PMS, pre-menopausal or andropause (for men) symptoms?
Do you need coffee or colas to keep going?
Do you feel run down and stressed?
Do you crave salty or sweet snacks?
Do you struggle to keep up with life’s daily demands?
Is it difficult to bounce back from stress or illness?
Do you feel like you’re not having fun anymore?
Has your libido (sex drive) decreased?
What your quiz responses mean:
If you answered yes to more than three of these symptoms, you may be experiencing some level of adrenal imbalance. Or you could be on your way to developing toxic stress. The toxic and relentless stress we subject ourselves to today can cause any of the following stress warning signs or symptoms. For someone with a weakened immune system or other health problems, these symptoms can develop more quickly.
The many symptoms of TOXIC Stress can be relieved by supplements designed to help you get back the natural cortisol balance and to support the stress glands-Adrenals – to power up the daytime energy with Rebalance STRESS AM Rx (to order click here) and quiet the mind and achieve deep restful sleep with Rebalance STRESS PM Rx (to order click here)
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Cognitive stress symptoms:
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
Physical stress symptoms:
- Insomnia, wakefulness at night
- Not feeling rested in the morning
- Constant fatigue
- Fat gain around the mid-section
- Overeating due to low blood sugar episodes, followed by feeling better for a short period after eating
- Can’t lose weight
- Becoming lightheaded when standing quickly
- Body pain for no apparent reason
- Irritable bowel or gut-symptoms
- Dry, thinning skin and hair
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea, dizziness
- Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
- Loss of sex drive
- Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms in women; andropause —loss of male hormones — in men
- Allergic reactions, skin problems/sensitivities
- Increased acid reflux
- Frequent colds, flu or lowered immunity