Generation S (Stress): Why are we Stressed?

Today’s topics is more of a thought provoking question which we can only solve collectively.

STRESS has impacted all of us and is now a part of our daily lives.

We have included two stress tests that you can take for FREE, if you would like to find out your current stress levels.

Even though Stress is subjective just like pain, we all experience it differently. But it’s something we can’t deny that we are all going through. I don’t think there is anything we can do that will eliminate stress from our daily lives.

Either you are a mom or dad staying home and taking care of your family and kids, or you are a professional, or you own your own business and love what you do, or you are an astronaut living outside this planet. We all have one thing in common besides being human, it is that we all face everyday problems and that they evoke stress in our lives.

So, what is STRESS?

There are two kinds of stresses:

Physiological Stress – When there is an imminent danger to our well being or body, our nervous system activates the response by increasing our oxygen intake with deep breathing, increased heart rate to send blood to the muscles required in the body to defend us from the threat, the blood vessels in non active tissues contract or become narrower to reduce blood flow to nonessential parts. And the after effect of the Physiological change is fight or flight.

Psychological Stress – When we are not in an imminent danger but there is something wrong with either our surroundings or within our body like digestive disorders etc.

What do standing frustrated in a checkout line or sitting in a traffic jam have in common with fleeing from predators when compared to our ancestors 1000s of years ago?

Clearly, these activities are very different, yet they provoke the same responses in the body— the release of hormones (glucocorticoids and epinephrine) to improve memory, boost immune function, enhance muscular activity, and restore physiological balance. Over long periods of time, as these hormones continue to be released, the consequences can be negative: memory is impaired, immune function is suppressed, and energy is stored as fat.

Both kinds of stress are important and are even beneficial in short bursts but when our body experiences these in prolonged sessions and become chronic, that is when it becomes damaging to us.

A study conducted in 2014 by Dr. Jean Twenge, a professor of Psychology at the San Diego State University and the author of more than 90 scientific publications and books.

Her study compared the Differences in Depressive Symptoms in the U.S. between people born between 1982–2013

Across four surveys that took in to account 6.9 million Americans. The subjects reported substantially higher levels of depressive symptoms, particularly somatic symptoms, between 2000s–2010s compared to the 1980s–1990s.

High school students in the 2010s (vs. the 1980s) reported more symptoms of trouble sleeping, thinking, remembering, and shortness of breath and were twice as likely to have seen a professional for mental issues.

College students in recent years (vs. the 1980s) were more likely to report feeling overwhelmed and to believe they were below average in mental and physical health, but were less likely to say they felt depressed.

How can that be? Most people don’t realize that having trouble sleeping and remembering are symptoms of depression. Many people admit to being stressed or overwhelmed but don’t consider themselves depressed. The problem is that stress (psychologists usually call it anxiety) is a risk factor for depression, and depression doesn’t always appear as extreme lethargy and sadness – it often shows up in bodily symptoms.

But the important question is Why are we suffering more with stress now?

Dr.Twenge  suggests in her article in Psychology Today that there three causes of stress:

  • Relationships –  and community ties are weaker
  • Goals –  That all our goals and aspirations are either based on directly or indirectly either gaining More money, Fame or to improve Self-Image. There is nothing wrong in gaining in the previously mentioned things but when your entire existence and life’s success or  failure is dependent on these factors that does cause stress.

It causes stress because all these things are controlled by numerous external factors that are not entirely in our control. So it’s like leaving home for a vacation but without booking a flight, and just hoping everything will align. Just imagine how stressful that would be.

  • Expectations – Our expectations are not exactly aligned personally with us but they are adapted social norms or adapted ideas like “you can be anything you want to be” and if one person can do it then you can to.

There is nothing wrong with these ideas or mindset but now lets try to apply them to real life, If you don’t have a skill, talent or physical capacity to achieve certain expectations then just by thinking you can do it won’t really do it.

There is a theory and then their is real life applications. Theories sound promising, and even dare us to try something new. But the faster we understand that certain things are only theoretically possible either due to application shortcomings or lack of technological advancements they are not applicable in real life.

So just subscribing to one mindset and not adapting to the changing world and upcoming ideas can create more long term stress and eventual depression.

Today we don’t have many how to:

because we wanted this podcast to initiate a discussion about what are other major causes you think are impacting our world today?

Please send us your feedback and responses at hello@jolsid.com along with your twitter handle so we can give you a shout out on this podcast. If you prefer to stay anonymous but would like us to read your feedback on this episode please mention that in your email.

But we would like to summarize today’s podcast with a tiny HOW to:

1-Mingle more and build more relationships with people that impact your life in a positive manner, either over social networks or in person. No matter how you think just go and find your tribe that you feel you belong to the most.

2- Set goals that are more internal and you have control over – for example personal development and ongoing education is something you have control over and it will benefit you no matter what.

3 – Expectations – Set high expectations but be prepared to fail fast and fail often. Always keep adapting to new things. Remember change is the only constant.

We also, have two links to the Stress test below:

 

Sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StressReacting/story?id=4667241

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-changing-culture/201410/why-so-many-people-are-stressed-and-depressed

https://www.psychologytoday.com/experts/jean-m-twenge-phd

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-014-0647-1

http://www.brainfacts.org/across-the-lifespan/stress-and-anxiety/articles/2012/chronic-stress/

http://www.stress.org.uk/stresstest.aspx

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/stress-screener

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