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Does Your Body Crave Stress?

There are two types of stress; the "good" kind and the "bad" kind. The good kind of stress happens in a short term period and makes you motivated, excited, and inspired-like the first day of your dream job. Bad stress (distress) makes you feel anxious and fearful and puts you in survival mode-like your life is on the line.

When we experience bad stress our bodies can fall into the fight or flight or freeze state. Being in this state constantly can be ultra harmful to your health. Examples would be a suppressed immune system, disrupted digestion, unregulated nervous system, interrupted sleep patterns, decreased work performance, weakened relationships, and further problems.

Dopamine is released in a state of stress like a hit of a drug. Because dopamine makes you feel good, you subconsciously repeat the same behaviors over and over again to feel that rush. This is one of the main factors of addictive behaviors and substance abuse issues. Even just scrolling social media releases a hit of dopamine-theres a reason we can't seem to put our phones down. Our phones and all of the apps we use were made to be addictive!

Other forms of stress addiction can look like:

  • Running from one thing to the next or an overbooked calendar

  • Having a hard time relaxing and doing nothing

  • Finishing peoples sentences

  • Feeling disconnected when you are away from your phone or computer

  • Not being able to turn your mind off at night

  • Worrying about deadlines and there not being enough time in the day

Stress isn't necessarily bad-we need it to survive. However, if you are in a chronic state of stress and can't relax-it is important to pay attention to symptoms so you can work on your stress addiction.

Symptoms like anxiety, increased heart rate, a clenched jaw, migraines, or low energy are all examples of your body trying to tell you to slow down. Simply stepping away from the screen to tune into your 5 senses and take a few deep breathes can do the trick. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, long walks outside, and journaling are also ways to get yourself into a rest and relaxation state.


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