Mental Health Awareness Month: Understanding the Biology of Stress

Posted by in Tip of the week

We use the word ‘stress’ so much that it’s not always clear what we mean. There’s good stress and bad stress. Biologically speaking, stress is necessary for our existence. Our ‘stress response’ is designed to help us avoid danger. However, today many people have constant environmental stressors that keep them perpetually in the stress response. This is when stress becomes problematic, but there are strategies to help you deal with stress!

The biology of stress

Stress is your body’s response to demanding and threatening situations. Your brain releases chemicals that turn on the stress response to help your body prepare to take physical action. You sweat, your breathing quickens, your heart rate increases and your muscles tense. However, in modern society we don’t often handle stressful situations with a physical response. This is when stress can cause us more harm than good.

Symptoms of prolonged stress

Extended periods of stress can cause a myriad of physical and mental symptoms:

  • Tense muscles
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Insomnia
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in digestion
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • Negative attitude
  • Anxiety

Belty can help

Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but left unchecked can seriously damage your physical and mental health. It’s easy to neglect your self-care, when you are balancing work, family and more. We designed Belty Good Vibes to be your personal wellness buddy. It reminds you to walk a little faster, move more often and develop healthy habits – so you don’t have to. Whether it’s short naps, breathing exercises or a brisk walk that helps you reduce stress – Belty can help you stay on track.