Stress Awareness Month – 1st – 30th April 2017 – the importance of water
Stress Awareness Month has been actively running since 1992 and is a bigger than ever event as the years go by. Healthcare professionals meet to discuss the effects of stress on the human body, and various methods of relieving this syndrome. Statistics show that 1 in 5 visits to a doctors surgery are stress related (this includes the knock-on effects that stress causes to the body).
The modern stress epidemic is a major source of concern for all aspects of the health service in the UK. It has apparently reached such a high level due to the demanding lifestyles that most of us lead. Coping with stress can be devastating to the individual and to families around them, and can lead to people not being able to cope with even the slightest problem without it seeming a mountain to climb.
Individuals who do not suffer from stress, simply don’t understand it, and this can be a contentious issue in the workplace and the family environment.
Water – a potential salvation for stress
Managing stress will always be difficult for most, but there is a potential relief in the form of water. It is not ‘cure all’, but it will certainly help this debilitating illness – and yes, it is an illness. Water will not make your problems go away and it certainly won’t pay your bills, but coping with stress is small steps all of the way. Water is a relatively cheap commodity in the UK, so it won’t add to your stress of money worries.
Dehydration when under stress is a common factor within sufferers. Stress, caused by the release of too much cortisol, the stress hormone, will make your heart rate go off the scale, your breathing become more rapid and heavy – this automatically creates loss of fluid as your organs are having to work so hard to keep up. It is imperative to stay in a hydrated situation as you will only increase the stress in your body if you don’t drink – just a small amount of fluid loss (around ½ litre) will increase cortisol levels and your body will react to it, in ever increasing circles. Considering that a lot of people don’t have enough fluid intake anyway, this is a potentially dangerous situation. As this is a vice-versa situation (ie. stress causes dehydration, dehydration causes stress), water is paramount to break the cycle.
During stressful times, you are even more likely to lose track of what you have eaten or drank, so fluids and hydrating foods are essential in order for you to perform both physically and mentally.
The ‘Knock-on effects’
Stress could be only the beginning of further complications in your life and cause the lack of vital nutrients in your body. Here are some instances where water is essential in the treatment of stress and the knock-on effects.
Stress can lead to depression. Drinking enough water will keep the body replenished and keep the supply of serotonin (neurotransmitter that affects moods) at the correct level.
Stress often causes sleeplessness. In order to produce melatonin, (sleep regulator hormone) you must have a supply of water at the right intake.
Under stress, you can frequently suffer from lack of concentration due to the many tasks you feel you have to overcome. Good water supply to the brain is essential to allow you to retain and process new information and handle current and new projects as they appear.
For more information on Stress, anxiety and depression take a look at the Moodzone on the NHS website – click here