THE STRESS BUSTERS; It's a Strain We All Endure but These Guys Know How to Beat It
Byline: By Samantha Booth
STRESS now seems to be a normal part of our everyday lives. Holding down a job, bringing up children, paying the bills and dealing with all the different relationships in our lives can send our stress levels soaring. For the first time, scientists have acknowledged it is a real physiological phenomenon which affects your biology and can make you ill. The good news is they now also know how to beat it.
In a new series, The Stress Test, Professor of psychophysiology Angela Clow takes a look at how stress affects different people and helps them develop the skills they need to cope with modern living.
Angela believes people get stressed when they feel unable to deal with events in their lives especially when they feel they are a threat to our self-esteem.
She said: 'It can arise when we worry we are going to fail in our job, when we fret about our relationships, what people say to us and, especially in today's society, because we compare ourselves to other people.'
Stress is triggered by outside events, but has a direct effect on hormone levels and the immune and cardiovascular systems.
In the programme, Angela measures the levels of the cortisol hormone in the system to show how it is affected by stress and the knock-on effects it can have on the body.
Cortisol is not bad for you it's the only hormone your body cannot live without but when stress causes an unhealthy cortisol cycle in your body it can be linked to a range of health problems including strokes, depression, angina, allergies and accelerated cancer progression.
Angela said: 'All the stressed people in the series had high levels of cortisol when they woke up and it went up and down during the day depending on how stressed they were, which is not good, but it was revolutionary to measure it this way. …