3 Stages of Stress

The Resistance Stage:

The resistance stage is the second stage of the stress response. In the first phase, the alarm phase, your body is preparing for immediate action.

If stress levels remain high for extended periods then your body will begin to prepare for long term protection of stress by secreting hormones that increase blood sugar levels to sustain energy and raise blood pressure.

This is the resistance phase. In this phase cortisol continues to increase and DHEA begins to decline. Over time high cortisol levels can destroy healthy muscle and bone, impair the immune system, slow down metabolism and mental function.

Exposure to prolonged periods of stress leads to fatigue, concentration lapses, irritability and lethargy. You may experience anxiety or panic attacks, feel extremely stressed out and have sleep disturbances such as difficulty waking up in the morning or falling asleep at night.

This stage may result from one bout of stress that is never resolved or after the accumulation of many small day-to-day stressors.

The resistance stage can leave you feeling depressed, stripped of confidence, and with little or no idea of how to improve your situation. If you recognize these signs in yourself, then it’s time to stop, take much needed vacation or retreat to decompress and take care of yourself.

If you do not, you may simply drift into the third phase of stress – Fatigue where the body’s resources are gradually depleted.

Next: Adrenal fatigue

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