Justin Ian Chia
Jun 21 · 5 min read
Source: Pexels

by Justin Ian Chia

To commemorate brain health awareness this month, HiDoc Pulse presents brain care you can share. Download our app to experience specialist healthcare with the ease of a phone call.

We’ve all heard it: stress is the silent killer that we can’t seem to get away from. But while everyone feels it, mastering stress management is what separates the good from toxic effects it can produce. HiDoc Pulse shows you, in this first of our two-part series, what stress is.

We all feel it: whether stuck in traffic, burning out at work or fretting over your child’s exams. What is not normal, however, is for stress to eclipse your moods and behaviour, and compel you to withdraw from friends, or binge on food or alcohol. HiDoc Pulse helps you get in sync with your stress levels with this two-minute quiz:

Stress Test 1: Just how well do you know stress?

1. A slight degree of stress can actually benefit you.

a. True

b. False

2. Which of these stressors can compromise your immune system?

a. Taxing physical labour

b. Frustration and dissatisfaction at work

c. Quarrels with a loved one

d. All of the above

3. Which of these physical symptoms signal that your stress levels are excessive?

a. Constant bouts of insomnia

b. Frequent stomach cramps

c. Chronic back pain

d. All of the above

4. Frequent exposure to emotional stress leaves you vulnerable to all of the following medical conditions EXCEPT:

a. Cardiovascular (heart) disease

b. Peptic (stomach) ulcers

c. Influenza (flu) and Colds

d. Hypertension

5. Which strategy is best at managing stress?

a. Vent your anger and frustration when emotions threaten to boil over

b. Be stoic and accept whatever comes, good or bad

c. Socialise with family and friends by going for walks together

d. Sleep as much as possible so you’re rested


Answers:

1. A slight degree of stress can be beneficial for you.

The correct answer is: a. True

HiDoc Pulse says: Stress is an automatic physical response to a challenging event, and part of everyday life. When constructively directed, mild amounts can actually benefit us by spurring us into action as well as motivating and energising us to complete our intended tasks.

2. Which of these stressors can compromise your immune system?

The correct answer is: d. All of the above (Taxing physical labour; frustration; dissatisfaction at work; quarrels with a loved one)

HiDoc Pulse says: The brain and immune system constantly communicate to maintain the body’s wellbeing, but any form of stress can upset this relationship. If we don’t manage our responses to stressors such as those above, our immune systems will be compromised and be locked in a series of hormonal battles that can lead to severe health issues such as diabetes and hypertension.

3. Which of these physical symptoms signal that your stress levels are excessive?

The correct answer is: d. All of the above (Constant bouts of insomnia; Frequent stomach cramps; and Chronic back pain)

HiDoc Pulse says: When you are overly stressed out, your body is thrown out of sync. Certain mild conditions can be exacerbated and turn chronic. Other physical symptoms of excessive stress include chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhea, indigestion and severe headaches.

4. Frequent exposure to emotional stress leaves you vulnerable to all of the following medical conditions EXCEPT:

The correct answer is: b. Peptic (stomach) ulcers

HiDoc Pulse says: Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. Stomach pain is the most common symptom of peptic ulcer. Stress is a risk factor for peptic ulcers and can exacerbate its symptoms. However, stress does not cause peptic ulcers. Bacterial infections or long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications — such as aspirin or ibuprofen — are the primary causes of peptic ulcers.

5. Which strategy is best at managing stress?

The correct answer is: c. Socialise with family and friends by going for walks together

HiDoc Pulse says: Two of the best ways to manage stress — spend quality time with family and friends, and get regular physical activity. Why not combine both: cultivate your personal relationships to build a strong support network that can help you keep a healthy perspective on problems. Walking and other forms of moderate aerobic exercise also help to stabilise your mood, so you cope better with depressive symptoms by reducing the intensity of your emotions in a calm manner. The other three strategies may work to relieve stress in that moment but may cause harm in the long-term. Venting to reduce anger can be akin to putting out a fire using gasoline. Passivity can develop into an automatic response to avoid conflict and submerge negative emotions. This leaves the stressful situation or experience unaddressed and could lead to further stress and harm. Excessive amounts of sleep expose you to the same risks as sleeping too little, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. People who sleep excessively have higher overall mortality risks, as do people who sleep too little.


NB. Don’t miss next week’s instalment of our stress quiz. Sign up to HiDoc Pulse to stay in touch with health information that empowers, strengthens and inspires. If you ever experience increasingly severe signs and symptoms of mental health issues, consult with a HiDoc specialist immediately. Download the HiDoc app now to access our health screening services, book a consultation with a specialist, or find a supplement that’s right for you at HiDoc’s in-app eShop.

Medical Disclaimer: Content in HiDoc Pulse, including text, images, audio, or any other formats not specified here, is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information found on HiDoc Pulse for diagnosing or treating medical or health conditions of any kind. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem or condition which needs to be addressed, please contact your professional healthcare provider.

HiDoc Pulse

A collection of health, wellness and lifestyle reads.

Justin Ian Chia

Written by

Specialises in the crafting of branded content to increase customer engagement at Verra Asia, where we support HiDoc in bringing simplified wellness to all.

HiDoc Pulse

A collection of health, wellness and lifestyle reads.

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