Coping with Stress
Being diagnosed with Lupus can not only have a severe physical impact, but also a severe mental one. Similar to any other mechanism to deal with stress, doctors recommend plenty of exercise and finding ways to relax the mind and the body. When the human body experiences stress or faces a stressful situation (being diagnosed with a disease), it releases three types of hormones: Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine. Short term effects of this are minor, but long term effects play a larger role. When the mind is constantly fixed on a problem, heart rate and blood pressure start to rise along with increasing amounts of cortisol. Too much cortisol can lead to chronic issues within the body such as a suppressed immune system, increase in blood pressure and sugar level, decrease in libido, higher amounts of acne, increased risk of obesity and many others. When the body is relaxed and has a “feel good” moment, it releases a hormone called dopamine. Dopamine is said to help improve mood and long-term memory. It can stimulate highly pleasurable feelings in the brain similar to a “runners high” or a strong sense of accomplish after finishing a major project or task. Which one sounds more appealing?