The stress increases in our modern lifestyle

Lifestyle disease stress

When it comes to the disease of civilization, most people think that everyone is responsible for it. Diseases of civilization are often associated with an unhealthy lifestyle: an unhealthy diet, too little exercise, smoking and alcohol. Often people also speak of so-called affluence diseases.

The WHO has even drawn up a global action plan against the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles. The goal is to reduce the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases by a quarter by 2025. To achieve this, the WHO formulates the following goals:

  • Reducing tobacco use
  • Ban on tobacco advertising
  • Excessive alcohol consumption should be reduced
  • Replacing trans fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids in food
  • Restricting or banning the advertising of alcoholic beverages and nutrition and exercise programs for the population.

The exact causes of lifestyle diseases are still controversial in research. Not just one single factor is likely to be responsible here. Personal lifestyle, environmental factors such as daily electronic radiation, exhaust fumes and genetic disposition are likely to be the main reasons for these diseases.

Stress is the No. 1 widespread disease

Stress is likely to be one of the most widespread diseases of civilization in industrialized nations today and is responsible for premature retirement from working life.

According to the WHO, too little exercise, working too long combined with stress from high workloads lead to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes and even obesity.
Mental illnesses are also becoming more common and increasing. They now rank first among the reasons for occupational disability. Cancer diseases are also increasing, according to the WHO study. The WHO forecasts show that there is an urgent need for action to stop these diseases.

The following circumstance is also noteworthy about the WHO study: While clear goals are set for unhealthy nutrition, tobacco and alcohol, so far neither a goal, a plan nor any advice has been formulated on how to combat the most widespread disease of civilization, stress .

The development of stress-related diseases

The current “Psychoreport 2019” by the DAK shows: The number of reported mental illnesses has tripled in a good twenty years. Above all, depression - triggered by stress - is on the rise.

If stress is permanent and permanent, depression can develop, for example, says Sabine Winterstein, specialist in occupational health management at DAK Gesundheit.

Yes, our performance society takes its toll, and those affected are often silent, shame and the fear of losing their job are the most common reasons for this. Now it is like this: The media is replete with good advice on how to avoid or reduce stress. Entire groups of experts deal with the topic and want to declare war on the stress hormone cortisol.

Cortisol is a primary stress hormone that is released by the adrenal cortex and is even vital. The only problem is, if you are constantly under tension, the body is producing too much cortisol. And another problem, many do not even know that they are under constant stress and would even deny it.

What does sleep have to do with stress?

There is an irrefutable indicator of stress, sleep. The increased cortisol level inevitably leads to sleep problems and a significantly reduced quality of sleep. If the cortisol level is increased in the evening, the head is in a kind of constant alert.

You do not have a restful sleep, wake up more often at night and find it difficult to fall asleep again. You lack the deep sleep that your body needs to regenerate, and so your stress level increases steadily.

Here's the proof: According to the health report, sleep disorders among working people aged 35 to 65 have increased by 66 percent from 2010 to the present day. According to the information, 80 percent of working people have sleep problems, which is extrapolated to around 34 million people, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Spiegel and the DAK.

The DAK notes that the lack of sleep can lead to cardiovascular diseases, anxiety disorders and depression. Even 35 percent of those in employment over the age of 18 stated that they had difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at least three times a week.

Recognize an increased stress level

Our conclusion: If you sleep poorly, you often don't have a sleep problem, but a stress problem. So there is a causal relationship between insomnia and stress that one often does not want to see. And yes, stress has become a widespread disease.

And what do the experts say: Jörg Lindemann from the Ulm Sleep Laboratory expresses himself cautiously: “But insomnia is often about society's home-made problems.” Andreas Storm, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit said: “Many people worry about full batteries at night on their smartphones, but they can no longer charge their own batteries. "

The high demands of working life are responsible for the development of stress and burnout syndrome. It can be said that there is an indispensable connection between the emergence of stress and the “modern” world of work in the industrialized nations.

Not only managers and executives are affected because it is assumed that they have to work a lot anyway and have a lot of responsibility. No, today all of society is stressed. An assembly line employee who has to pack parcels every second should be as nervous at the end of the day as a doctor who has to handle patients every minute. Conclusion: All professional groups are affected, as the time pressure is constantly increasing.

And it is getting worse and worse, as many employees constantly work on weekends and also have to be constantly available by email. It is not for nothing that many people are already worried about how the digitization of the world of work will continue and what effects this will have on their health. And these worries are justified.

Symptoms of Stress - What Help?

If you google the topic of stress, you will immediately see hundreds of articles dealing with the symptoms of stress. You can read here that agitation and time pressure are poison for the stomach and intestines. Since they always have their cell phones on their ears, you should do some stretching, and lavender oil should help you sleep better.

Magnesium is said to relax your muscles and nerves in a beneficial way and lead to a deep sleep. And because your energy store is empty, eat an apple, no kidding. You should fight your constant stress with the mood-enhancing medicinal plant St. John's wort.

Furthermore, you should take frequent breaks, take time for the important things and for yourself, think positively and eat the right thing. Finally, there is one more piece of advice: keep a record of everything you do. We don't want to comment on the whole thing here, there are many pieces of advice.

The following are generalities such as: Pay attention to your well-being and satisfaction in life, change your lifestyle, exercise regularly, take on a hobby and don't forget your stress management. So you will certainly not get rid of the stress, even if it is of course true that exercise clears your head and can reduce stress.

A study by the Faculty of Medicine, Stanford University, for example, showed that gentle sports such as yoga or meditation lead to a reduction in cortisol levels. That's a start.

If you experience stress-related depression, remember that depression is a condition that needs treatment and affects a large number of people. Go to the doctor or find out more from your health insurance company.