xConnectNW 111 - Stress, It's Hurting Us

On this episode of xConnectNW we sit down with Dr. Dennis Garcia to talk about what stress does to our body, how dangerous it could be for our health and how we can cope with stress in a positive way.
Producer: Kanale Rhoden
Online Version: Kanale Rhoden, Director/Producer & Destiny Liley, Associate Producer
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 | 6:00 p.m.

Medical Director of Washington State University's Health and Wellness, Dr. Dennis Garcia, has over 24 years of medical expertise and serves for both the Pullman Regional Hospital and Health and Wellness Services on the Pullman campus of WSU.

When it comes to stress, one thing Dr. Garcia says to his patients is “We all have stress. If we didn’t have stress, we’d be dead.” Dr Garcia describes stress as the “flight or fight phenomenon,” and the brain’s response to demand which can be physical and/or emotional. Physically, when your body is stressed, you’ll have dilated blood vessels, increased heart rate, among other indicators.

In order to tolerate stress levels, Dr. Garcia suggests that stress can be categorized into three different levels: mild, moderate and extreme. Dr. Garcia says that avoiding junk foods, drugs, stimulants and alcohol as well as regular exercise and leisure activities can manage a tolerance of stress. He also goes into detail about creation of oxidants and super-oxides that can have negative effects on your health and make you more susceptible to viruses and illnesses. Dr. Garcia also touches on the effects of stress on mental health and how stress can lead to: depression, insomnia, panic disorders and aggressive attitudes.

Minimal caffeine intake, B-vitamins, fresh fruits and vegetables are all foods Dr. Garcia recommends to help prevent stress. Meditation activities like yoga and tai chi are things that can be done at home and are recommended to distress. Going on walks or even doing simpler things like going to an enjoyable movie are also ways to distress.

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