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Health Self Care Work

Chronic stress recovery

4 elements of recovery activities:

  1. Psychological detachment
  2. Relaxation
  3. Mastery
  4. Control (choosing how to spend your time and doing things the way you want to do them)

Citing:

Sonnentag S, Fritz C. The Recovery Experience Questionnaire: development and validation of a measure for assessing recuperation and unwinding from work. J Occup Health Psychol. 2007 Jul;12(3):204-21. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.12.3.204. PMID: 17638488. (No free full text)

Cortisol levels may actually be low in chronic stress due to:

  • Desensitization of the receptors that interact with cortisol
  • Exhausted secretion of cortisol
  • Enhancement of the negative feedback loop process

Citing:

Hannibal, K. E., & Bishop, M. D. (2014). Chronic stress, cortisol dysfunction, and pain: a psychoneuroendocrine rationale for stress management in pain rehabilitation. Physical therapy, 94(12), 1816-1825.

Fries, Eva, Judith Hesse, Juliane Hellhammer, and Dirk H. Hellhammer. “A new view on hypocortisolism.” Psychoneuroendocrinology 30, no. 10 (2005): 1010-1016.

(See also:

Fiksdal, Alexander & Thoma, Myriam & Hanlin, Luke & St. Pierre, Danielle & Chen, Xuejie & Rohleder, Nicolas. (2017). Chronic stress moderates late phase cortisol recovery from acute stress.

–> Chronic stress was evaluated using the Trier Chronic Stress Inventory (TICS) )

Recommend keeping consistent sleep and wake times to reinforce the normal pattern of cortisol release that is supposed to happen when you wake up.

(See also:

Duan H, Yuan Y, Zhang L, Qin S, Zhang K, Buchanan TW, Wu J. Chronic stress exposure decreases the cortisol awakening response in healthy young men. Stress. 2013 Nov;16(6):630-7. doi: 10.3109/10253890.2013.840579. Epub 2013 Oct 1. PMID: 23992539.)

Good explanation of adrenal dysfunction:

4 Secret Tips to Improve Adrenal Dysfunction

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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