Dr. Galen Buckwalter discusses the short-term impacts of stress in your life and why you should sweat the small stuff.

Stress is unavoidable in everyone’s life. You might be reading this article right now as a quick stress break. Dr. Galen Buckwalter, Chief Science Officer at Payoff, recounts where he feels the most stress in his life — giving talks to 10 or more people.

“I always feel my heart rate increasing and my blood pressure rising before I start a talk of any importance.” He continues, “But for whatever reason, this shy, socially awkward Mennonite farm boy found the whole scene a little much. My vision turned into a tunnel, my mouth became as parched as a desert and my voice cracked on almost every word.”

He even knows the stress he’s feeling can’t really hurt him, but that doesn’t stop his body from acting like it’s in a fight for its life. “… My body starts to react like the audience is a streak of tigers.” Dr. Buckwalter then talks about the dangerous impact this type of stress response can have on your life.

“In fact, it’s entirely possible for people to not only experience a stress response cycle solely in response to one’s own thoughts, but it also appears possible that significant stress disorders such as PTSD could develop without any identifiable physical threat or injury.”

As Chief Science Officer at Payoff, Dr. Buckwalter knows the lack of real understanding about how people deal with stress, especially financial. He says, “When it comes to understanding the myriad of financial stressors impacting almost everyone, in some form or another, we’ve come to realize there’s little information available.” And because nearly 1 out of 4 Americans suffers from Acute Financial Stress (AFS), he knew he had to do something.

“These never-ending stressors are relatively new phenomena for Americans. … But the effect is devastating on our psychological and physical health.”

And that’s how we can start to develop AFS. The results of these constant stresses being, according to Dr. Buckwalter, “… repetitive nightmares, irrational avoidance of financial decisions and loss of the ability to experience emotional intimacy, with immediate negative consequences. And these are just the short-term effects.”

Learn more about the short-term effects of stress in your life and what you can do to combat them by reading Dr. Buckwalter’s post “Short-Term Stress Reactivity: Why We’re Stuck in Overdrive” over on Medium.

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