Stress REALLY Does Affect Your Health: More Than You Know
- Stress is like a virus that affects every part of you.
- Stress is easier to manage than you think.
- Reversing the effects of stress is always possible with holistic lifestyle changes.
It is vital to your overall well being and health longevity to reduce every day stresses in your life. Doing so helps your mood, immune functions, enhances longevity and kicks up your productivity. Stress is a natural response within your brain and as result of these responses has a powerful impact on your body.
A lot of people do not realize that most of your negative health symptoms are a result of stress. Stress symptoms and illness are remarkably similar. 75 percent to 90 percent of all doctors’ office visits are related to conditions caused by stress (1) because stress changes our hormones which have a tumble down affect, increasing inflammation and leading to many other health problems.
Stress causes the brain to change chemically and physically and this affects its overall functioning. The higher our stress levels, neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine rise, which causes more adrenaline, for example, to be released by the adrenal glands. These “fight or flight” hormones have an effect on our hearts, immune system and emotional wellbeing. It is not wise to leave stress unmanaged as it can lead to serious problems, like stomach ulcers, stroke, asthma, depression and heart disease.
The many ways that stress can affect you:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Compromised immune system
- Cardiovascular issues
- Stress-induced weight gain Overeating/undereating
- Menstrual issues
- Overactive nervous system
- Increases inflammation
- Disruptive sleep
- Disruptive circadian rhythm
- Excessive glutamate and cell death
- Leaky gut
- Decreases levels of good hormones Increases levels of bad hormones
- Less blood flow in certain regions like your gut and liver
- Neurotransmitters become less sensitive
- Coritisol resistance
- Heart damage
- Muscle tension
- Angry outbursts
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Drug/alcohol misues
- Feeling overhwlemed
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach Upset
- Chronic Pain
- Frequently Sick
- Digestive Issues
- Dry Mouth
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
- Constant worrying
- Racking thoughts
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
- Poor judgment
- Being pessimistic
- Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
- Nervous behaviours like nail biting
- Hair loss
The good news is: You can control your levels of stress.
We all have stress but what is important to recognize in our personal lives is how stress shows up in it. If you have noticed any of the symptoms above, chances are you could improve your life by simple lifestyle changes. Here are some simple changes anyone could make immediately:
- Move around and be active on a regular basis
- Breath fresh air and get sunshine
- Practice relaxation techniques: deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage
- Laugh and enjoy life
- Spend time with people you like and enjoy being around.
- Do things that you actually like: read a book or listen to music
- Eliminate drama from your life or at least do not participate in it.
- Eat better
Try one new thing above every week. Give yourself time to adjust to a new way of being. Know that you are not alone and that stress is a vital part of our lives. Sometimes stress can be good when we can manage it effectively. Let us know what works for you!
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