Stress REALLY Does Affect Your Health: More Than You Know

Harmony's Notes:
*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.

Stress shows up in our lives as an emotional or physical tension. Events or thoughts in our lives create feelings of frustration, anger or nervousness.

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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