Stress is a mental or emotional strain that results from pressuring or demanding circumstances. Our bodies react differently to certain conditions. Most of the reactions take a toll on us negatively. It is, therefore, important to understand how detrimental stress can be to our bodies and our general health. Below are some of the effects of stress.
Central Nervous System
The central nervous system is responsible for how you respond to stress; usually by fight or flight. It leads to the production of adrenaline and cortisol hormones bound to attack the source of stress. If the stressor hasn’t been controlled the system is adversely affected, resulting in anxiety, irritability, and depression.
Under stress, your liver produces extra stored glucose in your body to back up the energy requirement to deal with stress. If the pressure is extensive, your body is not able to regulate the sugar levels posing a high risk of developing type 2 Diabetes. The effects of this are acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, and stomachaches. A simple remedy would be to drink lots of water.
Chronic stress affects your reproductive system by causing increased production of hormones like testosterone. The hormone increases sexual arousal in males while in females stress affects the menstrual cycle leading to painful irregular periods or no menstruation. Chronic stress may stimulate the physical attributes of menopause.
Respiratory and Cardiovascular System
Under tension, your heart beats faster. You breathe harder to supply more oxygen to the brain. The stress hormones cause an increase in your blood pressure. These involuntary actions help your body to face and deal with the stressing factor. However, uncontrolled stress may lead to respiratory conditions like breathlessness. Repeated exposure poses a risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke.
When faced with tension, your muscles tighten up to prepare you to take action against the stressing factor. Usually, your muscles should relax with control of the stressor. Constant exposure to stress may lead to headaches, back- and shoulder pains.
Stress hormones such as cortisol results to increase in the urge to eat more. Most people shift to comfort food when stressed. Food indulgence leads to extra fat storage in the body causing uncontrolled weight gain. For some, the hormone causes decreased feeding which may result in weight loss, malnutrition and other nutrition conditions.
Insomnia is the lack of sleep. According to health.com, stress causes hyper-arousal- a mental condition of not feeling the need to sleep. Long-term exposure to stressing factors may lead to sleeping disorders.
The effects of stress on the skin may be familiar to most of us. Acute zits occur on the face especially on the forehead in stressing situations. People suffering from acne tend to get outbreaks under stress more than in normal conditions.
As we learned above, stress remarkably affects our mental functionality. You frequently get distractions when working due to mental instability. Stressful situations may lead to poor decision making when trying to cope with stress demands.
How to Deal With Stress
Stress is a part of our day to day life. We may not eliminate it entirely in our lives. However, we can avoid situations that predispose us to stress or learn how to control it. These tips may be of use in maintaining a stress-free lifestyle.
● Understand the source of stress
● Manage your time accordingly
● Adopting healthy habits e.g. eating healthy foods
● Ensure you get enough sleep
● Balance your family, work, and personal needs
● Create a strong support system from family, friends, or co-workers
● Change negative perceptions
Whether its inability to meet a certain need, loss of a job, or frustration from friends we ought to choose what affects our lives. We should learn to accept irreversible situations and adapt to them if we have to. An assertive mind will help you deal with daily pressures and deal with each stressor one at a time.
Sarah is the editor of relaxeveryday. Finding aromatherapy in a stressful point in her life made all the difference to her health. She promotes a healthy and relaxed life, and want to help others in their strive for a calmer life.
*Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Zensorium.
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