How Stress Affects Your Body

While stress is normal and the body is equipped to be able to handle it, people often do not realize the impact that prolonged stress can have on their body. Chronic stress could be attributed to a number of factors such as a sick family member, financial trouble, work problems, moving to a new city, negative life events and much more.

Photo: seaternity

 

In dangerous situations, stress can actually be a good thing. More oxygen is released to your brain, your pulse quickens and you breathe faster allowing you to act quick to try and survive. However, prolonged stress with no break can prove to be detrimental to your health. According to the American Institute of Stress, 75 - 90 percent of visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. 

Chronic stress can cause:

  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Heart Attack
  • Stomach Ache
  • Back/Neck Pain
  • Heart Burn
  • Infertility
  • High Blood Pressure

Stress can also lead to mood swings, overeating or not eating enough, premature aging, alcohol abuse and insomnia. The negative effects that stress has on your body usually builds up over time and goes unnoticed for a long period of time. That is why it is important to be aware when you're stressing and do something about it.

Do not underestimate how much your physical health is affected by what's going on mentally. When we feel stressed, even our immune system is compromised making us more susceptible to colds.

What Should I Do When I Feel Stressed? 

  • Seek help from a qualified mental health care provider if you are having suicidal thoughts, feeling overwhelmed with life or using drugs/alcohol as a substitute for help
  • Find a positive outlet to decompress such as volunteering weekly, taking more time to do things you enjoy or spending time with family and friends
  • Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Try taking a walk outside or going for a swim. 
  • Take a break from social media and constantly checking your phone. Sometimes all we need is an hour away from our gadgets to calm ourselves down. Leave your phone at home when you go for a walk or leave it in your room while you eat dinner. Even a short break away is enough to relax you
  • Getting too many projects handed to you at work? Learn to speak up when you're feeling overwhelmed and like you can't handle anymore. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your workload and what you need to be able to stay healthy while you do your job
  • Visit your doctor for a check up when you feel like you have been stressed for awhile
  • Make an effort to solve problems that are causing you to be stressed. For example, if your daily commute to work is really affecting you then try searching for somewhere to live that is closer to work. Moving to a new city and feeling overwhelmed with packing? Ask a few of your friends to help.

Check out this blog post for more tips on how to manage your stress levels.

 

Tell us, what do you do when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out?

 

 

 

 



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