Stress has a negative effect on all aspects of our lives. It is important to understand the symptoms of stress and take appropriate steps to manage it.
Today’s life is full of deadlines, demands, and frustrations. For most people, stress has become a way of life. While it can be a motivating force to perform better and complete tasks on time, when the symptoms of stress becomes overwhelming, it can cause severe damage to your health and overall quality of life.
It is defined as the body’s way to respond to a threat or demand. Stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline are released by the nervous system, spurring the body to go on a “fight or flight” syndrome. Stress in a good way equips you to meet the challenges, but after a point it stops being helpful and can lead to extensive damage to your body and mind.
When you repeatedly experience the fight or flight response, it can lead to high blood pressure, increase the risk of stroke and heart ailments, hasten the aging process, weaken the immunity system and make you vulnerable to a range of mental and emotional issues. Chronic stress can lead to a range of symptoms and have an effect on your overall wellbeing and health.
Effects of Stress
Stress affects us every day, whether we are at home or in the office. The effects of chronic stress can be more damaging than what we may know. Here are some ways it affects us physically.
Stressed people often experience more pain in the body than others. People who are tensed may hold themselves in a rigid or stiff manner which in the long run leads to headaches, physical pain, and muscular tension. All these things can cause a person to become increasingly irritable, depressed, frustrated, and more stressed.
Insomnia is one of the major effects of stress. As the mental chatter and anxiety levels refuse to die down it becomes increasingly difficult to let go and relax. When a person is under tremendous pressure, the body is on a red alert and unable to relax.
Stress demands the production of energy. Long period of stress, therefore depletes the body and can leave one feeling burnt out.
Weak immune system
As stress diverts the energy away from the immune system, it can lead to more instances of flu or cold. Also, a weakened immune system is less equipped to fight off cancer cells.
Stress leads the cardiovascular system to work more and this causes the blood vessels to wear out faster. More fat, thus enters into the blood stream to supply energy. This accumulates in the blood vessels and leads to an increase in the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis
Stress causes the digestive system to slow down. Over the time, stress can lead to symptoms such as constipation, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Also, as the digestive system has nerve endings that are connected to the other systems, the negative effects of stress on digestion can be damaging to overall health and vitality.
Stress activates the pancreas, and causes the release of glucagon, which in turn raises blood sugar levels to produce energy. It also leads to an increase in the production of insulin. Over time this can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Stress can lead the hormones to go out of control causing harm to the body. It becomes high in adrenaline, which causes the body to be hyperaware and unable to relax. This can have a damaging effect on the digestive system, heart, nervous system and the brain. This can cause a spike in blood pressure levels, increased anxiety and sleep issues.
Stress can have a big effect on emotional and psychological health as well. It can lead to concentration problems, depression, anxiety, mood swings, eating disorders, and a host of other emotional problems. It can have a lasting effect on relationships, finances, profession and everything else.
How to relieve stress:
Managing stress is essential to lead a healthy and balanced life. There are many ways to relax the body and mind, which will go a long way towards reducing stress. A regular regimen of exercises, breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, and counselling are all proven methods of dealing with stress and its effects.
Identifying the underlying causes of stress and treating them is crucial to manage it better. Due to the damaging symptoms of stress, it is essential to recognize that it is much more than just an emotional or mental feeling. It is a very real physical response in the body, and it is vital to manage stress well to live a healthy life.