Did you wake up this morning feeling a little stressed out? All of us experience stress sometimes and we all know that stress is disastrous for our health, right? Not only that. Too much stress can make our journey through life difficult. It's like lugging a backpack that's becoming heavier by the minute. Frankly, it’s annoying.
You might think since we always feel it, stress is something to accept. It might only increase our tolerance over time, however, there are still consequences when our stress level exceeds our ability to cope. It may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. Even our culture has accustomed us to minimize stress and avoid it by any means.
The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. When you’re faced with stress, certain chemicals (hormones) in your body are released. Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, it has a really negative impact on your mind and body. This kind of impact is something you want to avoid by all means.
- Weakens Immune System
Stress hormones will weaken your immune system and reduce your body’s response to foreign invaders. It makes you more vulnerable to catching infections and getting sick. It also takes you longer to recover from illnesses.
- Deteriorate Mood and Relationships
There may be times that you may feel the need for crying or breaking things to relieve stress. It is because of constant tension that makes you less patient and more irritable, less able to focus on things that are important, and will impact the way you perceive the world and yourself.
- Prevent Better Self Esteem
Feeling unconfident about yourself is another psychological effect that can happen when under stress. It tends us to feel like failures and can affect how we think of ourselves in the long run.
If we’re already in a bad mood and we think we don’t amount to much, our will to take care of our responsibilities will suffer as well. Stress can hinder us from attaining our maximum potential whether it’s at work or home.
- Hinder A Better Lifestyle
Over time, stress can set off an unhealthy cycle as you stop exercising and turn to pain medication for relief.
- Increases Mental Illness
The stress response that keeps firing, day after day could put your mental health at serious risk. It plays a role in the development of mental disorders such as depression and various emotional disorders. Such stress creates more myelin-producing cells, but fewer neurons than normal. This disruption interferes with the timing and balance of communication.
- Becoming Unattractive
Stress can wreak havoc on our faces and bodies, aging us faster than a lifetime of smoking and bad eating habits. When your body produces more stress hormones, it causes an increase in oil production. Your skin becomes more sensitive and oily, which over time can cause acne.
- Excessive Hair Fall Out
Stress can cause telogen effluvium. It is a condition that occurs when a large number of hair follicles are pushed into the resting phase. Prolonged periods of high stress can also lead to Alopecia areata, which happens when the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss.
- Slow Metabolism
We are more likely to overeat at times of stress. Normally, foods high in carbohydrates and sugars make us feel good because they release dopamine. It also increases our cortisol levels that store more visceral fat, the ‘deep’ fat stored further underneath the skin and around the organs linked to metabolic diseases and increased inflammation.
- Body Pain
Your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury when you’re stressed. They tend to release again once you relax. If you’re always under stress your muscles might not get the chance to relax. Tight muscles can lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain, headaches, and body aches.
While stress is certainly a part of life that cannot be avoided in many cases, learning about the effects of stress on the body and how to manage stress will help you to feel happier and healthier in the long run.
What Can You Do Now?
Believe it or not, you can simply avoid a lot of stress. You can opt for something simple like breathing exercises or getting a massage. There are also massage devices that you can do at home such as Medcursor Massage Products. You can even start a more active lifestyle by going to the gym or taking up a new sport.
If you're not sure if stress is the cause or if you've taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor.