How Stress is affecting your health

How Stress is affecting your health

What is stress?

Stress is a natural reaction to experiences and is your body’s way of protecting you. Beware though, that chronic stress can put your health at risk!

How stress works?

When you are feeling stressed, your central nervous system engages in a “fight or flight” response and releases stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Your brain gets more oxygen and you are able to handle a stressful situation.

Beware of chronic stress!

When you suffer from chronic stress, you may suffer from headaches, insomnia, anxiety and depression, just to name a few. During a stressful situation, your heart will pump faster and if your heart works too hard or for too long, you will increase your risk of hypertension and having a stroke or heart attack. Your liver will also produce extra glucose to give you extra energy, but you may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes if your body cannot handle the extra glucose which is reabsorbed by the body.

When you are under pressure, your muscles will also tighten up and release when you are relaxed. However, constant tight muscles under stressful conditions will cause headaches, back/shoulder aches and you may turn to an unhealthy habit of using pain medication.

Chronic stress may compromise your immune system and you will be more prone to infections and viral illnesses like the common cold.

Dealing with stress

  • Having a good support network to turn to in times of stress is important as simply talking face to face with another person will release hormones that reduce stress.

  • Eat healthy by including vegetables and fruits in your diet and reducing your intake of caffeine, sugar and alcohol. A well-nourished body will be able to cope better with stress.

  • Exercise regularly to manage stress and to balance your nervous system. Try mediation activities such as yoga to relax your mind and body as well.

  • Get sufficient sleep to manage yourself better and think rationally in stressful situations.


 



 

 
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