What is Stress? How could it affect your life? 

What is Stress?

Stress is the normal body response to the changes occurring in our lives that result in physical, emotional, and behavioral responses. In actuality, it is your body’s way of responding to any change. 

When we hear the word ‘stress,’ thoughts about anxiety evoke in our minds. However, stress is not all about depression or anxiety. In fact, stress can be positive as it keeps our body alert, motivated and defensive against any situation. For instance, pressure will develop if your exams are coming, forcing you to learn. 

On the contrary, stress can become a problem if it remains for a more extended period without any relaxation break. Thus, it can cause an overwhelmed sense and lead to anxiety and depression. Furthermore, it can severely impact your body’s hormonal system and disturb your life. In addition, it can also affect your ability to think.

How to identify that you are Suffering from Stress?

There are some common symptoms of stress which can help you to investigate whether you are suffering from anxiety or not. Including,

Physical symptoms:

  • Frequent headache
  • Body aches
  • Tachycardia
  • Dizziness or shaking
  • Disturbed sleep patterns

Stress can also affect your mental health. For example, it can lead to the following problems includes,

  • Depression or irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Sadness
  • Panic attacks

Effects of Stress on your Body:

Disruption in Mental Health:

Stress causes severe mental health disruption; in fact, stress and mental health go hand-in-hand. Thus, it reduces your ability to work, enthusiasm towards life, and will to live. Therefore, you should approach any close friend or family member in such conditions.

Furthermore, long-term stress can lead to severe anxiety and depression. If you have reached such an exaggerated condition, you must go to a medical professional for help with managing stress.  

Sleep Insomnia:

Stress can also affect your body’s hormonal system. Thus, when you suffer from stress, it becomes tough to relax because your body produces more adrenaline and cortisol hormones in response to stress, alerting your body. 

Furthermore, it increases the blood flow rate into muscles and organs, which also aids in keeping your body on high alert. Consequently, it converts into sleep insomnia. Due to insomnia, unnecessary thoughts evoke in your mind which can’t let you sleep. Thus, insufficient sleep causes more stress and anxiety. 

The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey that concluded that approximately 43% of people aged 13 to 64 found it difficult to sleep at night once a month. 

Harmful effects on Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems:

When your body experiences stress, it switches into fight-or-flight mode, which triggers your body to release more adrenaline. Consequently, your heartbeat rate increases, making you feel that your heart will beat out of your chest. 

Furthermore, it also raises your blood pressure, resulting in a heart attack or stroke. Moreover, excess release of stress hormones can cause heart or lung disease such as asthma, heart problems, and high blood sugar. 

Weakened the Immune System:

Your body’s immune system is the central defense against diseases. Thus, a robust immune system defines a healthy lifestyle, but stress weakens the natural defense system of our body. Therefore, while suffering from anxiety, our body becomes more vulnerable to diseases such as flu, cold, and other infections.

Furthermore, stress also lengthens the recovery time of an illness. Therefore, it is necessary to boost your immune system by taking a healthy diet and physical exercise. 

Digestive Tract Problems:

During stress, you often suffer from digestive tract problems such as constipation or diarrhea. During high stress, your digestive tract can’t process food properly, which causes constipation or diarrhea, acid, and gas. It can also cause vomiting and nausea. Strenuous stress can also cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Furthermore, the stomach produces excess acid, which can cause acid reflux and heartburn. In addition, under extreme stress conditions, the liver produces more blood glucose to give you energy. However, the body can’t utilize this excess amount of blood glucose. Therefore, the risk of type 2 diabetes may also increase. 

Muscles Aches:

Stress can cause severe muscle stiffness, headache, shoulder pain, and ache. During long-term stress, muscles won’t be able to relax, leading to various problems such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. However, regular exercise and walking can reduce the chances of muscle stiffness and ache.

How to Control Stress?

There are some specific practices through which you can manage and prevent stress. Including,

  • Eat healthy diet
  • Do exercise and go for a walk
  • Practice mindful meditation and yoga
  • Make time for hobbies you enjoy

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