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How Does Stress Affect Health

by Ana

What is Stress?

Stress is the body’s reaction to any action that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts against these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress is a normal thing in life every human being suffers stress at any point of life. Many events that take place around us — and many things that we do ourselves — exert stress on our body. One can experience stress from environment, body, and from own thoughts.

Stress does affect health

Nature has designed human body in such a way that can experience stress and react to it accordingly. Stress can be positive that keeps us alert and makes us to sense any danger. Stress gets nasty when a person faces continuous challenges without any relief or relaxation between challenges. Consequently, the person becomes overworked, and stress-related tension builds.

Stress can be a major factor of depression. Even as, depression can be decreased with drugs, it’s much better to eliminate the root cause of the stress that is leading to it. When our body is stressed, our immune system is stretched and many diseases can manifest when our body is under too much stress. Stress triggers both physical and chemical changes in our bodies and makes us more likely to get sick. It can make problems worse which we already have. It can play a potent role in these problems
• trouble sleeping
• headaches
• constipation
• diarrhea
• poor concentration
• eating too much or not at all
• anger
• sadness
• higher risk of asthma and arthritis
• gastric ulcer
• skin problems, like hives
• depression
• anxiety
• weight gain or loss
• cardiac problems
• hypertension
• IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
• diabetes
• neck or back pain or both
• lesser sexual desire
• harder to conceive

Ways to minimize stress

Don’t let stress make you sick. Sometime we bear higher burden of stress than we should and often we become unaware of our stress levels. Listen to your body, so that you know when stress is affecting your health. Here are ways to handle stress.

  • Relax. Each person has its own way to relax. Some ways include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. If you are unable to do this, take a few minutes to sit, listen to soothing music, or read a book.
  • Sleep. Sleeping is a great way to help both your body and mind. Stress could get worse with the lack ness of sleep. With enough sleep, one can tackle problems and lowers the risk of illness. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
  • Eat right. Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Eat whole-grains, such as wheat breads and wheat crackers. Don’t be fooled by the jolt you get from caffeine or sugar.
  • Get moving. Physical activity not only helps to relieve tense muscles, but elevate mood too. Body produces certain chemicals, called endorphins, before and after you work out. These substances mitigate stress and improve your mood.
  • Talk to friends. Friends are good listeners, talk to your friends, they can help to reduce your stress. It is also helpful to hear a different school of thoughts. Friends will encourage you and would remind you that you’re not alone.
  • Get professional’s help if needed. A therapist can help you work through stress and find best ways to deal with problems. For more serious stress related disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), therapy can be useful. Medications are also available that ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and promote sleep.
  • Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways. This includes too much drinking alcohol, using drugs, excessive smoking, or overeating. These will only add fuel to fire.

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1 comment

Drax2004 September 22, 2008 - 8:32 pm

I personally feel that all the root causes for our illness is happening because of stress. And that too in the changed and fast paced lifestyle, stress plays a major role for sure. Stress can be controlled by yoga and tai chi easily.

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