Stress And Your Health: All Things You Need To Know

Stress And Health

Stress And Health

Stress can be defined to be a kind of strain on your mental health. Biologically, it is a physical, psychological, or emotional factor that causes mental or bodily tension. It is your body reacting to a change or a particular demand and is usually a reaction towards situations your brain considers as potential emergencies.

Although there is a type of positive stress, which is responsible for getting work done and pushing us to achieve our best, it has gained negativity in recent times, and for a good reason. Stress was never meant to stay around in our body for long durations, but the modern and fast-paced world has put us into a permanent phase of change, and some people start to break down under it.

Your Body in Stress

Stress hormones enable the body to go in the ’fight or flight’ mode. The heart rate goes up, and so does the breathing, and the muscles are tensed, ready to go into action. However, this all-natural defense of human anatomy is proving to be degrading for its self. Short bursts of this reaction are reasonable and do not need to be dealt with. The problems arise when it stays around and turns into chronic stress.

How is your Health Affected?

The upkeep of one’s mental health is extremely crucial for the physical body to be in good form. Thus when stress hits hard, a lot of health issues slowly start to surface. Some of them are:

1. Headaches

Migraines and headaches are triggered by stress, and if left untreated, would have the possibility of starting other forms of headaches. These are a result of the brain releasing chemicals to counter a pressed situation, but too many of them cause changes in blood vessels, which eventually bring about the head pains.

2. Increased Depression and Insomnia

It wears the body down tremendously. Depression can be caused due to various reasons, including stress, which could also give it more reason to increase. Similarly, insomnia could have been initiated by depression, and it gets even worse when stress feeds into it too.

3. Breathing Problems

Under stress, the muscles that help in breathing are overly tensed, and when this is drawn out for long periods, they end up feeling breathless.

4. High Blood Pressure

Stress hormones tighten up the blood vessels, and this causes an increase in blood pressure. This, in turn, builds risks for other potential health problems like heart failure and in rare cases, dementia.

5. Heart Issues

As mentioned above, increased blood pressure, coupled with an increased heart rate that persists over a long period, may end up causing heart attacks and failure due to the damage in arteries.

6. Stomach ache and Digestive Complications

Stomach cramps, acidity, heartburns, nausea, poor appetite, or even an overly active appetite; the list of digestive issues caused by stress are long and end up disrupting the flow of life in a harsher way.

7. Organs and Hormones

Stress has the power of rendering a body infertile, as well as completely dissipating the libido. Fluctuating hormones can throw off the menstrual cycle, and in some cases, stop them altogether.

8. Tense Muscles

Keeping muscles strained for a long time would result in permanent aches that would need further treatments. They range from back pains to messing with the body posture in the worst possible way. Chronic pain would become part of daily life, caused purely by stress.

The Treatment

Leaving stress unattended will eventually cause life-threatening problems that would ultimately derail well-being, if not causing sudden death. Medical treatments for all the health issues that arise from stress do help cease the challenge, or at least reduce it. But it wouldn’t be permanent since stress can keep causing repetitive physical and mental burnouts.

The key is to manage stress. There are techniques and tips that, if followed, would help in controlling stress, if not doing away with it for good. There are 3 approaches to managing stress.

Action Oriented

Reducing the noise:

Take time off from gadgets, work, and burdening responsibilities. Unless there is an extremely urgent deadline to meet, or a duty to take care of, taking a break and just experiencing some form of peace would do more for your stress issue than popping headache pills.

Manage your time:

This doesn’t mean that a strict schedule is needed to be followed. But managing life by limiting responsibilities and idle time would provide a healthy balance. Prioritizing and organizing tasks would lessen the reason for say, insomnia.

Be assertive:

Standing up for yourself and communicating your wants and needs to others is often overlooked. Being in charge of your path would result in lesser stress than being a pushover.

Acceptance Oriented

Understand your stress:

Identifying the source of stress and reasoning out why it stresses you is the first step in healing. Tracing back the health problems to its root cause is essential for starting their treatment.

Meditation and Exercise:

The suggestion seems overused at this point, but its potential is not to be ignored. Both of these activities relax the body and brain, and aid to control breathing.

Sleep:

Good uninterrupted sleep doesn’t get as much credit as it should, but the only way the body recharges and rests in a long stretch is by sleep. A good night’s sleep of 8 hours would do wonders for stress and overall health.

Talk it out:

Bottling up the enormous amounts of stress is only going to result in a massive burnout at the end of the day. Sharing problems lighten up the burden, and there is potential for them to be solved, too.

Therapy:

This is the next level of the ‘talk it out’ phase. A professional knows better about helping you deal with your stress and getting your health back into your control. Solutions and a better understanding of the problem can be provided, as well.

It is essential to know that activities like binge-eating, loading up on sugars, chain-smoking, short-term medication for health issues, and merely over-sleeping or ignoring the stress are coping mechanisms. These differ from person to person but are not the solution for stress. These might result in further deterioration of health, which in further cases would increase the stress, and the vicious cycle would go on and on.

Conclusion

Stress and health go hand in hand in various ways. If one of them is not kept in check, the other one starts stirring up complications, although stress is more of the predator here. The world presents us with far too many cases where stress has ended up taking lives, if not damaging one’s mental or physical health permanently. Hence keeping the brain at ease would undoubtedly keep the body’s health at ease, as well.