Stress has become synonymous with the modern way of living. Unfortunately, most people take this emotional reaction lightly, as they consider it to be part of the human experience.
While stress is an important stimulus to keep people going, it can be detrimental for your body when it becomes chronic. Even if you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and visit the doctor when necessary, living with chronic stress will eventually damage your mental and physical health.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about how stress impacts your health. First, let us quickly differentiate between good and bad stress.
Good stress Vs. Bad stress
Healthy stress is indispensable for the survival of our species. Take stress out of life’s equation, and you will end up with people who never get anything done. We simply need stress to prepare for exams, perform our jobs, and live a healthier lifestyle.
Sadly, our new lifestyle has modified this response for the worse. So, instead of experiencing stress during worthy situations, we are currently living with this emotional reaction.
This leads to elevated levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, for many years. In the caveman lifestyle, this is the equivalent of running from a bear for decades instead of a few minutes.
The next sections will discuss the possible effects of stress on the human body.
The effects of stress on your body
1. Diminished productivity
When you live in constant stress, your productivity plummets. You can no longer be creative or come up with innovative solutions to problems.
In fact, company leaders managed to significantly improve their employees’ output by investing in stress-relieving activities, such as group yoga, meditation, and individual counseling.
2. Eating disorders
As emotional creatures, human behavior is controlled by emotions. For instance, stressful times may lead a group of people to stop eating whereas others will indulge in binge-eating.
For this reason, people with a stressful lifestyle gain weight gradually but consistently.
Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from this issue, which is exacerbated by their sedentary lifestyle.
3. Sleep disorders
Chronic stress can cause several sleep disorders (e.g., insomnia, hypersomnia). This will mess up your biological clock.
Sleep disorders will cause your hormones to get out of whack, which precipitates several health problems. Scientists are still unclear about the mechanisms that push this process.
A commonly believed theory is that sleep disorders worsen the status of stress hormones, eventually interfering with the normal functioning of your organs.
We should note that chronic stress is also responsible for some mental illnesses, especially generalized anxiety disorder and depression.
Chronic psychological stress is an important trigger of various diseases through several mechanisms. Investing in stress-relieving techniques is indispensable to prevent diseases.
Hopefully, we’ve managed to convince you of the potential damage that stress inflicts on physical and mental health.
Here’s to your health!
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Dr. Kevin Crawford