How Does Stress Affect Your Overall Health?


How Does Stress Affect Your Overall Health?

How does stress affect your overall health?

Our health is more important to us than most of us realize. It is one of the most important reasons we are able to live a full and happy life.

While many things set in our path throughout our life’s journey, stress affects us most directly. In overwhelming study after study, stress is intricately linked to our mental and physical wellbeing – to the point that it challenges us in each situation we face every day.

Stress triggers certain responses in the body linked to internal knowledge already in our subconscious which recognizes a threat or impending danger. It is commonly referred to as the fight-or-flight response. Once this is initiated, hormones are released into the bloodstream – most generally adrenalin and cortisol, that cause the heart to speed up its pumping rate. Digestion is slowed and nerve functions are prepared to either flee the scene or face the danger. While our minds realize stress is not such as immediate danger, our bodies do not.

So how does stress affect your overall health?

Repeated exposure to this type of occurrence taxes the body to its limit – our body’s reacting to different stimuli and often producing toxins that drain natural energy resources. As stress taxes (or challenges) the body, it loses the ability to bounce back, and ultimately our health is taxed as well; first the physical, and eventually the mental. It is said that when our body is in smooth transition, we are managing stress carefully. Over time, our social environment suffers, our relationships – physical and spiritual.

The body needs time to recuperate each time it is taxed by stress, but often what happens is we do not get that opportunity. This is especially true of busy people or those under pressure to perform continually. This leads to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and ulcers. We are broken down emotionally.

With some idea of the answer to the question – how does stress affect your overall health – it is therefore important that each of us under more than an occasional bout of stress understands what it is, how it works, and learns how to deal with it in ways that will combat being robbed of health.

How does stress affect your overall health? Now that you have a better understanding, what can you do?

Try drinking teas, such as chamomile, which has a calming effect on the body; and down time – long soaks in the bathtub with scented candles, a massage using oils known for their calming scents, or take walks to help alleviate stress.

Probably the one thing you have the most control over is your own attitude toward the things that are going on around you. While there are countless things we will never have any control over, there are so many more that we can. And the number one thing we can do is turn complaining into a positive. It will take time but the effort will be well worth it as this one thing will change your outlook and, in turn, the way you relate to what is happening.

A smile or a laugh will send a signal which will trigger the release of endorphins – the body’s natural feel good hormone. This holds true of meditation as well. Thirty minutes of this therapy is like getting a couple hours of good sleep; and it works immediately.

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