Looming deadlines, expenditures, irregular sleep and innumerable expectations, did your head hurt too? Well, we can imagine. It's so much on the plate that it feels one is on the point-blank range. Has it ever occur to you how badly stress damages your health, or how fatal its effects are?
Importantly, the majority of industrial accidents are related to stress and personal issues. The good news is - it is still manageable.
It is imperative first to admit that stress is taking a toll on your health. The next step is to be aware of the ways it deters the health. Only then can one take the necessary precautions and measures.
#BeAware - 8 Ways Stress Damages Your Health
Unbearable Chronic Headaches
Chemicals like adrenaline
(epinephrine) and cortisol
are released in response to stress. They can cause vascular changes that may further lead to a migraine or a tension headache. Stress can also make your muscles tense, which results in worsening the pain of a migraine.
Stress hormones fuel an inclination for foods that are full of fat, sugar, and starch. This is so because when we are stressed, we're more likely to reach for sweets and chocolates or crisps to get past the situation. But that's not it. The link between weight gain and stress is far complicated than simply bad food choices.
Stress reaction leads to a rise in insulin levels
and a fall in fat oxidation. As a result, it leads to an increase in fat storage, which further causes health problems like strokes
, high cholesterol
, high blood sugar
, and heart diseases
As per psychological research
, major or chronic stress can affect the structure of the brain that controls emotions and strength of mind. This damage due to stress can make dealing with future stresses even harder. Moreover, it can also affect memory and learning capability of a person.
When you are stressed, your heart pumps faster, which leads to discomfort and uneasiness. At that point of time, the stress hormones (cortisol) can cause your blood vessels to constrict and divert more oxygen to your muscles so that one has sufficient energy to take action. This process raises your blood pressure temporarily.
As a result, it makes your heart work too hard for too long. Moreover, when your blood pressure rises, it also multiplies the risks of having a stroke or heart attack.
Stress causes hyperarousal, a state in which people just don't feel sleepy. According to research
, stress or stressful events are a close call associated with the onset of chronic insomnia.
While insomnia passes once the stress is over, long-term stress can disturb sleep and lead to sleep disorders.
If you are already a patient with type 2 diabetes, stress could be really harmful to you. Stress is known to alter blood glucose levels directly. It majorly affects an individual's blood sugar if any unpleasing event or stressful condition happens.
Sex is one of the most common stress busters. It releases endorphins and other hormones that elevate mood. However, often, tense people have less sex and enjoy it lesser as compared to people who aren't under stress. As a result, it can reduce their sex drive, sometimes leading to sexual dysfunction.
Stress hormones weaken the immune system and reduce your body's response to foreign invaders. People under stress are more prone to viral illnesses like the common cold and the flu, as well as other infections. Besides, stress can also multiply the healing time you take to recover from an illness or injury.
Therefore, often, people are advised to maintain a healthy and hearty environment around the sick.
Quick Tips to Manage Stress
The next time you feel stressful; follow these tips to manage stress.
- Indulge in physical activity. Exercise is one of the most successful methods for managing stress. It can relieve both the physical and emotional effects of stress.
- Try relaxation techniques. Activities such as taking a deep breath, listening to music, meditation, laughing out loud, etc. can help deal with stress very effectively.
- Write it down. When being vocal about your stress is not an option, or there's no one to listen, turn your emotions to paper. Jot down the things that are bothering you. When you write, the negative thoughts are released, and eventually, it will make you feel better.
- Learn to say no. You may find it reluctant to spell a straight no, but it is important at times. Over-working yourself may cause stress.
- Look at the problem and ask yourself, 'Can I do anything about it?' If yes, then put the plan into action. If not, then, let time roll its ball. Over-burdening yourself with what could happen and unnecessary worrying will lead you nowhere.
- Give yourself a break to relax and re-approach. Resuming to a problem or situation with a relaxed mind can make it more deal-able.
- Share your concerns with friends, colleagues, and family. Talk to people you trust about what's on your mind. Even if you're not looking for specific advice, it feels good to let your feelings out into the open.
Stress is inevitable and, TBH, you have to deal with it. Keeping it under the covers may only lead to more damage. Therefore, to manage stress, start by recognising that it exists and then tactfully, address it.