21 October, 2020
Effects of Stress on Your Body

How does stress affect your body

 

“Webster’s Dictionary” defines stress as “a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes physical or mental stress, which may be the cause of illness.”

The “tension” caused by pressure can achieve the goal. Sometimes our body needs a certain level of tension to help us achieve goals, solve problems, adapt to challenges and help us maintain resilience.

A healthy stress response can also protect us from danger, and in some cases, can save lives!

However, as the definition implies, stress “may be a factor in disease.” In fact, research cited by the American Institute of Stress estimates that 75-90% of all primary care doctor visits are stress-related reasons.

So why does stress cause so many problems?

Let’s see how stress affects your body.

Short-term effects of stress

Your body has a built-in response to fighting or avoiding stress, which is really excellent.

Imagine a situation where you encounter a threat. Almost instantly, the hypothalamus at the bottom of the brain sends an alarm signal to the body. The combination of nerve and hormonal signals will guide your adrenal glands to release a large number of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline will increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and provide you with a boost of energy.

In an instant, you react.

Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone, and then immediately releases glucose into your blood, and enhances the use of glucose and signal substances in the brain to prepare for tissue repair.

Then, it puts your body into survival mode, reducing unnecessary functions-changing the immune response, while slowing down the digestive and reproductive systems and growth process.

Next, your body’s natural alert response will communicate with your thought areas that manage emotions, motivation, and fear. Your only concern is survival and safety.

Once the threat is eliminated, hormone levels will decrease and your body will respond by normalizing your heart rate and blood pressure. Soon, the body returned to normal functions.

The long-term effects of stress

Unfortunately, modern life is full of stress, and many people who are overdoing things don’t need to stop to recover their energy.

When dealing with multiple stressors every day, you may experience chronic stress. When this happens, your stress response system will never shut down, and your body will be overexposed to cortisol and other stress hormones. Over time, this may affect most processes in the body and cause many problems.

Prolonged stress can cause:

  • Anxiety
  • upset
  • Memory and concentration
  • insomnia
  • Greater risk of heart and blood pressure problems
  • Fertility issues
  • Weak immunity
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Headache/stomach pain

Learning to control stress levels is an important part of a healthy life. Although the term “stress reduction” may not be fascinating, the good news is that many stress-reducing activities are enjoyable and can even improve your quality of life.

7 ways to relieve stress, let you enjoy life

How to better manage stress brain medical doctor

Here are 8 research-supported ideas that can help you get started:

1. Establish a healthy support network. We all need inspiring and trustworthy people to rely on in difficult times. Only a few good friends and confidants can bring a different world.

2. Spend time in nature. Visiting the natural environment can reduce physical and psychological stress. Start with a walk in the park or along the beach.

3. Practice yoga. Don’t worry, you don’t have to bend too much. In most communities, there are many yoga classes suitable for all ages and skill levels.

4. Regular massage. Depending on your budget, enjoy a 20-minute chair massage or a full body massage.

5. Contemplation. Not all meditations are difficult. There are many options. Try a method that works for you and do it consistently.

6. DTake a deep breath. The simple exercise to reduce stress is to breathe for 8 seconds. Hold for 8 seconds; breathe for 8 seconds, then press and hold for 8 seconds. Repeat 4 times. Try it. You will immediately feel the difference.

7. Regular physical exercise. The effect of exercise in reducing stress has been fully proven. Take a new sport, dance, run, walk or ride a bicycle. No matter what activity you like, please do it regularly.

It’s important to ensure that stress-reducing activities do not cause you more stress. Have fun, because it turns out that laughter can also reduce stress!

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The article “Stress can affect your body” first appeared on the BrainMD Health blog.

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