It’s well known that stress can lead to depression and anxiety. But did you know that stress can also negatively impact our physical health?
When we are stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released, which helps prepare our body for dangers by making our muscles tense and our senses more alert. While this can be useful short-term, long periods of stress can turn this useful survival mechanism into something that wears down the body. Here are just a few different ways in which chronic stress can damage the body – and how you can ease these symptoms.
High Blood Pressure
Stress raises the blood pressure. Over extended periods of time, high blood pressure can be dangerous. It can make use feel tired and nauseous and it can even lead to strokes and heart attacks.
There are lots of ways to bring down blood pressure. Meditating and having a hot bath are two relaxing activities that can help use to destress while bringing down blood pressure. It’s also worth giving up bad habits like smoking, eating lots of sugar and eating lots of salt – all of which can accelerate blood pressure.
Stress Can Cause IBS
When we are stressed, signals to the gut are also reduced, which can impact our ability to digest food properly. This can lead to diarrhoea or constipation. Prolonged periods can even turn this into full-blown IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) resulting in numerous other triggers impacting the gut.
Reducing stress can help to control IBS. A great destressing activity that is good for the gut is exercise, which helps to aid digestion. Many people find that eating at regular times and experimenting with fiber can also help manage IBS.
Stress has also been found to affect people’s ability to conceive, reducing sperm count and causing erectile dysfunction in men, while sometimes causing women to miss periods or even have miscarriages.
If you’re trying for a child, reducing stress in your life could be important. There are many other factors that impact fertility that are also worth looking into.
It’s also been found that stress can make many forms of chronic pain worse by increasing inflammation. Constant muscle tension can meanwhile lead to permanent muscle aches, while constant alertness can lead to serious headaches.
Herbal remedies such as 2000 mg CBD oil can help to reduce stress and reduce pain. Taking a hot bath has also been found to be effective at treating stress and chronic pain.
Weakened Immune System
Stress also wears down the immune system. This can leave you more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses and diseases. This could be something as harmless as a cold or something for serious such as flu.
You can help boost your immune system by regularly exercising and getting enough sleep. A diet rich in vitamins can also help to improve the immune system.
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