Stress Is Bad For Health
What is stress? Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. Stress is your body’s reaction to internal and external stimuli. External stimuli can be things like a new job, a move to a new city, marriage and overworking. Internal stimuli are feelings that come from inside, for example, the need for perfection or the need to please others, fear of change and even, self esteem issues.
However, stress also exists to help you survive. It is the body’s way of preparing you for a potential or existing situation of danger. When a stressful event occurs, the body immediately changes gears, initiating a series of processes designed to help you survive the threatening situation. Glands in your body release the natural steroids such as cortisol that helps the body to process and metabolize sugars, repair tissue damage faster and temporarily stop processes such as digestion and growth; and adrenaline that prepares the body for physical action. When the situation improves, the cortisol and adrenaline levels decrease.
Whatever the triggers may be, stress can produce either negative or positive reaction. An appropriate amount of stress is necessary in our lives, but too much stress can be harmful to our wellbeing and health.
Many people experience continuous stress that rarely seem to let up such as money issues, a job that never ends due to bad management of work-life balance, not having enough hours in the day, emptiness of a monotonous job that you don’t like, relationship matters, constant caregiving, pressures of holiday travel (including shopping, parties and family gatherings), taking on too much responsibilities, striving to be perfect, disorganized clutter or any other form of agitations. Thus, stress can become the rule rather than the exception. When you begin to experience long periods of stress with no real relief, stress hormones cause the body to quickly use up its store of sugar, and when that happens, your metabolism may begin to damage muscle and tissue.
Negative stress takes a huge toll on your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. It weakens your immune system and causes perspiration, muscle stiffness, headaches and trouble breathing. Eventually, long term stress can cause bone loss, depression, stomach upsets, high blood pressure, stroke, digestive problems, heart disease, sleeping disorders, hair loss, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, obesity, obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction, tooth and gum disease, ulcers and possibly, cancer. It can also cause feelings of distrust, anger, anxiety and fear which in turn can destroy relationships at home and at work.
At the same time, we cannot live healthy lives without some stress because if a person goes too long without a good stress response, his or her body begins to lose ability to properly hanse stressful situations. Therefore, when a stressful event or situation does occur, the body, being out of practice, may release too many stress response hormones and it may not be able to shut them off when it should.
In order to cope with their stress, many people tend to look to things that are not only ineffective, but also unhealthy such as drinking alcohol, living in denial of problems faced, taking drugs, overeating, smoking cigarettes and resorting to angry behavior. Instead, there are more proactive and effective ways of dealing with stress. Try taking naps to recharge your batteries, expressing yourself artistically by diverting your energies into something creative be it acting, playing an instrument, writing poetry or singing, having a good laugh, meditation and best of all, get a massage! Visit a professional massage therapist or ask a friend or partner to give you a back rub. You will feel relaxed immediately and rejuvenated instantaneously. Nothing beats a great body massage after a long, stressful day. Your body, mind and soul will thank you in the long run.