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Stress and its Insidious Effects on Your Life and Health
Everyone deals with some sort of stress typically on a day to day basis whether it be from work, kids, or money, a lot of things can cause stress in your life. Most of us know that stress is not good for us but do you truly know the health problems that can be caused by stress? You may think that you are ill or have something else going on in your body when stress is actually the cause behind it.
Stress can affect your overall health including your physical health, your mental health, and even your outward behavior towards other. Even small amounts of stress can have a negative effect on your overall health making it important that you learn the signs of stress and the techniques needed to relieve some of the stress going on in your daily life.
Stress can affect not only your body but can also take over your thoughts and even your feelings without you even realizing it. If you don’t learn how to properly control your stress levels, you can end up developing problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease in the future.
Other physical effects that stress can have on your body include: tension in your muscles, upset stomach, problems sleeping, chest pain, increased fatigue, and a change in your sex drive. Your immune system can also become compromised due to stress which can result in an increased chance of developing illnesses in the future. Some of the negative thought patterns that come with stress can cause other physical symptoms that you may not realize are being caused by the stress going on in your life. Stress can also cause your body to age ahead of its time meaning that if you suffer from a lot of stress, your body may actually become older than your real age, making you age faster internally.
Your mood can also be greatly affected by stress. Some of the mental side effects from stress can include an increase in anger or irritability, anxiety, depression, loss of focus, and restlessness. Your family and friends may notice these changes before you do but it is important that you learn to recognize these symptoms yourself and how to stop them before they occur.
These health problems caused by stress may result in negative behavior such as drug and alcohol use, withdrawing from your friends or social groups, angry outbursts towards your friends and loved ones, and overeating. All of these things may stem from stress in one way or another.
Once you learn to recognize the symptoms of stress, you should learn healthy ways to deal with and reduce the daily stress that you encounter.
Things You Can Do To Reduce Stress
Stress has so many negative side effects however there are many things that you can do to reduce the amount of stress on yourself and relieve some of the side effects that you are experiencing.
Use relaxation techniques. Find something that really helps you to relax. It can be anything from meditation or yoga to going for a walk on your lunch break. Maybe you would enjoy taking some time to go out with friends or just spend some time chatting with a friend at home. You may also find that journaling your feelings can help, too. Studies have shown that journaling your feelings not only helps to reduce stress but it can have other health benefits as well. If you have a hobby that you enjoy, take some time out to work on that hobby instead of pushing it to the side like many of us do. Find something to do that will make you happy while relieving some of the stress you may be dealing with.
Take deep breaths. Deep breathing is not just a cliche, it really can help. Breathe in through your nose as much as you can until it feels like your breath has reached your stomach. Then slowly let the air out through your mouth while imagining all of the stress and worries being exhaled with it. Repeat this action 10 times and you should feel a difference in how tense you are.
Get active. If you are feeling stressed out, get some exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in your body which makes you feel better, putting you in a better mood. During a workout, concentrate on your body movements and you may begin to forget about the stresses in your life. You don’t have to run a marathon to get these benefits, you can go for a brisk walk or a bike ride, any sort of good movement will change your mood and how you feel overall. Find an activity that you enjoy doing so that it won’t feel like a chore and you can squeeze into your hectic schedule. Not only will exercise help reduce stress, it will also boost your overall health and help in maintaining a healthy weight.
Some other things you can do to reduce stress include reducing the amount of caffeine you consume in a day, listening to your favorite music, eating a healthy diet, or playing games by yourself or with family. Find a few things that you know you enjoy and will put you in a good mood, and try to do those things every day or at least when you are feeling overly stressed.
Stress is a daily part of our lives and can have life long effects on our body if we do not deal with it in a healthy manner. Even small amounts of stress can cause problems with your body and your mind. We all have to deal with stress, the key is finding ways to deal with the stress that make you happy, decreasing your chance of developing some of the negative side effects that it brings to you.
If you treat your stress a few of these ways and still feel some of the symptoms of stress, you should contact your doctor in case of any underlying issues.