Stress is described as your physical body’s physical response to a change in your environment. Stress can increase your heart rate, abdominal fat, impact sleep, cause depression and muscle tension while deteriorating your mental health when ignored.
However, stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can help to keep you accountable.
Even though human beings are designed to deal with stress through our “Fight or Flight” reaction; the problems arise when stress becomes chronic.
When you’re stressed, your body releases the “stress hormones” adrenaline and cortisol. It affects your mental health and various body systems and organs.
Here are some of the most common stressors:
- Financial Issues
- Health Issues
- Job Uncertainty
- Work, Workload
In this article, you will learn about the long-lasting effects of stress on your body – particularly from the health and wellness side, as well as how to manage stress to live healthier.
When you’re constantly stressed, your cardiovascular system can be greatly impacted. Imagine your heart being Body Slammed by a wrestler- ideally The Rock. The longer you remain in a stressed state, the more damage is caused. This damage can happen without you even feeling or realizing it. This amount of stress contributes to the “silent killer” of America, high blood pressure, especially for young men. According to the CDC, 1 out of 4 people dies from heart disease annually.
When you’re stressed, you will feel like the dude from Texas Chainsaw Massacre is chasing you all day. Over time, you will feel like you’re having a heart attack due to the tensing of muscles- leading to pressure in your chest. (And I’m talking from experience)
If this sounds all too familiar to you, it’s best to have a check-up with your doctor and have an assessment.
According to studies, 17.3 million people suffer from depression due to stress.
The uncertainty of your job(s), relationships, and well-being are high stressful factors and situations which affect your mental health. Stress affects the most important relationship you can have: the relationship with yourself.
It will make you feel hopeless and put your body in the “fight” mode all day, leaving you with an elevated heart rate and feeling anxious.
This is compacted if you’re the type of person who keeps everything in and self-isolates, this stress will drive you into depression.
Stress-induced depression has to lead to unhealthy and fatal coping mechanisms. (Ex: Substance abuse; drugs and alcohol)
If you are suffering from any kind of depression or Mental health disorder, remember you’re not alone and to reach out to a licensed professional for help.
You’re not crazy or weak for doing so.
Other side effects of stress on the body
- Acne inflammation
- Abdominal fat
- Weight gain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Low Sex Drive
Now, let’s focus on how to manage stress, so you can live life- healthily and happily.
Here are my quick tips to manage stress:
1. Brain Dump: If you have a “busy” mind, and feel overwhelmed, write all your activities down on a sheet of paper. Then, start organizing and prioritizing. This will relax your brain and ease the worry of forgetting something.
2. Create Boundaries: I have a feeling you’re one of those lovely people who take care of everyone and handle your needs last. Make the change to start to take care of yourself first. Create 45 minutes, once a day for YOU. Stop responding to emails and phone calls after a certain time, create personal boundaries to restore yourself.
3. Manageable to-do list: Pick 2-3 things you MUST complete. Set reminders on your calendar or phone but working “all day” is as stressful as watching the Jets play for the last 60 years.
4. Phone Detox: Instagram and Facebook make it seem like everyone is having the time of their lives, with no problems. Social Media is the world of highlights with constant distractions. Put your phone down, and have a real conversation with someone who knows you.
5. Watch Comedy: The more you laugh, the more “feel good” endorphins run through your body- and it’s easier to enjoy the present.
6. Workout: This allows you to sweat the stress out, get out of your head, and gives you a sense of accomplishment. A daily 30-minute walk is a great place to start.
One of the common adverse effects of stress is the increase in weight and fat, but it’s one of the least talked about in fitness communities. Your mindset and internal health should emphasize as much as the right workout plan for you for the best results.