Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it’s a vital survival process that has historically allowed us to run from dangerous situations or get ready to fight back. Even today, stress can push us to get through life stressors such as work projects, studying for tests hospitalizations, illnesses and even just fighting traffic. There is a time and a place for stress but the big problem in our time is that we’re always under too much stress. When chronic stress becomes a daily fact of life it becomes dangerous and even deadly.
Stress is typically categorized into two different types. The first one is acute stress, which is what you feel when you’re in a dangerous situation. When you’re in an accident or natural disaster and you just barely make it out, you’re probably feeling acute stress. While acute stress takes a toll on the body, it’s not nearly as dangerous and deadly as chronic stress. Chronic stress is the type of constant stress we feel day in and day out that we feel powerless over.
Health Dangers of Chronic Stress
Over time, chronic stress will wear out the body. Chronic stress will do damage to your heart, your arteries, and even your gut and your immune system. Stressed out people often suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, stomach and digestive problems, ulcers, and due to the lowered immune system, they are more susceptible to various bacterial and viral infections like cold and flu. Not only that, but insomnia is also a part of high stress and contributes to our overall sense of fatigue and exhaustion. And finally, stress makes it harder to heal and recover from any injury or sickness. And if you’re living with chronic illness, stress will make your symptoms worse.
Here’s a few other nasty health dangers of chronic stress:
*Stress will do a number on your digestive system either from constipation or diarrhea.
*Low libido? Check your stress levels!
*Stress causes acne for many women due to stress hormones spiking.
*Many women turn to food to help numb what they’re feeling. While it may temporarily help you feel better, the long term results include weight gain which is stressful in itself and exacerbation of other health problems.
*If you’re having brain fog and trouble focusing, evaluate your stress levels. When your mind is overloaded it’s hard to concentrate.
It’s vitally important to focus on reducing stress as much as we can and find healthy and productive ways to cope better with our lives. We must intentionally make time for relaxation in order to give our body a chance to recoup and recover. While there isn’t always a lot we can do about external stressors, there is a much we can do to counterbalance it from yoga and meditation, to getting more sleep, practicing spiritual disciplines and cutting back on unnecessary distractions.
In light of all the damage chronic stress can have on your overall health and wellbeing, are you ready to begin embracing more rest and relaxation in your life? If so, tomorrow’s post where we begin to take a closer look at our lives and see what can be changed.
For right now, simply start to become more aware of the nasty health dangers of chronic stress and what you can do to alleviate your stress levels. It’s much easier to start addressing the problem once you’ve become aware of it.