Stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed, frantic and sometimes on the verge of tears. But new findings have found that stress is more dangerous than that: it can actually cause serious havoc on our body.
New scientific evidence even suggests that when the body is stressed, muscles tense up. The body’s way of guarding itself against pain or injury is via muscle tension, otherwise known as a ‘reflex reaction’ to the stress.
Stress affects us all from time-to-time, and there are many different ‘types’ of stress which all carry mental and physical health risks. So whether you feel stressed due to pressures at work, school or family life, all of these factors can contribute.
Stress can really harm your health
Dealing with chronic stress is difficult because the source of long-term stress is more constant than acute stress. The lifesaving reactions in the body caused by chronic stress can disturb the immune, digestive, cardiovascular, sleep, and reproductive systems.
Stress can also cause headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger, and irritability. In fact, your body begins to react the instant it feels the stress – our bodies are advanced enough to judge a situation and decides whether or not it is stressful. Stress can then go onto damage your body’s defenses against issues such as viruses and infections.
Stress can affect your sleep
Your mind becomes more alert and panicky when you are stressed – stress damages our ability to relax, making sleep more difficult. This sleep deprivation that is caused by stress not only makes you extremely fatigued and lacking energy, but actually causes altercation in your brain.
If you are stress over a significant period of time and experience this change to the brain, you are also increasing the likelihood of poor mental health such as depression and anxiety. It is also suggested that stress can physically rewire the brain, causing significant structural changes and alterations in its activity.
Stress can also affect your heart and gut
The digestive system is extremely sensitive to stress, which in the long term will seriously affect your gut health. By damaging the microbiome that helps the gut function, stress leads to sluggishness, weight gain, poor digestion as well as bloating and cramping. How severe these effects are will differ widely from person to person, but considering more people are experiencing IBS than ever before, it is significant to say that it is a problem that shouldn’t be ignored.
Your heart is also at risk from stress. The physical act of feeling stressed puts a lot of pressure on the heart, causing your heart to pump much harder as it attempts to distribute blood around the body. It needs to do this to prepare itself against threats that could cause long-term damage over time.
So what is the first step to take to help reduce stress levels? A healthy lifestyle is a great place to start. Daily routines can also help tackle unwanted stress and it is a good idea to include relaxation techniques such as the practice of meditation, mindfulness and yoga.
A healthy routine can not only relieve your body of stress but can help you to unwind, relax and feel better in both mind and body.
If you continue to feel stressed and overwhelmed and are worried about causing serious injury to your body and mind, then consider joining us our Choices Personalized Retreats Program where we can help: