Stress is the basic cause of 60 percent of all human illness and disease.
This one staggering fact should make you think about stress and its effects on the body. In a world consumed with productivity, people are working harder for less money. When you get home, you’re bombarded by cultural stress to buy the latest gadgets, eat the best food and buy the newest cars. It’s no wonder people are so stressed out.
Below are four ways in which stress hurts you. Luckily, these negative stressors have a solution to alleviate them.
1. Muscle Tension
Ever have a muscle tighten up? Have you ever experienced a muscle spasm? While these types of things are common in the sports world, it’s not OK for this to happen chronically in your everyday life. The tensing up of muscles is actually a response to stress. It’s the muscle’s way of trying to relax the body.
Stress can induce things such as tension headaches and bulging muscles. If your muscle gets knotted up, you may be able to physically see it on your body as a lump. Having the muscles tightened in your body on a consistent basis can lead to muscle dystrophy.
A solution? When you feel you’re in a tense situation, consciously relax your muscles. Take deep, slow breaths and relax all the muscles in your body. Doing this for merely a minute can vastly reduce the stress on your muscles.
2. Weakened Immune System
A weak immune system is deadly to hundreds of people every day. Your immune system is what fights off colds, diseases and generally keeps you healthy. When your immune system is lowered, common colds can bombard you more often. This is just another example of how stress is bad for you.
Stress lowers the immune system through the release of cortisol. Along with cortisol diminishing your sex drive, it weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to viruses and colds.
Taking vitamin supplements is a great way to support a healthy immune system. Always consult a doctor before doing so, but typically this is a great way to boost your immune system.
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Although anxiety and depression affect your mind more than your body, your body is still influenced by them. Stress is bad for you, and anxiety and depression can cause you to stress out over situations and events that don’t warrant the worry. Everything seems bleak and there’s no hope.
Physically, you can develop headaches and muscle tension. However, if the depression and anxiety is too much, you can also develop things such as eating disorders and a possible addiction to alcohol if you turn to it to comfort you.
If you feel like you have anxiety or depression, seek help immediately. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. See a doctor and figure out how to get better.
4. Heart Attack/Stroke
This one deals more with chronic stress than anything else. Chronic stress is stress that doesn’t ease up. You feel tense and anxious all the time. This constant stress sends your heart the message that it needs to work harder by pumping more blood through the vessels. Over time, this could lead to hypertension and issues with your heart and blood vessels. This, in turn, leads to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
A possible solution to this type of stress is to get checked out by a physician. A more practical and quicker solution is to assess what makes you upset and immediately try to calm down. Try not to get angry and stay calm.
Stress is a real thing to be afraid of. However, always know that you control your responses. You are in charge. Make sure you try to stay calm and take care of yourself.