How Stress Affects the Health of Your Body
Stress is an inevitable part of life; there is acute stress, which can even help with things like reducing procrastination and inspiring creativity. There are studies that show that limited acute stress can actually benefit your health. Now that’s pretty awesome! However, chronic stress is a different problem. It can affect your health in a multitude of ways. Let’s check out some of the lesser discussed problems that chronic stress can contribute to.
You’ve likely heard that your skin is the largest organ of the body, so it should not come as a surprise that stress can negatively affect your skin. While you can do everything in your power to slather on lotions, oils, SPFs, and serums, if you are continually stressed, your epidermis is going to show it. One study showed that the higher the level of stress, the more irritated and acne-prone skin becomes. It is also closely associated with how quickly your skin ages.
Reducing stress can improve the appearance and irritation of your skin. If you feel like you’re not stressed, putting effort into the health of your skin, and aren’t seeing any improvements, you may be interested in researching how genetics affect your skins health.
2. Digestive issues
Nobody likes talking about it, but let’s be honest; stress can make digestion a nightmare. What ways does stress really affect how you’re digesting your food? Here are just a few of the ways chronic stress can impact how you’re absorbing nutrients:
- Esophogus spasms
- An increase in stomach acid, leading to indigestion and heartburn
- Exacerbation of existing conditions like Irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, and gastroesophogeal reflux disease
- Contributing to nausea, diarrhea, or constipation.
Digestive issues are anything but glamorous, but they can have a huge impact on your daily life. Reducing your stress can lead to an improvement in your digestion with simple stress-management techniques.
If you’ve successfully reduced your stress and are still dealing with chronic stomach, bowel, or other digestive issues, schedule an appointment with your doctor to see what else can be done to alleviate any recurring issues.
Chronic stress can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions including asthma and emphysema. The stress hormones that are released from chronic stress have direct effects on both your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Those undergoing stress who also have lung issues may find themselves in a vicious cycle; stress exacerbates their chronic conditions, which is cause for stress in and of itself. Using breathing techniques, seeking out alternative methods like hypnotherapy and acupuncture, and finding the right medication are options to help combat both the stress and the underlying exacerbated respiratory condition. If you are a smoker, it can be a good idea to turn that habit into something else, since smokers typically increase their use of cigarettes during highly stressful times.
Other health problems
Seeking alternative therapies to reduce or self-manage your stress can have long-lasting positive effects on your health, including the following areas:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Enhanced concentration
- Decreased insomnia and other sleep problems
- Improved emotional responses
- An overall reduction in headaches and migraines
While you may never fully master your stress, you can at least become an expert in managing it to help improve the health of your body and mind.
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