Advice

How Stress Affects Your Health

Our mental wellbeing has a huge impact on our physical health and taking care of yourself should involve practices related to both of these things! If your mind is frequently busy with negative thoughts and stress then you will observe that your energy and general health will decrease over time. It is often difficult to measure how much stress a person is experiencing, and for that reason it is regularly dismissed from being a health concern. However, that does not mean that you should take your stress levels any less seriously. Stress can cause some serious changes in your body that can actually be quite dangerous. Being aware of this can help you to understand why it is important to avoid stressful situations and reach resolutions to conflict quickly.

Stress has the potential to change how your genes function. This means that during periods of extreme stress the way your body stores fat can change, your immune system can become compromised and visible signs of aging can increase. When your immune system is affected in this way, you are more likely to develop infections, especially ones that can lay dormant such as cold sores.

Research has shown that those who experience high levels of stress as children can have dramatically altered responses to stress as adults. This means that these people might find certain situations harder to deal with than those who were not exposed to this early in life. High stress levels can actually damage certain parts the brain, such as those responsible for memory. During incredibly intense periods of time, the brain will often trigger adrenal shutdown in order to preserve as much energy as possible for its own function. Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc in your life and will drastically diminish your energy levels. The simplest of tasks, such as getting out of bed for more than a few hours, can seem incredibly difficult.

Studies have proven that the body’s ability to detoxify prescription drugs is negatively affected by stress. Similar studies have also shown that a person is much more likely to crave fatty, sugary foods during periods of moderate to extreme stress. If your lifestyle is causing you to compromise your nutrition then you will experience these negative effects much more rapidly.

As you can see, keeping your stress levels to an absolute minimum should be a priority in your life if you want to remain a positive and productive person. Distancing yourself from toxic relationships and negative influences should be an immediate action. You can also look to activities such as yoga and meditation in order to promote relaxation and optimum health! Check out my previous post on How to Make Time for Meditation for tips on getting started.

38 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Healthy Executive Blog and commented:
    We all lead somewhat stressful lives, and there is definitely a link to effects on health and well being. While we cannot remove all the stresses, there are effective ways to deal with them. Exercise, nutrition, and even meditation can works wonders.

  2. I feel that stress has done more damage physically but while it was happening I was as aware of it as I would have been with other illnesses. It is only in the awareness of the situation that I have been able to recover.

  3. this is very interesting. sometimes I wonder why we stress so much. I know that I have many things to be worrying about and sometimes we forget to have fun and some alone time for ourselves. I think this article does a great job in helping people out!

  4. Reblogged this on Healthy Kosher made EASY and commented:
    A good article about stress effects on our health.
    We all are faced with challenges in our life. It is important to take care of ourselves to be able to deal with stressful situations. Nourishing food, regular recreational exercises, and good night sleep will do wonders!

  5. Reblogged this on Greens Within Your Means and commented:
    I especially thought that her comment on how stress effects the foods we crave was great. It is so true!

    She says “Similar studies have also shown that a person is much more likely to crave fatty, sugary foods during periods of moderate to extreme stress.”

    Go do some Yoga, people!

    1. I found that interesting (and true) as well Dan! I am guilty of eating my feelings when I am stressed or feeling down. Thankfully, I haven’t felt that way in a while due to lifestyle changes, such as yoga, and eating more vegetables!

      I definitely believe that more yoga, or any type of exercise that makes you happy, leads to healthier eating, and healthier eating can change your life profoundly!

  6. How very interesting, thank you for sharing this! I’m only 24, but I’m definitely guilty of stressing. I come from a broken home, which I suppose, stressed me out as a child -although I did not let that handicap me. I’ve never been one to blame my “problems” on anyone else. My parents got divorced when I was two, so growing up with step-parents, step-siblings, and a step-family was the norm for me.

    Everything I do, I take very seriously, which is why I know I would get very stressed during school and work. Aside from that, I have always been very tired, all the time. I thought there was something wrong with me, and sometimes I worried maybe I had some type of medical condition. To read that there is a correlation between stress and fatigue puts it all together for me. I have considered many factors, but not once did stress come to mind. Lovely post, I feel like I stumbled upon a gold mine, and look forward to reading more of your posts!

  7. very true! Stress screws up my digestion, cycles and comes with breakouts! I personally think exercise, healthy eating and surrounding yourself by people who can put things in perspective helps. I live on campus at university and call my friends and family at home for an objective take on exams!

  8. Wow … love your blog !!actually i am a preacher of yoga meditation myself and have recently started writing about it too . Your write ups are very informative , very effective and to the point writing ..love every bit of it !!

  9. As someone whose stress has wreaked significant havoc on their body, I wish the article had focused more on stress relief than on stress impact. In fact, someone who truly suffers from anxiety–and thus processes more stress than your average joe–will stress out even about the damage stress has done to them that may be irreversible.

    So focusing on positive steps for the future in a prolonged and significant way (more than just the strong but few couple of sentences at the end of the article) would be much appreciated!

  10. Reblogged this on Mireille's Journey To Health and commented:
    I love this post from The Flexi Foodie! In this high-stress world we live in, no one is immune. It almost feels normal, but it’s important to listen to our bodies and be aware when our stress levels are too high. High stress levels can compromise our health. You might be under stress because of something major going on in your life, or it might just be too many little things piling up. Either way, The Flexi Foodie can help you out:

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