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.

How Self-Confidence Will Change Your Life

In our modern society, judging ourselves and our bodies is something that comes incredibly naturally to a lot of people. Both men and women are afflicted by this problem and it can lead to equally damaging behaviours in both sexes. There are countless companies cashing in on this by selling diet pills, make-up and endless creams and lotions to reverse ageing and perfect our skin. And it’s not only the pharmacuetical and cosmetic companies exacerbating this issue. The high street shops and fashion retailers who tell us which clothes to buy in order to look skinny and fashionable are also adding to this problem.

This lack of self confidence can soon lead to greater problems, such as social or general anxiety, which can really hinder your day to day life. Anxiety can make even the smallest, easiest of tasks seem complicated and impossible which then often causes people to avoid certain situations altogether. Attempts to self-medicate this anxiety away can also commonly lead to drug and alcohol dependance as a few drinks to power through a social occasion develops into a habbit. People who lack self-confidence are often the best at pretending, but having to do so can be incredibly exhausting.

When you are able to let your authentic self present itself, free of the disguises and tricks you have used to keep it hidden, then you will find that you’re able to move through the world with much greater ease than before. Self-confidence, alongside self-love, is the key to a free existence where dependance on the validation of others simply does not exist. Learning to love your natural form – hair, skin, emotions, fears and every aspect of the package – is the biggest step you can take towards living a life of happiness. Embracing the flaws and understanding that it is these flaws which make you who you are, is essential in building a confidence so true that no make-up advert or ignorant opinion can leave even the slightest of dents in it.

This of course isn’t something that’s going to happen in a day, or in any unreasonably small pocket of time. It is a process that must be approached with complete honesty and an unrelenting willingness to change. As your fake exterior is peeled away, your true self-confident self will emerge and never look back!