Stress is a natural part of life, as stress allows people to be aware of things that they should take note of or things they should do in order to survive.
While in most of these modern days, stress isn’t always associated with having to defend homes from bandits or fighting for territory, stress is starting to adapt to modern notions of survival: is a student submitting their work on time, is an executive skilled enough to pull off this meeting, or is this applicant trained enough for the interview? Stress can dominate the mind and body in order to help us pull ourselves together, but sometimes stress stays in the system more than usual. Stress and your health are very intertwined, and it’s important to know what are the real risks involved when the two are mixed.
While stress is a normal part of daily life, having prolonged periods of stress is not good for the body and mind. Like the maxim “too much of everything is bad,” too much of stress can have a wide variety of negative effects on the body that you should be aware of.
According to the American Psychological Association, stress is just as dangerous as it is a natural reaction. Stress is, in fact, an automatic response that helped humanity’s ancestors to protect themselves from threats. This has evolved into stress from meeting deadlines, getting a test, and other forms of “intense” challenges.
Emotions: Much Harder to Control
It might be common knowledge that people don’t exactly “think straight” when they’re subjected to stress. Stress can make you do things we haven’t thought out properly, which can lead to disastrous consequences. However, neuroscientists from a 2013 study led by Candace Raio, Ph.D., have discovered that even mild stress can make it much harder for you to control emotions.
- This can affect you in a variety of ways, especially for instance your sex drive. While sex can be an effective way as a stress reliever, stress is just as capable of getting people out of the mood for it. Performance anxiety may, in fact, make people impotent, which is bad news for those who want to have children.
Resistance: Disease, Weaker Organs
Stress, when unmitigated, can become an actual threat not because of its nature, but because of what it can do to the body physically. This is because chronic stress or frequent stress can actually trigger the appearance of certain diseases and illnesses, such as liver cirrhosis, lung disease, cancer, and even suicide. In fact, researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found out that children who are exposed to chronic stress are actually very likely to develop a genetically predisposed mental illness when they grow up.
- One of the most notable physical risks of being stressed is how stress can damage the heart, as stress hormones can, in fact, influence elevated heart rate and constrict blood vessels. This can increase your blood pressure and force you to work much harder.
- Likewise, stress is also extremely capable of weakening your immune system if left unmanaged. You can be more likely to get infections and colds if you subject your body to constant stress without counteracting it with social activity or calming exercises.
- More subtle things are also affected when you’re stressed, including your physical appearance. Grinding teeth is one of the many nervous responses you can get throughout the course of a stressful period. However, this can have lasting damage to your teeth and jaws. In fact, pressures of things such as work, parenthood, marriage, or even the lack of being in a romantic relationship can be factors of getting periodontal disease.
However, perhaps one of the most obvious effects of stress is less about how it affects emotions or our health, but how it can make you change your appearance drastically. If you work out a lot, but also end up stressed at work, you might be quick to see that your efforts to be fit can be in vain when you’re not managing your stress properly.
- One of the most common effects of stress is its impact on weight gain. It can be noticed that hunter-gatherers from before are motivated to eat a lot of food especially because of the scarcity of fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables without farming. This compulsion can be activated when you’re stressed, and as a result, stress eating can occur. In fact, those who frequently do stress eating may consume 40-percent more than their normal food intake, which can lead to disastrous weight gain problems.
- Another thing that can be caused by chronic stress is premature aging. Stress can, in fact, shorten things call telomeres that motivate the growth of cells, which means newer and younger cells fail to grow due to the impact of stress on the body. As a result, stressed people often have weak muscles, wrinkles, and poor eyesight.
While stress is a normal part of life, it’s important to remember that stress is only useful for as long as it’s capable of helping you be aware of the things you have to do. If it starts becoming a part of your life that is negatively affecting your interaction with others and the perception of self-worth, then something needs to be done about your level of stress. The heads-up above could hopefully give you some things to watch out for in order to see if stress is becoming a negative part of your life that you need to change.
Do remember however that this is not an end-all, be-all article about stress and your health, as what are the real risks in terms of stress can be better explained by a medical professional as well. Your physician can help you understand the effects of stress in your system based on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Being involved in personal injuries can also cause stress and can adversely affect your health in the long run. If you’ve incurred personal injuries and wanted to know what you can do about it legally, you can visit this link. Once you know how to deal with this kind of situation, you’ll be relieved from stress in no time.
Article by Lea Taylor, The Rybak Firm
Lea Taylor is a law writer who spends much of her time writing pieces on law topics for the common reader. Lea is the resident comedian of the office, often cracking jokes to lighten the mood. She always has a delightful story to make everyone smile.
There are many mental and physical relaxation techniques that will reduce the harmful effects of stress. Try out some of these “Relaxation Techniques” and see which ways to decrease stress here works for you.