Health + Wellness

How Does Stress Affect Your Health

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Identify common stress symptoms and understand its effects on your well being

Stress is commonly faced everyday and everywhere. Depending on how you handle your stress levels, stress can affect your physical and mental well being. Spotting common stress symptoms that your body has can help you to cope better.

High levels of stress release a surge of hormones which quickens your heart rate, increase your blood pressure and boost your energy levels. A minimal level of stress motivates you to excel under pressure and pushes you to your highest potential.

On the other hand, excessive stress results in chronic stress where a majority of your body systems including your immune, digestive and reproductive systems are affected. This occurs when your body overreacts due to prolonged daily stressors such as overwhelming workload and deadlines, or when it is being exposed to life-threatening events. Besides accelerating your aging process, chronic stress also increases your risk of severe health issues such as depression, heart disease, high blood pressure and even stroke.

Here are several symptoms for you to determine if you’re facing high levels of stress:

Binge Eating Disorder

Stress influences your desire to eat, which could lead to binge eating disorder and even cultivate overeating habits. Cortisol hormones are released when you are under stress and intensify your cravings for sugar and fat. Binge eating disorder is a vicious cycle for stress – you overeat when you are stressed but you will feel even more stressed due to the excessive calories intake.

To counter this condition, pen down your binge eating period and thoughts after satisfying your hunger. Before using food to relieve stress, distract yourself by going for an exercise or meditate. To prevent weight gain, turn to healthy foods such as sweet potatoes so that you would not add more stress to yourself.

Disrupt Sleeping Pattern

Too much stress keeps you up at night, which can lead to sleeping disorders such as insomnia.

Communicate with your family and friends regularly. This encourages you to share your issues with them and receive advice in return. Not only will they provide alternative solutions for your problems, you can also relieve stress with healthy social relations. You can also inject more positive thought patterns by setting realistic expectations for yourself.

Headaches

Stress creates tension in your muscles that could lead to a headache or even migraine.

Insufficient sleep enhances your body response to stress. Aim to sleep for 7-8 hours every night with a regular sleeping pattern. Your eating habits also contribute to headaches and its intensity. Eat foods that are low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates such as whole grain products.

Back Pain and Body Aches

When you’re exposed to stress, your muscles are usually tensed in order to avoid injury. Too much tension deprives your muscles of proper relaxation time and rest. As a result, you will experience body aches including back and shoulder pains.

Avoid relying on medication to relieve the pain. Adjust your sleeping patterns, lifestyle or even your daily routines. Plan your working schedule well so that you will have ample time for rest and meet deadlines promptly.

Coping up with stress requires a lot of effort and commitment. If you know that you’re under high levels of stress, you should take a break and set some quality time for yourself to relax. Cultivating a healthy diet helps to boost your mood and energy levels. You might also want to improve your sleep quality so that your body can recharge itself and control its stress levels better.

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