Sadly, stress and health go hand in hand. As many people will undoubtedly agree, there can be long-term effects when an individual often feels stressed. These prolonged feelings can have a huge impact on every aspect of a person’s life, from their physical and mental health to their interpersonal relationships. If you’re looking to learn more about stress and how to overcome it, read on to learn more from the Light Touch Clinic team.
What Is Stress?
We all know what stress feels like but we seldom stop to think about what it actually is. In short, it’s the body’s way of responding to perceived threats. The word perceived has been used here as we often imagine situations to be something they’re not and this reaction can often lead to a heightened stress response.
When it comes to stress and health, small periods of unrest will not have a huge impact, rather it’s prolonged periods that pose a risk. Although these responses are the body’s way of trying to protect itself, it doesn’t always work that way. At best, a small degree of stress keeps us alert and focused but more intense feelings can wreak havoc.
What Does Stress Do To The Body?
As previously mentioned, stress and health are two sides of the same coin – they naturally intersect. When the body feels threatened, something called our ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in. Adrenaline or cortisol get released into the body, muscles tighten, the heart starts beating faster and blood pressure rises too. These reactions ensure that decisions can be made in potentially life-threatening situations.
However, it’s not normal or healthy to experience these sensations on a regular basis, and the fact it’s often difficult for the nervous system to differentiate between physical and emotional stress certainly doesn’t help. If your body often responds to emotional distress in the same way it does physical, it’s more likely to become a recurrence. This can easily lead to distress becoming the body’s ‘default mode’. This can result in chronic or long-term stress.
Stress and health are inexorably linked because, ultimately, stress disrupts the entire body and, over time, it can suppress your immune system and lead to digestive issues. Many also find that it can impact their reproductive health. Unfortunately, that’s not all either. It can also speed up the ageing process, interrupt your sleep and increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. In short, it sabotages the body.
Stress And Health – Break The Cycle
If you’re looking to form more positive habits around stress and health, here are some suggestions:
- Exercise – this simple act will encourage the brain to produce more endorphins, which will naturally enhance your mood. As well as this, taking part in any form of exercise will help to reduce the physical impact of stress by improving your cardiovascular health and immune system.
- Meditate – take some time out to focus on your breathing and refocus your mind. This isn’t always possible but, if you can find a quiet place to meditate, it’s likely to make you feel more centred and help you to remain calm during stressful situations.
- Get help from a professional – if you’re taking time to exercise and meditate but stress has still impacted your body in other ways, it might be time to talk to a professional, such as Light Touch Clinic’s Dr. Natalie Geary. She’s seen countless patients who have needed help to restore their appearance following periods of stress and she could help you, too.