The impact of Stress on Health
Yes, stress and overwhelm can have an impact of your health.
How does stress affect your overall health?
Research does show that the mind and the body are interrelated and so stress can contribute directly or indirectly to a physical illness.
You will notice throughout this site that we encourage you to take care of yourself mind, body and soul and we truly believe these are interconnected.
Unfortunately illness can also causes stress and so the cycle of stress – illness –stress –illness begins.
This never ending circle puts considerable pressure on the body and over time these pressures can cause more serious damage and consequently more serious illness
The immune system
One way that stress affects health long term is the suppression of the immune system. This is caused by the constant release of the stress hormone cortisol into the blood stream, which causes several adverse affects.
It decreases the number of certain circulating blood cells which help to fight infection, as well as causing the thymus and lymph nodes to shrivel and reduces the production of antibodies.
A weaken immune system can mean that you are not as able to fight infections and heal wounds as effectively as you once did.
So the first answer to the question of how stress affects health:
- You could find your self suffering from constant colds
- Find cuts and wounds take a lot longer to heal
- Become more susceptible to immune related diseases such as achey joints and seasonal symptoms
Have you ever had that funny feeling when you have had too many cups of coffee, where you feel as if your heart is fluttering? Well that is your heart reacting to a form of stress.
Excessive stress can affect your cardiovascular system in a more dramatic ways than just the odd flutter. It is believed that stress now plays a part in high blood pressure, which in turn damages the heart. Also some of the stress hormones such as cortisol released into your system over time can cause constricted blood vessels. So when you find yourself in a stressful situation and your body responds by working your heart harder, the blood can’t get through and then……
Being stressed also makes you behave in ways which in the long run will affect your hearts health. Many stressed people say that they eat comfort foods when they are feeling stressed. Unfortunately comfort eating often means eating food which is high in fat, high in sugar and low in fiber. This diet is unhealthy and not good for the arteries and so make you more prone to heart attacks.
Other ailments and disorders that may be caused by chronic stress
To answer the question how your health can be impacted by stress is not a simple one nor is it a straight forward one. One thing leads to another and this chemical reaction causes other set on symptoms to occur which in the long run can cause your body systems to burnout and break down. Stress and overwhelm is certainly a hidden danger factor in our lives.
How does stress affect your overall health? I think you can see that the impact of stress on health can vary from person to person and may not affect everyone but a stress management is the key.
By using our life's stress balls techniques you will learn to manage, cope and we hope prevent stress and overwhelm in your daily life.