In modern times, living stress free seems utopian. But while certain levels of stress are adaptive responses to circumstances and are considered normal, chronic or very intense stress is a state of nervous system activation that is associated with several long-term illnesses.
What is stress and what is it used for?
Stress is a response that triggers the brain when it perceives a demand from abroad, such as a deadline to deliver a job or a threat of theft that must be fled. People, because of our capacity for imagination, we can also suffer from thoughts that are not necessarily real.
Punctual stress, which occurs in response to a specific stimulus that we must resolve, is positive, since it puts our body in a state of activation that allows us to react more quickly and energy, concentrate more, etc. It is a tension that is prepared for the performance.
However, chronic conditions make the permanent activation caused by a constant hormonal flow end up spending our energy excessively, we hormonally imbalance and, as a result, generate states that deteriorate our overall health.
Effects of stress on health
Here we name the main effects of this state of pressure and mental fatigue on our health. Although we have to be clear that it is mainly generated by a confluence of factors.
Depression and anxiety
Long-term chronic stress can lead to depression and anxiety. It is due to the hormonal imbalance and the energetic waste that supposes.
Skin problems and hair loss
Skin rashes such as acne or eczema can be caused by continuous pressure states; Other conditions such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis become worse and worse . In addition, excessive hair loss can occur, which in some cases can lead to total baldness.
Stress is intimately related to hormones, whose prolonged imbalance can cause menstrual problems, from intensely painful rules to irregularities in the menstrual cycle. In severe cases, menstruation may go away.
As we have all experienced at some time, stressful situations prevent falling asleep or make us wake up at midnight without being able to fall asleep again.
The insomnia problems are not only negative by themselves, but they suppose an extra wear, since the inability to sleep well affects the performance of all the tasks during the daytime hours.
Stress disrupts the functioning of the digestive system; makes the digestions heavy , the typical “everything feels bad”, deregulates the intestinal transit and, moreover, is very related to the appearance of stomach ulcers, as it increases the production of digestive acids that enhance this type of problems.
Cardiac and arterial problems
The pressure and prolonged mental fatigue is related to diseases as serious as hypertension and coronary heart disease ; Although these effects are long-term, they are really serious and should alert us to the need to reduce stress.
Often the stressful states encourage us to eat compulsively , to which it is added that the brain stops perceiving correctly the signals that indicate that we are satiated, that is why stress is related to problems of overweight and even diabetes .
What you can do to reduce stress
Depending on the situation that generates it and the tendency to anxiety of each person, stress can be very difficult to eradicate completely, however, there are always things we can do to reduce it to the maximum .
Sport is a great ally against stress. Practicing any sport stresses and releases energies that otherwise stay inside, eroding our resources. The simple fact of walking two or three times a week already makes a big difference, although a more intense sport is more effective.
Another of the most important aspects to keep in mind when dealing with stress is diet . Eating a healthy and balanced diet, especially rich in omega 3 fatty acids helps to counteract it, since a well-nourished body is a better regulated body.
The mindfulness , meditation, yoga or psychological relaxation techniques are very beneficial to minimize stress. Sometimes, find time for yourself, take a bath, walk …, it makes the difference.
Accompanying our loved ones and people who suppose a psychological support in the hard moments or that generate anxiety is another of the essential aspects to manage stress .
After an afternoon with a good friend or a family member who makes you feel welcomed, the stress levels decrease considerably. In addition, it is scientifically proven that physical contact and affection samples improve the health of people suffering from anxiety or depression.