The effects of stress on mental and physical health can be positive or negative depending on the seriousness. Many forms of stress are normal and necessary for survival: for example, the stress that comes from being in a dangerous situation or having to make important decisions. It can also arise when you feel excitement or anticipation before a big event. Stress is a normal part of life, but sometimes it can be excessive or chronic and affect your mental and physical health. Stress can affect many parts of the body, including respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems.
What is Stress?
The term “stress” refers to a broad range of responses that occur when you face a challenge or demand (that is, stressor) in your environment, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).
When stress becomes chronic, it can cause problems that limit your ability to function effectively at home or at school or work.
Stress can have negative effects on your mental health and well-being, such as depression, anxiety and fatigue. It can also have an impact on your physical health, such as causing high blood pressure, heart disease and ulcers.
Types of Stress
There are many types of stress, including:
Emotional stress – this happens when you have a lot on your mind and you don’t know how to cope with it.
Physical stress – this occurs when we are under too much pressure and our bodies can’t handle it.
Mental stress – this happens when we feel anxious about something and can’t get it off our minds.
Stress can affect your body, mind and behavior. You experience different types of stress in different situations. Some people are more likely to experience stressful situations than others.
What does stress do to our body?
Stress affects your body in many ways:
Stress hormones are released into your bloodstream when you’re worried about something stressful or when a physical or emotional problem causes your mind to focus on it.
These hormones affect many parts of your body including the digestive system (hormone secretion), skin (cortisol secretion), muscles (endorphin secretion), immune system (interleukin production), brain (norepinephrine secretion) and heart (decreased parasympathetic nervous activity).
The body’s response to stress includes changes in heart rate and blood pressure, increased levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the bloodstream, sweating, muscle tension and shakiness, and an increased production of mucus from the lungs.
These physical changes are not the only effects of chronic stress on our bodies. Stress can also lead to changes in appetite, sleep patterns and energy levels, as well as causing us to overeat or skip meals; drink too much alcohol or coffee; eat less healthily; or sleep too little or too much.
Effects of Stress on Mental and Physical Health
Stress Affects Your Eating Habit
When you’re stressed out, you might experience changes in eating habits. You may not feel like eating at all or find yourself snacking several times during the day. You may eat more sugary foods or reach for comfort foods such as ice cream or cookies.
Stress Affects the Way You Sleep
Stress affects your sleep cycle and makes it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. This can lead to insomnia or another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome (RLS).
It Can Lead to Weight Gain
Stress also contributes to weight gain because it increases fat storage in your liver and muscles. Stressful situations are also associated with increased appetite and overeating, which can lead to weight gain over time.
It Can Lead to Depression
If you are in an unhealthy environment where people around you are constantly discouraging you with their attitudes, it could to frustration, then to depression. For instance, if you have a boss at work that is constantly putting pressure on you, you may be fed up and could even go into depression.
It can lead to over-drinking or over-smoking
If you are stressed, there is tendency of engaging into lifestyle that could affect you negatively. For instance, you may experience depression if you are in the wrong marriage that is constantly giving you problems. This can lead you to drinking too much alcohol or over-smoking which is dangerous to your health.
How Can One Avoid Stress?
The good news is that there are many things you can do to reduce stress in your life. Here are some of the most effective ways to combat stress:
Share Your Problem with People You Trust
One of the things you can do to combat stress is to talk share your problems with someone who cares about you. Talking about your problems might not always solve them but it will at least make you feel better. You don’t have to share all of your problems with other people but just tell those who care about you what has been bothering you lately. Who knows, they might have been in your shoes and may provide solution to your challenges.
Avoid stressful situations
When you’re under stress, it’s important to limit your exposure to stressful situations. If you’re in an argument with someone, try not to engage in the conversation. If you have to speak to someone who makes you anxious, find another way to communicate with them. If possible, avoid being around people who make you feel uncomfortable or angry. These set of people give negative energy and should be avoided.
Exercise is an excellent way for reducing stress levels in your body and mind. Exercising regularly helps fight stress by reducing anxiety levels and boosting your energy levels.
Exercise releases endorphins into your bloodstream which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression as well as improve overall health and wellbeing.
It also lowers blood pressure and increases circulation throughout the body which helps ward off muscle aches and fatigue caused by stress on the mind and body alike! Try taking a short walk or going for a run every morning before work if possible (or even just before bed if it’s late at night). You don’t need expensive equipment or fancy gear – just get out there and move!
Relax As Much As You Can
Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga help you relax your mind and body. This helps to reduce stress levels in your body and mind as well as release endorphins which give you a natural high similar to that produced by exercise or drugs like cocaine or heroin.
Eat A Healthy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Eating well is another way that you can fight back against the effects of stress on your body. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help boost immunity levels so that you are less likely to get sick due to illness caused by malnutrition.
Get enough sleep every night.
One of the biggest contributors to stress is lack of sleep. When you are tired, it’s more difficult to concentrate and make good decisions. If you get enough sleep every night, your body will be able to function at its best, and your mind will be clearer for the next day’s work.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol or caffeine in the evening.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol or caffeine in the evening. These substances are stimulants, which can make it even harder for you to fall asleep, especially if combined with a lack of physical activity before bedtime. If you drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks before bedtime, try cutting down on how much alcohol or caffeine you consume during the evening hours.
Also keep in mind that alcohol and caffeine can increase your stress levels when consumed too frequently. So if you’re feeling stressed out before bedtime, try limiting how much alcohol or caffeine you consume in the evening until your stress level goes back down to normal levels.
2022 Stress Statistics
The 2022 stress statistics show that the world population is expected to grow by more than 2.5 billion people, with the number of elderly people increasing by more than 300 million. The percentage of people living in poverty is also expected to increase from 22 percent today to 26 percent in 2022.
In addition, the WHO has predicted that there will be an estimated total of 2 billion people who will suffer from a mental health problem or disorder by 2022. This includes depression, anxiety and psychosis – conditions that can lead to drug addiction or suicide attempts.
Originally posted 2022-08-14 10:27:40.