How Stress Affects Your Health. Your body can be very resilient. Yet as with anything there’s only so much something can take until it gives. When it comes to your health, stress is a major aggravating factor.
Many people associate stress with conditions such as angina, heart attacks, and mental health conditions such as depression. Yet stress can play a fundamental role in a number of conditions, you might not naturally think about.
For instance, within the branch of medicine known as gastroenterology, which relates to your digestive system. Stress can be an incredibly potent aggravating factor when it comes to conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or gastric reflux.
Your body is one connected unit. The mind and body are inextricably linked to the point they are one. Your emotions have a major effect on your health as do the thoughts you think. These create the feelings you feel. So often, we focus solely on the external physical manifestation of disease rather than its true holistic basis.
When we look at the word disease, it represents that your body is in a state of unease. Meaning it’s out of balance. In scientific terms, your body is always aiming for a state of homeostasis meaning things are balanced without disease.
Stress is one of the largest factors in putting your body out of homeostasis.When you are stressed your body has to work much harder as you burn a lot more energy and put much higher demands on your body to perform.
As a result, your body will develop external manifestations of the depleting effect it has on your body. The most common of which are symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, jaw ache, stomach upset and difficulty sleeping.
In addition to the physical, the effects of stress are even more pronounced in terms of your emotional state, or mood. Making many people feel anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, sad, or even depressed.
In response to these physical manifestations of stress most people try to feel better . But by engaging in activities that might feel good in the moment but aren’t necessarily healthy in the long term. For instance, under stress many people find themselves over eating (comfort eating) or under eating to the point they aren’t taking care of themselves. Emotional crutches such as drugs and alcohol come out, at more extreme levels. Whilst on a day to day level many people find they become socially withdrawn, exercise less often, and feel negative about their life.
It’s important not to overlook the negative effect stress can have on your body, your mind, and your life. Rather than endeavour to ‘avoid stress’ which is nigh on impossible. You need to look for ways to manage stress and actually put it to good use. Stress in itself doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Many people use stress to motivate them to perform better. But when it starts to affect your health that’s when you know it’s time to look at ways to handle your stress better.