Do you feel that you are constantly under stress? Stress is something everyone encounters on an all too frequent basis. But when it starts to have a negative effect on your body and your mind, you have crossed over into being distressed. What many people fail to realize is that stress is a state of being that negatively impacts the body. In fact, stress has a bigger impact on people’s bodies than most would care to acknowledge.
Stress and your body
There are some truly scary facts about the toll that stress can take on the body. When you look at these facts it is hard to deny that each person should effective ways to manage their stress. Some of the basic facts include:
- 43% of all adults have health problems related to stress
- 75-90% of all physician visits are stress-related
- 82% of workers are at least a little stressed in their workplace
- Stress is known to cost American businesses more than $300 billion every year
Seven ways your body is affected by stress
There are two kinds of stress. The “good” stress is called eustress. But generally, we only hear and talk about the “bad” stress, which is known as chronic stress or distress. At first, chronic stress health issues may go unnoticed. But if the stress is not managed at these early stages, the symptoms will continue to evolve, get worse and the final effects may even be irreversible.
1. Depression. When you are stressed out, it is very common for people to become depressed. There are only so a limited supply of chemicals within the brain to help a person deal with stress. And when they are used up, they are gone. This can lead to a person becoming profoundly depressed over what seems like a relatively short period of time.
2. Anxiety. Some people who are stressed have to deal with uncontrollable levels of anxiety. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand, and this can cause many different changes in mood, and in the physiological functioning of the body.
3. Heart disease. Stress is very closely linked to heart attacks and death associated with cardiovascular disease. When stress is not managed, the body breaks down more quickly, and the heart can often be profoundly impacted.
4. Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing epidemics in the world. Both mental and physical stress can cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels. The long-term effects associated with type 2 diabetes include heart disease, blindness, liver problems, kidney disease, and many other illnesses.
5. Hair loss. We often tease our friends and family when they begin to their lose hair, but this can also be a sign or symptom of unmanaged stress. If your hair is falling out prematurely hold off on blaming your genetics. Take a closer look at how you are dealing with the stresses in your life and see if there are things you can do to control them more effectively.
6. Obesity. Many people often try to cope with stress by consuming unhealthy, fattening foods. Plus, stress prohibits the control of necessary chemicals that are used by the body to break down fat, which can lead to obesity.
7. Sexual dysfunction. Stress is one of the most common reasons associated with impotence in men and decreased libido in women.
As you can see, stress can affect your health in several serious ways. This is by no means an all-inclusive list of how stress can affect your body and health. Other health issues may include: hyperthyroidism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, tooth and gum disease, ulcers, and even cancer.
Stress is deadly serious stuff! This is all the more reason to start actively managing your stress more appropriately today!