The saying goes, “Into every life, a little rain must fall.” Stress is like rain. A little of it can be a good thing. But too much can cause havoc and devastation.
Our bodies are designed to handle a little bit of acute or sudden stress. But when stress is prolonged or becomes chronic, it can devastate our health.
Here are just some of the ways stress can negatively impact your body:
Prolonged stress can lead to respiratory issues such as shortness of breath. Individuals who do not have an underlying respiratory disease may not be very impacted. But for those with pre-existing conditions such as COPD and asthma, stress can dangerously exacerbate the situation.
When we’re stressed, we are in fight or flight mode. This causes our heart to beat faster and our blood vessels to dilate. In short-term scenarios, these physical manifestations help get us out of danger.
But for prolonged periods, this can put a lot of stress on our heart and blood vessels, potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Did you know that 80% of your immune system is in your stomach? So it’s crucial to ensure your stomach is healthy!
Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your stomach by destroying beneficial gut bacteria. A change in this bacteria can negatively impact your mood. When you’re already feeling stressed, the last thing you need is also to feel depressed.
The nervous system influences both the male and female reproductive systems. When stressed, our sexual hormones can get out of balance, and we can lose sexual desire. As a result, men may find it hard to achieve and maintain an erection. Likewise, stress can make it hard to conceive and affect a woman’s menstrual cycle.
As you can see, stress can negatively impact physical health. While we can’t stop the rain from falling or stress from entering our lives, we can practise healthy stress management. Eating right, getting enough exercise, and getting quality sleep each night are excellent places to start.
If you would like to discuss this more, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am seeing clients in my office in Hove and globally online.