How do you define stress? Stress can be explained as any alteration in the immediate environment that necessitates your body and mind to adjust to this very change so that you can cope up with the change that has taken place. This change is effected mentally, emotionally, as well as physically.
If you take it positively, stress can be referred to as a necessity that will equip you to adjust to the new setting. However, in majority of the cases, stress adversely affects individuals. You can overcome stress in a number of ways, namely, adopting a well planned fitness regime, wherein you decide and plan out your own fitnessgoals, by eating healthy, and having a positive mindset. But at times, not all individuals can adapt to the changes that take place and these changes become a burden on them. What happens then? Let us find out how stress can affect your general well being and most importantly your health.
Effects of stress on body
Stress impacts most of the physiological functions in the body. The effects have been mentioned below-
- Central Nervous System
The term “fight or flight” is not unheard of and the CNS is responsible for reciprocating to any emergency situation that arises. However, in chronic conditions, the effects of stress or the hormones that are responsible for de-stressing do not work and this is when the impact is felt. It leads to depression and anxiety.
Prolonged stress leads to upset stomach and plays havoc with the digestive system. It not only leads to surge in blood glucose but over a period of time, you might develop Type II diabetes. Moreover, excessive stress leads to acid reflux, dyspepsia, and your gut health is affected adversely.
Generally under stress the muscles become tight, a reaction to counter any threat or injury. However, if the muscles fail to relax again, you tend to get stress headaches, pain in the entire body that is manifested in the form of shoulder pain, back pain, and so on.
- Cardiac disorder
Respiratory as well as cardiovascular system is affected due to prolonged stress. Any threat that is perceived makes your heart rate increase due to which the hormones that are released due to stress leads to constriction of blood vessels and in due course it cause to hypertension. If hypertension becomes chronic, over a period of time, it leads to heart ailments.
- Reproductive health
Irregular periods, missed periods, polycystic ovary disease, painful periods, and certain other reproductive symptoms in men and women, especially in menstruating women and post menopausal women become pronounced due to prolonged stress. It might also affect the ability to conceive thereby affecting fertility.
If deemed necessary, it is best to seek professional advice. Alternatively, you could also try and make changes in your lifestyle, if that can be of any help. Relax and unwind often. Exercise, a balanced diet, yoga, meditation, and indulging in recreational activities with near and dear ones can help you tide over any mental crisis. Most importantly, never mix up your personal and professional life.