Why stress is bad for health

June 3, 2021

Stress is key to survival, but too much stress can be detrimental. Emotional stress that stays around for weeks or months can weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and even heart disease. In particular, too much epinephrine can be harmful to your heart. If you’re constantly under stress, you can have physical symptoms, such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and problems with sex and sleep. Stress can also lead to emotional problems, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry.

When you are so stressed: When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which prepares the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper. You have probably heard all about how bad stress is for your mind and body. It can produce mood problems such as anxiety or sadness. It can even lead to behavioral problems such as outbursts of anger or overeating.

Symptoms of Stress

The Causes of Stress: The main cause of stress are Financial Problems, Work, personal relationships, parenting, Daily life, and Resources.

1. Financial Problems: According to the American Psychological Association (APA), money is the top cause of stress in the United States. In a 2015 survey, the APA reported that 72% of Americans stresse about money at least once in a month.

The majority of the study participants reported money being a significant source of stress, with 77% feeling considerable anxiety about finances.

2.Work: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans now spend 8% more time at work compared to 20 years ago, and about 13% of people work a second job. At least 40% report their jobs are stressful, and 26% report they often feel burned out by their work.

3.personal relationships: There are people in all of our lives that cause us stress. It could be a family member, an intimate partner, friend, or co-worker. Toxic people lurk in all parts of our lives and the stress we experience from these relationships can affect physical and mental health.

4. parenting: Parents are often faced with managing busy schedules that include a job, household duties, and raising children. These demands result in parenting stress. 

5.Daily life: Day-to-day stressors are our daily inconveniences. They include things like misplacing keys, running late, and forgetting to bring an important item with you when leaving the house. Usually, these are just minor setbacks, but if they become frequent, they become a source of anxiety affecting physical and or psychological health.

6.Resources: Your personality traits and the resources you have available to you tie into all of the above and can be independent sources of stress as well. Extroverts, for example, tend to experience less stress in daily life and have greater social resources, which buffer against stress

The signs of work-related stress can be physical and psychological, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • Stomach problems

If it sticks around long enough, something as small as a nagging concern in the back of your mind can affect your heart. It can make you more likely to have high blood pressure, a heart attack, or a stroke. Higher levels of anxiety can trigger those stress hormones that make your heart beat faster and harder.

The top five most stressful life events include:

  • Death of a loved one.
  • Divorce.
  • Moving.
  • Major illness or injury.
  • Job loss.

How can we handle stress: we can handle stress in some healthy ways. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.

1.Eat and drink to optimize your health: Some people try to reduce stress by drinking alcohol or eating too much. These actions may seem to help at the moment but actually may add to stress in the long run.

2.Exercise regularly: In addition to having physical health benefits, exercise has been shown to be a powerful stress reliever. Consider non-competitive aerobic exercise, strengthening with weights, or movement activities like yoga or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. 

3.Stop using tobacco and nicotine products: People who use nicotine often refer to it as a stress reliever. However, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by increasing physical arousal and reducing blood flow and breathing.

4.Study and practice relaxation techniques: Taking the time to relax every day helps to manage stress and to protect the body from the effects of stress. You can choose from a variety of techniques, such as deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation.

5.Set realistic goals and expectations: It’s okay—and healthy—to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything all at once. Be mindful of the things you can control and work on accepting the things that you can’t control.

Stress is the body’s response to a challenge or demand. Everyone experiences stress, which can be triggered by a range of events, from small daily hassles to major changes like a divorce or job loss.

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