Chronic Stress Damages Your Health
September 22, 2021
Chronic stress is a condition that can damage your health in many ways.
Chronic stress may be caused by any number of factors including the following: job-related demands, family problems, financial worries, substance abuse, lack of sleep, and even poor diet. Chronic stress has been linked to depression and anxiety disorders as well as physical problems like chronic headaches and digestive distress. Research studies have found that people with chronic illness are more likely to be under constant stress than those who are healthy.
Chronic stress is the constant activation of the body’s stress response. When chronic stress occurs, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is activated. This leads to chronic elevation of cortisol levels in blood circulation, which can lead to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
The chronic activation of chronic stress can also lead to sleep deprivation. Studies show that chronic stress results in changes in metabolism, appetite, and memory consolidation that can result in chronic insomnia. Stress also affects blood pressure levels, which may lead to chronic high blood pressure. It might also be what is leading you to develop conditions like diabetes or obesity.
It’s important that you take steps against chronic stress by doing activities you enjoy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
5 ways chronic stress can damage your health:
- Interrupt the function of your immune system which may lead to increased frequency and severity of illnesses.
- Sleep problems by disrupting your natural sleep patterns.
- Dysregulated blood sugar levels which increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and hypertension.
- Interfere with your work performance. Long-term exposure to stress has been found to be related to sickness, absenteeism, job turnover, and impaired effectiveness at work.
- Many other symptoms like back pain, kidney disorders, inflammation, anxiety, asthma, depression, and headaches.
Ultimately, chronic stress interferes with the body’s proper functioning which can lead to disease and prevent proper healing of disease. Your wellness journey will not work without managing and reducing stress.
Here are a few tips to manage chronic stress:
- Cut down on the amount of alcohol you consume in a week
- Spend time in nature, or sitting near a window with natural light
- Spend less time with people who make you feel bad about yourself
- Spend less time with people who aggravate you or negatively influence your decision making
- Get outside in the sun for at least 20 minutes every day
- Incorporate more activity into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
- Add meditation to your daily routine. Incorporate programs like Calm or Headspace to make meditation easier.
- Try breathing exercises like Box Breathing (in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4), 4-7-8 Breathing (inhale for 4, hold for 7, out for 8), Wim Hof Breathing or Soma Breathing.
Chronic stress has serious effects on your health.
The more chronic stress you feel, the worse these effects will be. We hope this article helped to provide some insight into how chronic stress can damage your health and what steps are available for managing it.
Please contact our office today to get started on your wellness journey.