30 June 2017

The Dangerous Effects of Stress

Stress is something that we often overlook and most of us don’t really understand how serious it can be. We all talk about how stressed we are with our daily lives but this is a bit of an exaggeration. When we say that we’re stressed, we aren’t usually referring to a dangerous level of stress, or perhaps a lot of us just don’t realize how dangerous the levels of stress that we’re experiencing are. People are constantly being pushed to their limit at work and when you pile on the extra stress of family life, things can start to get out of control. High levels of stress are incredibly dangerous and can have far reaching effects on your body that you might not have considered before. If you don’t reduce stress levels before it’s too late you could do yourself some serious harm. These are some of the most dangerous effects of stress that you might not know about.

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Chronic Stress--

Experiencing stress is a natural thing that stems from our days as primitives. The flight or fight mentality that is hardwired into us is caused by stress hormones that are released when you experience fear of some kind. This is what is happening when you become stressed. When that period of fear or danger is over, your body should stop producing these hormones. Unfortunately, if you’ve been overloading yourself with stress, this system doesn’t always work properly and your body will continue to produce these hormones all of the time, leading to intense feelings of stress that do not go away. This is known as chronic stress.

Anxiety and Depression--

This chronic stress can lead to further psychological issues like anxiety and depression. These conditions are far more serious that just being a bit stressed out at work. The problem is, we have started to accept stress as a natural part of life. That means there are thousands of people that are struggling with anxiety or depression issues without even realizing it. This, of course, means that they don’t seek the help that they so desperately need. If you find yourself feeling incredibly low and unmotivated all of the time, you may be suffering from depression. If you are constantly worried about things and find it impossible to ever relax properly, you might be suffering from anxiety. Another common symptom is having trouble in social situations. Both anxiety and depression are serious medical conditions that require treatment, both medicinal and psychological, so if you are having symptoms, don’t just pass it off as a normal level of stress.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse--

It is very common for people that are suffering from stress, or stress related conditions, to use drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. They get a temporary relief from the anxiety or the stress and it may boost their mood. The problem is that this is short lived and they will feel much worse afterward. This ends up becoming a vicious cycle and things will escalate. If you’re experiencing any stress related symptoms, it’s better to seek the help of a medical professional rather than medicating yourself with alcohol or drugs. If you find that you have developed a drug habit, you need to visit Beachside or some other rehab institution. They will help you to break the physical addiction that you have, as well as offering advice and treatment to help you with the stress-related illnesses that have caused the addiction in the first place.

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Breathing--

When you are under a lot of stress, the hormones released speed up your heart and cause you to breathe faster so you can oxygenate your blood quick enough. If you’ve got some kind of respiratory problem like asthma then high levels of stress could put you in real danger. It will also put your lungs under unnecessary strain so you are more likely to develop conditions in later life.

Blood Pressure--

As a result of your heart beating a lot faster, your blood pressure is massively increased. Ordinarily, this would only be a short-lived effect because your body would stop producing stress hormones but if you have chronic stress, this doesn’t happen and your blood pressure will remain high at all times. This can cause you some serious health problems, especially as you get older. Your risk of heart attacks and strokes will skyrocket if you have a very high blood pressure. This is even worse because your heart will be under extra strain while it’s working overtime due to the increased stress levels. Combine all of this and you’ll be putting yourself at risk of fatal heart problems.

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Diabetes--

Most people tend to associate increased risk of diabetes with a bad diet, but high levels of stress can increase your chances as well. When you’re under stress, your digestive system produces extra sugar to give you an energy boost in those fight or flight situations. When you’re stressed all of the time, your body is producing this extra sugar all of the time. It’s too much for your body to cope with and it is effectively the same as adding a large amount of sugar to your diet, so it massively increases your chance of developing diabetes.

Digestion--

Stress can also have a big impact on the efficiency of your digestive system. It’s a common complaint of people suffering from chronic stress that they experience constipation, diarrhea or vomiting. Stress also increases the levels of acid in your stomach leading to lots of stomach aches and pains.

Muscles--

In situations of stress or danger, your muscles will naturally tense up to make them harder and protect yourself from impacts. Maintaining a high level of stress all of the time means that your muscles don’t ever relax. They’re always tensed up so you’ll start to develop problems with them. Tight muscles can cause all sorts of problems including back and neck pains and severe headaches. Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress and so having muscle problems can be a big hurdle when you’re trying to get over it. People often find themselves neglecting exercise because their muscles are damaged and the whole cycle starts again.

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