We live in a world where everything is rushed – rushing to eat, rushing to get the train, rushing to get to work. Slow down a sec!
Stress has a big impact on your health mentally and physically.
BRAIN FUNCTION – Stress hormones may decrease the functioning of brain cells that help in long term memory, concentration and problem solving. Ever experienced brain fog?
PERSONALITY CHANGES – Stress hormones can effect how a person feels and behaves. You may feel angry, irritable, defensive, impulsive, less work efficient ect. Not acting like yourself? Stop a sec and take a breath.
ANXIETY – Stress may show mild outward signs of anxiety, such as fidgeting, fingernail biting, tapping feet, etc. In other people, chronic activation of stress hormones can contribute to severe feelings of anxiety (e.g., racing heartbeat, nausea, sweaty palms, etc.)
DEPRESSION – Sustained chronic stress leads to raised cortisol levels, the ‘stress hormone’ and reduced serotonin and dopamine levels, the ‘feel good’ hormones which is linked to depression.
MUSCLE TENSION – Tense muscles may trigger off other reactions. For example, muscle tension in your shoulders, neck and head can be the cause of headaches and migraines.
GASTROINTESTINAL – You may eat more or less than usual. Your brain becomes more alert to sensations in your stomach and digestion can be effected. Stress may cause either diarrhoea or constipation.
HEART DISEASE – Stress exposes yourself to unhealthy levels of hormones, such as, cortisol and adrenaline as well as raised blood pressure. Stress alone can increase risk or worsen other risk factors of heart disease.
PMS – Stress is a hormonal process and so is the reproductive system so menstrual symptoms or increase discomfort may be felt stronger than usual.
WEIGHT GAIN – Stress raises cortisol levels and makes your body think you’ve used up all your calories. Cortisol also raises insulin levels causing your blood sugar level to drop, urging you to overeat with mostly sugary ‘comfort foods’.
I won’t lie and say I’m always calm and collected, because sometimes I do lose my shit…
In fact I lost my shit last week and thats why I’m writing this blog post for you.
Health isn’t just about exercise and eating good, its about LISTENING to your body! Doing exercise that releases endorphins for a while is not enough to relax your mind and body and eating healthy is not enough to keep all your hormones balanced. Exterior factors will always contribute.
Recognising stress is the first step to managing it. That doesn’t mean you’ll be stress free once you do, because life is gonna throw bricks at you every now and then…BUT you’ll be able to identify and cope better. Some ways of coping is through meditation, sleep and just simply taking time out.
If you do find that you are under a lot of stress that you cannot control or identify you have severe symptoms of chronic stress consult a doctor.