How Does Stress Affect Health
Stress is a normal part of life. It is how our bodies react to any given trigger, whether it be school, work, parenting, deadlines, and so on. It also happens to have an impact on every aspect of our health. It can motivate us to reach deadlines, but it can also leave us mentally or physically strained to the point of snapping.
Stress in women can cause a variety of issues that affect one’s quality of life. It can cause acne breakouts, irregular periods, reduce sex drive, increase hair loss and weight gain. It can also trigger insomnia, depression, and anxiety, among other problems. There are good and bad stressors, temporary stress, and long-term chronic stress.
When you are stressed, your muscles tense up. If you are in a chronic state of stress, your muscles never get to fully relax, which causes issues throughout the body, like tension headaches and migraines. This chronic state of adrenaline associated with stress can lead to increased blood pressure and heart issues.
How is it diagnosed.
Stress can’t be measured, so “testing” for stress isn’t entirely possible or accurate. Most practitioners begin by questioning your health and family history. They will check your vitals, look at possible triggers in your life, and determine your stress levels based on a culmination of responses from a variety of different “tests.”
How to holistically treat stress.
- Eliminate as many triggers as possible. Look at your life. What stresses you out the most? Is it too much work? A messy house? Lack of exercise or interests. There are an unlimited amount of possibilities that could trigger stress in your life. When you look at what makes you unhappy, take the steps needed to eliminate that unhappiness from your life. Work towards switching to a job that you enjoy. Hire a housekeeper. Get creative and find ways to bring in more joy.
- Exercise. Exercise is powerful. We hear over and over, exercise and diet. But they are crucial to overall well-being. Exercise several times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. Find a fun way to do it if you are allergic to the gym. Go for a run on the beach, swim, hike, or rock climb. Even just going for a rigorous walk on a trail outside can do wonders for your stress levels. And the best part is that it benefits all aspects of your views of yourself. The more you exercise, the healthier your body becomes. The healthier your body looks and feels, the better your self-confidence will be. It’s a win win. A simple solution that takes a lot of will-power.
- Diet. A diet plays a huge role in stress levels and overall health. If you eat processed foods, drink alcohol and caffeine, and fill your body up with empty, toxic ingredients, you aren’t going to feel good. And when you don’t feel good, mentally or physically, it raises your stress levels.
- Adopt mindfulness tools like meditation and yoga. Meditation and yoga often get scoffed at as being some new age hippy nonsense. The truth is, both have been around for thousands of years. And both are proven to improve your stress levels and overall quality of life. They actually have the power to change your brain. So give it a shot. You don’t have anything to lose.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture helps regulate the nervous system which, in turn, benefits other areas of the body like blood pressure, stress levels, circulation, and more.
- Utilize natural herbs and essential oils. Herbs like ginseng, maca, cocoa, and holy basil are plants that help protect the body and restore balance. Some essential oils that help alleviate stress are lavender, frankincense, and myrrh.
There are many other ways to reduce stress levels, from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to getting out into nature to socializing with the people that you care about. It’s important to remember that you can take charge of the stress affecting your life, and eliminate it or turn it into something positive.