Stress is a natural part of our lives. We feel it at our job and our day-to-day responsibilities at home. Whether it comes from dealing with people or the growing amount of tasks that pile-up on your plate, it’s normal to feel the effects both physically and mentally.
The Effects of Stress on Your Body
Like many other health conditions, stress can have a significant toll on the body. However, it’s not just a mental phenomenon. While our brains are busy trying to combat the mental effects of stress, our bodies are equally on defense.
The problem becomes increasingly difficult for those who suffer from chronic stress. Constant feeling of stress and anxiety can severely limit our ability to make healthy, everyday choices such as the decision to get up and exercise or purchase healthy foods from the grocery store.
The effects don’t end here, however. Chronic stress experienced over a prolonged period of time can leave lasting damage on our bodies by contributing to problems with long-term health. For example, our heart rate may elevate, and elevated levels of stress hormones can lead to spikes in blood pressure. We may also experience fatigue, problems with sleep, muscle tension, headaches, chest pains or even an upset stomach.
Manage Your Stress, Manage Your Weight!
It goes without saying that with all of the effects stress can have on your body, your body weight is also affected. Your energy levels, eating habits, metabolism, sleep patterns and bodily functions are all partially dependent on the health of your brain.
By finding ways to manage and alleviate mental strain, however, you can stay on the defense and protect your mind/body. These simple strategies can set you up for long-term health and success:
- Exercise Routinely – Exercising as a preventative measure can release endorphins and help relax your body and mind.
- Get a Healthy Dose of Sleep – Try to aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. This will help you decompress, reserve your energy and press the “reset” button.
- Practice Self-care – Whether it’s taking an afternoon off to “take care of business” or going to get a massage, self care will help you prioritize your physical and mental well-being.
- Eat Nutritiously – Healthy, whole and well-balanced foods will boost your energy and help your body to feel its strongest. A healthy body can help you mentally, too.
- Work with Your Support System – Share your concerns and experiences with a trusted friend, family member or even a healthcare professional.
Stress not only affects multiple areas of your life such as your job and home, but it also affects your physical and mental well-being. Before you give it any control, remember to take a breath and practice healthy strategies to fight it!