7 Ways Stress Is Destroying Your Health!

Too much of anything can be problematic. So, when it comes to too much stress…well, you guessed it, it’s not good for you! When we feel tension, our bodies send out an overload of the stress hormones; adrenaline and cortisol, which can create an unhealthy imbalance in our bodies, resulting in numerous issues.

In our modern lives, daily worries and emotional threats are common for everyone. Any threat, physical or emotional, delivers a pre-set natural response in our bodies that we can’t control. Here is where the problem occurs…our bodies react to emotional threats just as it would to a physical one – which causes more damage than anything else.

Stress can cause problems mentally and physically, and it manifests in different ways for each person. Below we’ll take a look at some of the most common ailments linked to excessive stress...and how to combat them.

1. A Weakened Immune System

During periods of tension and stress, the overproduction of cortisol can weaken our immune systems and obstruct the body’s normal response to fight any foreign invaders. So, when you're suffering from chronic stress, your body is left vulnerable, leaving you open to contracting a cold, flu or infection.

A well-functioning immune system is essential for us to keep healthy, as it helps our bodies to produce the antibodies to fight off infections. But you may have noticed that when either you or someone you know is going through a prolonged stressful situation, they become sick more regularly. 

Things you should do...

When your immune system is under strain and stress, you might need to do little, extra things to help your body stay healthy. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol! The more toxins you put into your body when it's in a vulnerable state, the harder it will be to stay fit and well. Try to get lots of sleep - that's when your body can recover - and add more fruit and veg to your diet...by doing this, you can help combat this symptom of stress. 

2. High Blood Pressure 

When we are stressed, our bodies will temporarily increase our blood pressure, causing our blood vessels to tighten and our hearts to beat faster. So, if you find that you’re stressed more often than not, you’re putting a lot of pressure on your heart and arteries. Our bodies are designed to cope with the odd stressful situation here or there, but a continued state of stress isn’t doing you any good.

Things you should do...

The best thing you can do is try to find different ways of coping with stressful scenarios. Deep breathing, exercise, and mediation can help reduce your daily stresses considerably. These habits might not decrease your blood pressure immediately, but having a calmer mind and healthier body will help reduce any further complication stress may cause.

3. Headaches 

During the ‘fight or flight’ response in our bodies, our muscles will naturally tense and tighten and blood vessels constrict – which can lead to headaches. Unfortunately, the more you stress and become tense, the less chance your body has to relax, causing headaches to become more regular. So, if you're someone who suffers from migraines, you may find them become worse during times of high stress [1].

Things you should do...

Massage, massage, and more massages! A tension headache can become quite debilitating, so finding ways that your body can unwind is very important for both your physical and emotional health. The tighter your muscles are around your head, shoulders and neck, the worse your headache will become...so get some TLC in every now and then, to reduce the tension and start to relax. 

4. Insomnia

Sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but when suffering from short term or chronic stress, our sleep can be seriously affected as a result. Insomnia is proven to be far more prevalent in people that are stressed or going through stressful events [2]

It can all become a horrible cycle, as a lack of sleep can in turn cause stress. You may find yourself unable to sleep due to tension, but then the lack of sleep and the effect it has on your life will cause more stress...a toxic circle that many of our customers have fallen victim to.

Things you should do...

Our advice is to find ways of keeping your body relaxed and calm. Here at Organica, we have formulated a lotion that will not only help you fall to sleep quickly but will help your body to relax and unwind. Dream Lotion is packed full of all natural ingredients, including bergamot oil and lavender oil - proven to encourage the production of the relaxation hormones in the brain. 

5. Diet Issues

The stress hormone, cortisol, can shut down the non-essential functions of the body, one of which is the digestive system. When under stress, the digestive system struggles to metabolize fat, protein, and carbs properly, which can cause unwanted weight gain - which could (once again) result in more stress! You may then find yourself overindulging to make yourself feel better...

Some can be affected by having no appetite what so ever. Undereating will cause rapid weight loss (which is not sustainable nor good for you). The more weight you lose due to stress, the higher risk you are of becoming extremely unwell from malnutrition. 

Digestive problems are also a common symptom of stress. Sometimes when faced with stressful situations, our body’s natural response is for the muscles to tense – this includes the colon. When the colon contracts, it can cause the stomach to cramp, which can lead to diarrhea or constipation.

Things you should do...

Try to keep a balanced diet. If you hold a lot of your stress in your stomach, and you're finding yourself eating less, make sure that when you do eat, you're eating the right things your body needs. Forcing yourself to eat won't help the situation as you may just make yourself ill. Just keep an eye on what you're putting into your body and make sure it is going to help keep you going.

6. Hair Loss 

It’s common to lose a few hairs daily, due to the natural cell renewal that occurs where new hair follicles replace the old ones. This is what keeps your head of hair looking fabulous! But, when faced with extreme stress, the suppression of the body functions can interrupt the hair growth cycle. You might see a decrease in the number of hairs growing, which over a long period of time would make your hair thinner. Unfortunately, just like lack of sleep, hair loss can become the cause of stress in itself! 

Things you should do...

Keeping your hair in good condition can be down to a few factors; care, products and diet. Make sure you are using natural shampoos that are free of sulfates and parabens, and don't over-style and kill the ends of your hair with too much heat. One of the best ways to ensure a healthy head of hair is to start from the inside. Eating a protein-rich diet will ensure enough biotin and kertain is in your body - the building blocks of your hair.  

Related: 7 Hair Killing Habits Every Woman Over 40 Should Know About

7. Skin Problems 

Acne, unfortunately, is not a thing of the past – adults, as well as pubescent teenagers, can develop pimples on their skin, which can be caused by a variety of factors - stress being one of them. The surge of hormones caused by stress can manifest on the surface of your face, causing the glands to produce more oil, which can get trapped in the hair follicles on your face. Hello, breakout! 

Painful, itchy, red scores may also appear on your skin during these times of irritation. Psoriasis can be triggered by stress and then in turn cause stress due to the nature of them. They can appear anywhere on the body, which, if visible, can be quite distressing. 

Things you should do...

Keeping your skin stress free can be quite difficult...not to mention the fact that you might not know how your skin is going to react. The best advice is to try and maintain a healthy skin routine. Cleanse, tone and moisturize daily to keep your skin clean. The less oil build up from the stress, the fewer breakouts you should experience. 

Final Thoughts 

Stress isn't nice, but it is something we will all go through at some point in our lives - unless you're very lucky! The key is to know how to help your body and mind through it all. Stress can make you feel vulnerable, emotional, sensitive and extremely unhappy. And to add to it all, most of the results of stress will make you feel awful. If you find ways to manage your stress, either through hobbies, meditation or yoga, you can help reduce these unwanted effects and keep yourself healthy and well. There are so many factors in our lives that can cause issues and tension, so why not start finding out how you can live as stress-free as possible! 

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