It’s not stress that kills, but the way you handle stress that kills. Sometimes, a little stress might be just what you need to push you through a tough project, presentation or other chore you’ve been dreading.
But constant stress can become wearing, both emotionally and physically. After time, chronic stress starts to chip away at your health. Your blood pressure rises; your weight starts to creep up; you toss and turn at night and feel groggy all day. Long-term stress can heighten anxiety, cause sleep disturbance, cause gastroenterology symptoms such as pain, constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome, and elevate blood pressure.
The Danger of Stress
It’s commonly known that you need to exercise and watch your diet to protect your health. In addition, cutting back on stress is just as important for maintaining your good health.
Depending on the amount, type and duration of stress, it can have a harmful effect upon health, mimicking other unhealthy behaviors, including tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. And if you carry on day after day letting stress get you down, the news is even bleaker.
Long-term stress may cause elevation in blood pressure and other chronic diseases, such as depression and anxiety. Heart attacks, diabetes and other chronic conditions that can be influenced by stress pose life-threatening complications and poor overall health.There are some studies showing that individuals with mood disorders, such as depression, do not do as well medically after having had a heart attack.
Chronic stress can also increase inflammation in the body, which can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and more. These chronic diseases certainly pose quality-of-life concerns, which could also affect length of life.
The message is clear: You have to find a way to daily “de-stress” — keep your stress at a reasonable, healthy level and figure out how to put a damper on stress before it gets out of hand.
Stress management is a key element of healthy living, along with other healthy lifestyle factors, such as skipping the use of any tobacco products, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and staying active.
Exercise reduces stress and improves health in so many different ways. Physical activity can boost the mood, improve energy and significantly improve both quality and quantity of sleep.
Remember, taking time to relax isn’t a luxury. It’s part of the prescription for a healthier and longer life.
Health and happiness,