Stress is the body's reaction to a change, demand, or threat. This reaction could be physical, emotional, or mental. However, unchecked stress can be harmful. It contributes to a number of health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.
Stress can leave us feeling deprived, overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed.
While there is no clear-cut way to make it go away, there are definitely ways to manage it efficiently, exercise being one of them.
Furthermore, in this blog:
- Common causes of stress
- Symptoms of stress
- How can chronic stress impact health?
- Exercising: The natural way to reduce stress
- Physical activities or exercises to try for stress relief
Common Causes Of Stress
While stress may differ from person to person & the kind of situation a person may be experiencing, it occurs generally due to:
- The death of a dear one
- Divorce/Breakup/Relationship problems
- Family issues
- Loss of a job/ Work stress
- Financial issues
- Starting a new phase in life: Getting married or pregnancy
- Illness or injury
- Emotional issues (depression, anger, grief, guilt, lack of confidence)
- Caregiver stress
- Traumatic uncertainties like theft, violence, sexual abuse
Common Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Stress
Dizziness, general aches, and pains, grinding teeth, clenched jaws, headaches, indigestion, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, racing heart, ringing in the ears, stooped posture, sweaty palms, tiredness, exhaustion, trembling, weight gain or loss, upset stomach and delayed recovery time.
Worrying all the time, having trouble making judgments, forgetting things, having trouble focusing, lack of creativity, losing your sense of humor, and poor memory.
Anger, anxiety, crying, depression, feeling powerless, frequent mood swings, irritability, loneliness, negative thinking, nervousness, and sadness.
Bossiness, compulsive eating, critical attitude toward others, explosive actions, frequent job changes, impulsive actions, increased use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawal from relationships or social situations.
How Can Chronic Stress Impact Health?
When you are under a lot of stress, your body indicates that something is not right.
These warning signs—physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral—should not be ignored.
You run the risk of developing health issues like heart disease if you don't manage stress and give your body a rest. A current sickness can also get worse as a result. You could also worsen an existing illness.
Stress And Its Impact On The Gut
Emotional stress or anxiety directly affects your gut health. No wonder why you feel like using the washroom whenever a stressful situation arrives. And this, in turn, can trigger or sometimes worsen the symptoms of IBS.
Stress And Diabetes Risk
When stress increases, sugar levels in the blood increase. This is the body’s way to boost the energy available to cells, for, literally, fight or flight. Learning how to manage your stress goes a long way in helping you keep your sugar levels stable.
Elevated Stress Is Bad For Brain Health
The brain tends to shrink with age. If you put your brain under constant stress, it causes a considerable decrease in brain size which ultimately interferes with the grey matter content (which can lead to a mental imbalance).
Also Check: Instant Stress Relief Tips
Other Risks Related To Increased Stress
The adrenal glands produce cortisol, or "the stress hormone." It increases when we are under intense stress.
Excessive cortisol in the body can cause a serious condition called, Cushing’s syndrome, a cluster disorder with symptoms that include weight gain, depression, and high blood pressure.
Exercising: The Natural Way To Reduce Stress
‘Exercise improves your physical condition and fights diseases better' is something we have heard quite often, but did you know that exercise is the best way to de-stress too?
Physical exercise releases feel-good or happy hormones also called endorphins. These chemicals in the brain act as natural pain killers and immunity enhancers, and help reduce the negative effect of stress. They improve the ability to sleep and promote a relaxed feeling.
Physical Activities/Exercises To Try For Stress Relief
- Yoga asanas for stress relief
- A ride on the bicycle
- Walking or brisk walking
- Recreational running for short distances
- Weight lifting
- HIIT workouts
- Aerobics classes of average difficulty
- Fitness classes in the gym
- Aqua aerobics
- Rope jumping
- Any cardio workout (even chair cardio)
If you are unable to control your stress and it is continually interfering with your daily tasks, you must get professional help. You can learn effective coping mechanisms for the stress from an experienced counselor. Emotional therapy will help you establish new patterns and possibly prevent additional stress by altering your existing behavioral responses to stress.
Let us get you moving again!