The Effects of Stress


The Effects of StressEveryone experiences stress and not all of it is bad. But when stress levels stay high or become chronic, they can cause a huge variety of health issues or make existing health problems worse. Overproduction of stress hormones can damage the brain, heart, and other organs and prevent cells from functioning normally. As the Mayo Clinic explains, chronic stress impacts the body, which impacts the mood, which can impact behavior. In this way, too much stress can impact our entire lives, affecting health, relationships and our quality of living on a day to day basis.

The impacts of chronic stress can include:

  • An increased chance of heart attack and stroke
  • Stomach problems, such as ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Weight gain
  • A compromised immune system
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function

So what's the best way to deal with high or chronic stress? Here are a few things you can do:

  • Learn to identify healthy vs. unhealthy stress: Feeling stress before a big presentation, a medical procedure, or on your daughter's wedding day is normal, and can even be positive, helping you rise to the occasion. But if you have major stress on a that interferes with your ability to function or to carry out your day-to-day activities, that may be something you need to address.
  • Visit your doctor: High cholesterol or blood pressure, sleep disturbances, being overweight and many other health problems may be linked to or caused by stress. But you may be so used to living this way that you don't even notice (or realize) that life doesn't have to be so difficult. Make an appointment to see your doctor and get an objective opinion on your general health and how stress may be a factor.
  • Practice mindfulness: You don't have to sit on an cushion or start chanting to practice or get the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Take a class or find an app that works for you, and discover the benefits of learning to be in the present moment.
  • Exercise: Almost any type of exercise can improve mood and help to reduce stress. Find something you enjoy doing and that works with your lifestyle, and make it a habit.
  • Get counseling: Sometimes, we may be dealing with unresolved trauma (a type of delayed stress response); or we are simply unable to handle the effects of stress on our own. If the impacts of depression, anxiety or loneliness have started to interfere with everyday functioning, it may help to seek out a mental health professional. Help is available: don't wait until it's too late.

Stress is a serious issue. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce and deal with stress just keep going until you find the tools and strategies that will work for you.

For any insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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