How does stress affect your health?

What is stress?

stressStress is basically anything that causes you physical or mental strain. The amount of stress that is generated by any condition also depends on how you react to that situation.

Not all stress is bad. In fact every human being needs a little stress in their lives to stimulate them to e.g. meet a deadline. Without a little stress you’d go out of your mind with boredom. The problem comes when you have too much stress bombarding you. The key to stress management is achieving a balance.

How does stress affect health?

Remember that stress affects your health negatively if it is continuous over a long period of time (i.e. chronic). Almost half of all adults suffer from effects of prolonged stress.
These range from mild to severe.

Side effects of stress include:

  • sleeplessness
  • tiredness
  • change in appetite and gastrointestinal disturbances
  • irritability
  • headaches and memory loss
  • lowered sex drive
  • shallow breathing
  • high blood pressure
  • severe emotional disturbances

Many major illnesses like diabetes, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, heart disease and skin disorders have stress as a major contributing factor.

Sometimes the stressed out body starts attacking itself contributing to disorders like multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

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