How Does Stress Affect Health?

The main effects of stress on the health are both physical and psychological. These effects range from being unable to sleep to being prone to depression.

Walking is great exercise for the health

How does stress affect health? Stress is becoming more and more common place in society.

It is said that stress is one of the main reasons people visit a doctor.

According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), in the UK alone 13.5 millions days were lost due to stress and anxiety in 2007/8.

As these figures show stress does affect your overall health and it is affecting the productivity of businesses both in the UK and worldwide.

So it is important to establish if you are being affected by stress or not. By establishing if you are indeed being affected by stress gives you then the knowledge to do something about it.

Many people are subjected to stress but don't realize that this is what they are experiencing.

By checking out what the symptoms of stress are and what causes stress you help to educate yourself. You will start to see whether you are being effected by stress or not.

The problems can arise when you are subjected to something that you have little knowledge of and this can cause worry and confusion - "What's wrong with me?", "Why do I feel like this?", "Why do I keep losing my temper?" Why does everyone annoy me?"

And this can cause problems because people think that this is normal - that it is normal to not sleep well , that it is normal to have insomnia, that it is normal to have really tight shoulders or stress headaches.

But the reality is that this is not normal. The symptoms and health effects of stress listed below are not normal - a lot of people have them but this does not make it normal.

The encouraging thing is that there are things you can do about answering the question how does stress affect health. Meditation, breathing techniques and exercise are great ways of gaining stress relief to the symptoms of stress and really change your life.

How Does Stress Affect Health?

The effects of stress can be split into two main categories:

• Stress on the body

• Psychological effects of stress

Stress on the Body

How does stress affect health and the body? Some of the effects of stress on the body can be as follows:

Cortisol - The Stress Hormone?

Cortisol is a hormone which is released by the body when it is faced with certain day-to-day activities and situations. It has received a lot of press recently and is also known as the stress hormone. When the body becomes stressed then this hormone is released.

On a short term level this is very helpful, as it helps the body to be more alert and responsive but on a long term basis can become detrimental to the health.

So what is cortisol? How does it affect you and what can you do to bring your these hormone levels into balance?

Stress and Aging - Does Stress Speed Up The Aging Process?

Stress and aging: over the last few decades there have been huge leaps in our scientific knowledge.

The latest research is showing that we can measure longevity in ourselves and through that we can measure how different life choices and factors affect how quickly we age.

So in looking at stress and aging, does stress speed up the aging process and if so is there anything we can do to alter this process?

Can The Stress Response Be a Good Thing?

The stress response is also known as the fight-or-flight syndrome.

This syndrome manifests itself physiologically through rapid breathing, heart palpitations and sweating. In this article the question arises, can the stress response be a good thing?

Menopause & Stress

Menopause can affect some women's sleep through hot flushes and changes in hormones. Sleep deprivation can cause a rise in stress levels which can also affect relationships.

How does menopause affect stress levels and what are some herbal remedies you can use to help reduce stress?

Stress & Heart Disease

Does stress cause heart disease? What are the health impacts of stress on your heart?

Due to scientific research stress and heart disease are now starting to be linked together.

The British Heart Foundation in the UK report that evidence is growing to say that stress contributes toward heart problems.

Sleeping Problems

Stress can affect your sleep patterns and can cause problems getting to sleep. If we have a very hectic and stressful life our sleep can be one of the first things to be disrupted.

And without good sleep other areas of our lives are harder to maintain – our physical health , and our mental and emotional balance is affected too.

In analyzing the question how does stress affect health we can see that sleep can be hugely disrupted if the stress is not combatted.

Stress headaches and migraines

Whole Foods For Health

Stress is more likely to affect you when you have a poor diet. You will be getting less nutrition and vitamins, therefore more likely to be low on energy and feel stress more keenly.

What foods are the best to keep your body healthy and therefore the affect of stress away?

We will look in more detail at these in The Effects of Stress on the Body

Psychological Effects of Stress

Some of the psychological effects of stress can be found as follows:

• Depression - Low self esteem and self worth

• Loss of concentration

• Easy to anger and irritation

• Feeling unable to cope with everyday situations.

By finding out where you are emotionally and mentally compared with the collective can be a good way of gaining perspective:

• Do I need help?

• Am I actually doing pretty well but am giving myself a hard time?

Remember the most important aspect of dealing with stress is to be kind to yourself. You don't need to give yourself a hard time.

Other Health Effects of Stress

How does stress affect health? Mainly it is physical and mental but it is also important to note that it does effect other areas of your life.

Stress can also affect you emotionally and sexually. You can feel emotionally drained so you don't want to spend time with your partner or family, or it can also affect your sex drive and your energy levels.

Your emotions can feel all over the place - crying one minute and in a fit of anger the next - there doesn't seem to be any balance in your life.

But again there is something you can do about it.

Articles on Stress

How Meditation Reduces Stress

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