We have often heard people say that stress is bad for the body. But, did you know that some stress is actually good for you. How? Because with the right amount of stress, your brain functions better, and you have improved motivation and productivity. But what happens when you when the stress gets out of hand. This is when it becomes harmful for your body.
Is Stress Harmful for the Body?
All of us have to face stressful situations almost every day. But fortunately, these situations are only temporary and we even forget about them at the end of the day. But when you start feeling stressed out throughout the day, or when the stress starts to hamper your ability to perform routine daily activities, this is the point when you should seek help. So, now that we understand that not all forms of stress are harmful for the body. To understand more about which type of stress is bad for you, it is important that we should learn the difference between acute and chronic stress.
Understanding the Difference between Acute and Chronic Stress
- Acute Stress – Acute stress arises from situations which are virtually unpredictable or surprising and leave to with a feeling of complete loss of control. Simply put, acute stress is a situation which forces you to react to a quickly developing situation “on the spot”. But here’s the surprising thing. When you are exposed to an acutely stressful situation, your brain will release hormones which will improve the coordination of your body parts, enhance your focus and the ability to make decisions in stressful situations. You might feel that your heart rate and breathing has increased and So, acute stress, is actually good for you.
- Chronic Stress – now comes the scary part. As long as the stress goes away, it’s perfectly normal. But when it starts interfering with your life on a permanent basis, it becomes a problem. When your body remains stressed for a long period time, it becomes chronic stress.
What Happens to your Body When you Suffer from Chronic Stress?
Scientifically, stress is your body’s response to difficult situations. When you are exposed to a short-term stressful situation, your body becomes activated by the release of hormones namely, cortisol and adrenaline. As soon as the stressful situation passes, the level of hormones return to normal and your body resumes normal routine activities like slow breathing and digestion. Now imagine, what would happen if the supply of these hormones continued indefinitely. Your body constantly remain in a state of activation. This is bad!
Understanding the Science Behind Chronic Stress
Now that we understand what chronic stress is, let’s see why it is bad for the body. imagine a situation. You are sitting comfortably in your home and watching television. In this state, the parasympathetic nervous system of your body is dominant. This system is responsible for performing body routine body functions like digestion, excretion, sleep and sex drive. Now imagine a scary scenario, where you’re in a “fight or flight” situation. At this point, the sympathetic nervous system of your body will take over. The sympathetic nervous system prepares your body for dangerous situations by diverting blood flow to the brain, hear, limbs and the eyes, and releasing stress hormones. Once the body is out of danger, the parasympathetic system takes over once again. In case of chronic stress, the sympathetic nervous system remains continuously activated. Hence, body remains continuously in a “fight or flight” situation.
Why Chronic Stress is Harmful for your Body?
Chronic stress damages your body in the following ways:
- Heart Diseases – due to the continuously activated state of the body, the blood flowing through the heart is significantly enhanced. This puts excessive pressure on the heart and blood vessels. Chronic stress leads to various cardiovascular problems like elevated blood pressure, cardiomegaly and cardiac arrest.
- Insomnia – victims of chronic stress find it extremely difficult to sleep during the night. This is because of the persistently activated state of the mind and body.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders – because of chronic stress, blood flow from the digestive system is diverted to the limbs and brain. Therefore, efficiency of the digestive system declines considerably. The ultimate consequence is indigestion, leading to weight loss.
- Diabetes – chronic stress has also been linked with a higher incidence of diabetes.
How to Fight Chronic Stress?
Chronic stress is extremely dangerous for your body. But the good news is that you can easily get rid of this problem. Here are a few techniques which can help you say goodbye to chronic stress:
- Seeking Help – according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 75% people suffering from mental disorders do not seek treatment. In addition, about 1 million people take their own life as a result of depression each year. Seeking professional help is the first step in getting better. If you are suffering from chronic stress, then you should talk to your doctor or a psychiatrist immediately. Congnitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be highly effective in reducing symptoms of chronic stress and depression.
- Lifestyle Changes – regular exercise is highly effective in combating chronic stress. Similarly, eating a balanced diet is also helpful against depression and anxiety. Your doctor can guide you better about any necessary lifestyle changes which can be helpful for you.
- Improving Sleep – although it may be difficult to sleep when you are stressed, try to get at least an 8-hour sleep during the night. It will help in boosting your body’s efficiency to handle difficult situation and also elevate the mood.
If you are suffering from chronic stress, you don’t have to live in its agony. Springfield Wellness Center is a state of the art facility which can help you get rid of mental or addiction problems. Our BR+ NAD protocal has been proven to be effective against a variety of nervous disorders. So, visit us today and let our qualified and experienced team of professionals take good care of you. A healthy life awaits you at Springfield Wellness Center.