We have often heard people say that stress is bad for the body. But did you know that some stress is 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 the stress gets out of hand? This is when it becomes harmful to your body.
What’s the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Stress?
Acute and chronic stress differ in numerous vital ways. Here’s what to know about these two types of stress:
Acute stress arises from unpredictable or surprising situations, leaving people feeling powerless. Simply put, acute stress occurs in situations that force you to react to a quickly developing situation.
As long as the stress goes away, it’s perfectly normal. But when it starts interfering with your life, it becomes a problem. Chronic stress occurs when the body remains stressed for an extended period of time.
How Does Chronic Stress Affect the Body?
Stress is your body’s response to difficult situations. When exposed to short-term stressful situations, your body becomes activated by releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. As soon as the stressful situation passes, the level of hormones returns to normal, and your body resumes normal routine activities like slow breathing and digestion.
Now imagine what would happen if the release of these hormones continued indefinitely. Your body would remain in a state of hormone-induced activation, which can adversely impact health.
Why Is Chronic Stress Harmful?
Chronic stress is dangerous and can damage the 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 may lead to various cardiovascular problems like elevated blood pressure 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 – Due to chronic stress, blood flow from the digestive system is diverted to the limbs and brain. Therefore, the 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. Here are a few techniques that can help you say goodbye to chronic stress:
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.
Change Your Lifestyle
Regular exercise is highly effective in combating chronic stress. Similarly, eating a balanced diet is also helpful against depression and anxiety. Your doctor can suggest any lifestyle changes that may be helpful for you.
Although it may be challenging to sleep when stressed, try to get at least eight hours of sleep during the night. It will boost your body’s efficiency in handling difficult situations and elevate your mood.
Contact Springfield Wellness Center to Learn More About NAD for Mental Health
If you are suffering from chronic stress, you don’t have to live in agony. Springfield Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art center that can help you manage stress and other mental health concerns.