Stress is our body’s response to crisis. It keeps us safe in an emergency, and triggers the “fight or flight” response to help us escape danger.
You may experience stress any time you have to make a tough decision, work under pressure or avoid harm. Even positive experiences, like having a baby or starting a new job, can be stressful as you adapt to the new challenge.
A certain amount of stress is normal, however when it becomes severe and continuous it takes a huge toll on your mental and physical health.
Chronic stress has a long list of side effects. They include headaches, digestive problems, insomnia, muscle pain, changes in appetite, sexual dysfunction and chest pain. It can lead to anxiety, panic attacks or depression.
When someone is suffering from extreme stress they may look to escape from their worries through damaging, unhealthy behaviors. That could be why many leading causes of death, such as heart disease, cancer and liver disease, are linked to stress.
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Stress can have unusual effects on the body, leading to a weakened immune system and give viruses such as shingles that are dormant in your body the chance to reactivate.
In short, stress is highly damaging to physical and mental health. If you are suffering with chronic stress you must take action. Check out our articles about proven methods to manage your stress and how you can beat anxiety and panic attacks.
We explore the benefits of Narrative Exposure Therapy, an up-and-coming treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are plenty of alternative therapies that can lower stress and help with all kinds of mental health problems.
Even something as simple as a relaxing soundtrack can help on your path to overcoming stress, so start making a change today.