Stress Is Not All Just In Your Head
Everyone experiences the effects of stress at some time. Anxiety over a relationship….financial…frustration at work…the list is endless. But, wherever it is coming from it is not “all in your head“!
Do you wake up with the worst “what if’s”? Worry about it all day, weeks? Soon it is anxiety. If your problem is ongoing, it can become a new normal…extra stress hormones floating around, then inflammation.
Adrenalin can be helpful in danger situations, such as survival in the event of an attack. But over time it is very damaging.
Effects of Chronic Stress
Chronic stress interferes with your immune system, causes inflammation and then leading to chronic diseases. Before long you may trigger high blood pressure, asthma and keep getting everything that is going around.
Stress gains momentum, growing until suddenly it crashes. This could be at the expense of your health. You have trouble sleeping and and on emotional level you feel like burn-out.
Psychological stress is misleading, because no stress is only psychological…it’s not just all in your head.
When stress is chronic, your immune system becomes desensitized to cortisol, and inflammation is partly regulated by this hormone, this decreased sensitivity raises the inflammatory response and allows inflammation to get out of control. Chronic inflammation is the root of heart disease and many chronic diseases.
Prolonged stress can damage you brain cells and make you unable to remember simple things. It can trigger a degenerative process in your brain that can result in Alzheimer’s disease. Stress can induce weight gain and belly fat, which increases your cardiovascular risk.
Digestive problems can be increased because of disrupted gut microbes. Causing decreased nutrient absorption, and four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism.
Stress is also implicated in cancer, not so much as a cause of cancer but it seems to fuel it’s growth. In the case of excess cortisol, some cell receptors become muted, including receptors on immune cells. This is one reason why people under stress are about twice as likely to develop a cold after exposure to a cold virus.
On the brighter side, positive emotions like happiness, hope, and optimism also signal changes in your body’s cells, even producing the release of feel-good brain chemicals. You can artificially produce happiness by taking drugs or drinking alcohol, but the same dopamine and endorphin high can be achieved by healthy habits like exercise, laughter, hugging or bonding. A 10 second hug can lead to a biochemical reaction in your body that can improve your health.
Regular stress management is important for everyone. This might be turning off the daily news, restraining from social media, or staying away from negative people. There are also stress management tools such as having a good cry, meditation, or practicing Heart Map. Also helpful is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique by a simple tapping with the fingertips to specific points on your head and chest while you think about a specific problem. This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the emotional block from your body’s bio-energy system. This helps to balance your mind and body, which is essential for optimal health of chronic stress.