Do you have a healthy relationship with your stress? Stress can have extremely harmful effects on your state of mind, and that’s not all. It impacts everything, from your immune system to your ability to sleep at night. When your stress levels are at an unmanageable level, it can be detrimental to your mental and physical health...so don’t wait to take back control! There are many different techniques, recommendations, and activities that can help you manage your stress so it doesn’t have a negative impact on your life. If you’re still not convinced, though, here are a few reasons why stress management is more important now than ever. 1. feeling sore? stress could be the culprit Muscle tension is how your body protects you against pain or injury. So, when you’re stressing, your muscles tense as a sort of reflex - an automatic, defensive reaction that hopes to guard your body from whatever is stressing you out, even if the cause of the stress poses you no physical harm. The concerning part is that when you’re suffering from long-term, chronic stress, your muscles are constantly tensed. This can cause a whole host of other reactions in your body to occur, as well as encourage other stress-related disorders to develop. Migraine and tension-type headaches are often associated with those who have chronic muscle tension in their shoulders, neck, or head. Pain and soreness in the lower back and upper extremities have also been found to be linked with high levels of stress, especially stress that’s caused by work. 1 2. long-term stress can seriously affect your health Long-term, chronic stress impacts every single system in your body, from the cardiovascular system to the gastrointestinal system. For example, chronically high stress levels can cause your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones to be consistently elevated. This can increase your risk for hypertension, stroke, or heart attack...all potentially fatal conditions. In case you aren’t convinced, here’s another example - long-term stress can impact the composition of our gut bacteria, as well the ability for the brain and gut to communicate. This can have a negative influence on both our gut and our brain’s health. Changes in gut bacteria and neurons impact our mood, ability to think, and can also cause you to more easily feel gut pain, bloating, and discomfort. 1 3. stress may be causing your sleepless nights Stress is directly associated with impaired sleep. This can mean anything from getting less sleep, waking up throughout the night, or even a reduction in sleep stages 3 and 4. The bad news is that this can become a vicious cycle because poor sleep can cause your stress levels to increase. 2 Getting a good nights’ sleep is a really important step in managing those stress levels, but if you’re struggling to do so, try other ways of managing your stress first. Once you’ve gotten a greater handle on your stress triggers and coping mechanisms, you’ll find getting that beauty sleep is a much easier feat.
The impacts that stress can have on your mental and physical health are huge, but the good news is that there are powerful tools to help make managing stress simple. Come join us in the completely free reimagine happiness™ community, where you can become part of a vibrant network of karuna warriors and discover the transformational tools and resources we have waiting for you. It's time to start your personal happiness journey.
Please, do not hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your stress levels. You are never alone.
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1 American Psychological Association. (2018, November 1). Stress effects on the body. http://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body
2 Âkerstedt, Torbjörn. “Psychosocial Stress and Impaired Sleep.” Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, vol. 32, no. 6, 2006, pp. 493–501. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40967601. Accessed 16 July 2021.