Stress is a physical and emotional emotion that occurs when the body responds to different situations or emotions, usually triggered by frustration, anger or nerves. A high level of stress can be described as a positive thing to some extent, because the body’s natural reactions can help you avoid danger or risk.
Most people experience very high stress levels during their lifetime. This can lead to serious problems both physically and mentally. With the hectic and demanding lifestyles most people have today, the incidence of people with high stress levels is increasing. The more stressed you feel, the harder it becomes to control.
The most worrying of all is that most people who struggle with stress do nothing to reduce it, which often results in serious health consequences. A new study from the American Psychological Association (APA) showed that 40% of adults who struggle with stress also have sleep problems. But in addition to this, did you know that stress is actually associated with changes in the function of certain organs in the body, which can lead to a reduction in the quality of life?
To give you a better idea of how stress affects your life, we will now go through the eight most damaged organs in the body that are directly affected by this problem.
When you are stressed, the body reacts by creating inflammation, which clogs the pores in your skin. This can result in the skin becoming red and irritated, and oil and fat accumulating on the face. Therefore, stress can be one of the causes of acne.
Lung function can be weakened by stress, which also inhibits the immune system’s response to certain external factors. A study at the University of Sao Paolo in Brazil showed that there could potentially be a link between asthma and stress as a result of weaker lung function.
The constant tension in the body caused by high stress levels can increase cholesterol levels, blood pressure and triglycerides in the blood. An article published by the National Library of Medicine claims that people suffering from chronic stress have problems maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
A study conducted by the Bavarian Clinic – European Eye Institute showed that excessive physical and emotional stress can cause tremors around the eyes by triggering a small muscle that raises and lowers the eyelids. In addition to this, stress is associated with eye inflammation and blurred vision.
The accumulation of stress hormones can cause changes in specific cells produced by the liver, which are responsible for breaking down hepatocytes that can cause liver disease.
Excessive stress levels increase the body’s production of a hormone known as cortisol. High cortisol levels can affect the frontal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for decisions and memory.
When cortisol levels increase due to stress, the kidneys secrete phosphate, which in turn can lead to muscle weakness and skeletal diseases such as rickets.
The health of the intestines is directly linked to the general health of the body, and it is therefore extremely important to take care of the intestines and the entire digestive system. When you are stressed, this can lead to intestinal problems, which cause gas, stomach pain and inflammation.
How can you combat high stress levels?
For help with coping with everyday stress, try some of these steps. These can help fight and get rid of the stress you are struggling with, and prevent it from affecting your health negatively.
If you are one of the many thousands of people struggling with high levels of stress, you should try the following:
- Work on relaxation techniques such as yoga, dancing, going for a swim or trying aromatherapy
- Be physically active every day
- Plan your activities in terms of the time you actually have available. Be realistic.
- Take breaks during the working day and stretch your legs or get some fresh air
- Set aside time for yourself and things you enjoy doing
- Stay away from negative people
- Improve your diet and choose healthier foods in your daily life
- Get enough water
- Avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking and consuming large amounts of alcohol