Stress is a common occurrence in most of our lives. Whether it is circumstantial such as a traffic jam, or something major such as divorce or the loss of a loved one, this stress can really affect our lives and our bodies. While stress in small amounts is thought to be good for memory and motivation, most effects are not desirable. Let’s take a look at some of the effects stress can have on your body.
Research has linked raised cortisol levels to cravings of sugars and fats. Cortisol is a hormone that is released in the body during times of stress and studies have shown that when a person is under stress, their body tends to want unhealthy things such as sugar. It is believed that the hormone binds itself to receptors in the brain that control food intake.
A way to help control these cravings is by knowing your triggers. If you believe that you will be in a stressful situation, try stocking up on healthy foods such as fruits or vegetables to snack on, rather than sugary things. That way, you can at least try to avoid emotional eating.
Whether or not there is a correlation between stress and heart attacks is still uncertain. However, mounting evidence is pointing towards there being a relation. Studies have shown that people who have higher-stress jobs are 23% more likely to suffer from a heart attack than people who have less stressful jobs.
In order to protect yourself from stress-related heart issues, it is important to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. It is also very important to focus on reducing stress in your life.
Stress has been known to cause hyperarousal. This is a state in which a person simply does not feel sleepy. While temporary insomnia is normal in stressful situations, long-term exposure to stress can lead to disruptions in sleep patterns and sleep disorders.
Some ways to combat stress-related insomnia are to create sleep-conducive surroundings. Perhaps taking a bath using a lavender scented bath bomb or playing calming music. You can also try yoga to combat stress and relax your mind and body.
Severe stress may damage your locks. Stress is thought to be a common factor in the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata in which severe hair loss occurs. Stress can also trigger a disorder called trichotillomania, in which sufferers have a hard time resisting the urge to pull their own hair out.
Of course, there are many hair loss treatments available today such as shampoos, hair masks, and even hair transplants. It also helps to actively try and reduce your stress levels and eat a healthy, nutritious diet.
High levels of stress can be very dangerous. Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your life and make some adjustments if you live with a lot of stress. Take a look at your life and make the necessary changes to de-stress.
Tips from our editor: Whenever you have some stress, simply roll out your yoga mat and do some simple poses or movements. You can even try to meditate and calm your mind while doing so. It's even easier for me to control my stream of thoughts while doing yoga than when I'm sitting still:)