Imagine this – you are sitting in your car, looking at the numerous cars and angry drivers ahead of you, thinking about how, once again, you will be late for work. Or imagine yourself sitting at your desk, waiting for your boss to call you in his office. Face it – there is no need for any of us to imagine these or many other scenarios that take place in our everyday lives: scenarios which cause our heart to start rapidly beating and our adrenaline to start pumping. What you are experiencing right there is an acute stress attack.
If we are honest, we experience these acute stress attacks every day, sometimes one or sometimes even a few stress attacks at once. What we are left off is the presence of chronic stress in our lives: chronic stress which is proven to cause great medical problems, problems of which we need to be aware of and do everything that is in our power to prevent. In the following article, we will talk about the ten worse effects of chronic stress on our bodies and minds. What we hope that you will get from reading our article is to figure it out how bad chronic stress is and do what you can to reduce these acute stress attacks as much as possible.
The ten negative effects of stress on your body and mind
1. Memory decline
For years now, the strong relationship between stress and memory decline has been a topic of numerous studies. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry is one of the many studies done that scientifically prove that people who live under major stress are actually people who suffer from greater cognitive decline, focused on memory decline, later in their lives. Higher cortisol levels are scientifically associated with greater cognitive decline and patients like these are supposed to use some of the best memory supplements to make up for these changes.
2. Disturbed sleep
It is not uncommon for people who are under a lot of stress to experience difficulties getting some quality sleep in order to rest up for activities that the next day brings. Chronic stress has been scientifically linked to sleep problems and disturbed sleep cycle. What was found investigating this link was fairly horrifying – what chronic stress does to your body is reducing the number of REM sleep cycles, increasing the number of awakenings over the night and resulting in insomnia. Perhaps you can use some of the best sleep aid supplements to help you in your battle against insomnia, but the best thing that you can do for yourself is to reduce your stress levels for good.
3. Enhanced skin aging
We can use all of the expensive make-up and skincare products on the face of the Earth, but we are nothing without a good night sleep and relaxed day spend at work. High-stress levels will only result in enhances skin aging process with more wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and dark circles under the eyes than you can possibly imagine. Do yourself a favor – buy some of the best dark circle creams, get a good night sleep and try yoga or meditation to reduce your stress. Your skin will thank you for it.
4. Reduced libido
When your body is going under a lot of stress due to financial, family or work problems, the chances are that the last thing that will cross your mind is sex. We all have had our experience with low libido, and the only difference is that not all of us are truly aware that our libido has been reduced due to our high-stress levels. It has been scientifically proven that both men and women experience sexual problems, most of which experience low libido and low sexual satisfaction due to high cortisol levels, which, as you may know, is known as the stress hormone since it is produced whenever our body is under stress.
5. Frequent asthma attacks
Stress is not doing anything good for anyone, but it is especially bad for people who have their history with respiratory problems, especially asthma. Although stress cannot cause asthma for people who have not been previously diagnosed with it, it can for sure make the asthma attacks worse and more frequent for those who have this diagnosis.
6. Decreased cardiovascular health
One major side-effect of chronic stress is high blood pressure, which as you may know, is guilty for numerous health issues – from an increased risk for heart attack and stroke to kidney failure. So you can see how stress affects your cardiovascular health, putting you at risk for stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc.
For a lot of people, the first reaction whenever they are under a lot of stress is to turn to eat or should we say – overeating. It is all because of the cortisol hormone levels which increase and produce the need to stress-eat whatever you can find laying around. Chronic stress increases the risk of obesity, resulting in more and more people suffering from this health issue that alone puts you in a harm’s way exposing your body to the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and etc.
8. Weaker immune system
Whenever you are in the middle of a stressful period you might notice that you are more commonly getting sick even with the slightest exposure to viral or bacterial infections. That is because due to chronic stress, your immune system grows weaker and weaker by the second. Constant stress will increase the possibility of getting sick from the common cold to the seasonal flu, and it might even go as far as getting your body exposed to the possibility of getting diagnosed with cancer.
9. Digestive problems
Obesity is not the only digestive problem that chronic stress might bring in your life. Being exposed to chronic stress will most probably get you the common digestive problems such as feeling bloated or dealing with gas, diarrhea, constipation and there is even a possibility of stomach ulcers being developed.
10. High blood sugar levels
Chronic stress is dangerous for all of us, but it is especially dangerous for those of you who might be dealing with diabetes mellitus, thinking about how chronic stress has been linked to higher blood sugar levels. Even if you are not dealing with diabetes mellitus at the moment, the presence of high blood sugar levels due to chronic stress will easily increase the possibility of getting diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in the near future.
Chronic stress is bad for our body and mind, affecting each and every organ and body system, putting us in the harm’s way for numerous medical conditions. Being exposed to chronic stress basically means being exposed to the risk of obesity, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes mellitus, insomnia, reproductive problems and so on. The side-effects of chronic stress on our bodies are great, and we should do whatever is in our power to keep these side-effects as far away as possible from us. It might not mean to you as much as it should now, but chronic stress creates a lot of health problems on both, the short and long-term and that is why there is no place for chronic stress in our lives.