Stress is something that everyone is, unfortunately, exposed to in some form or another. Job stress, traffic jams, marital problems, exams and environmental stress are just a few examples. As more and more stress builds up on a daily basis, it can cause detrimental effects to health, no matter how trivial they might seem at first.
Stress has been demonstrated to be a causative factor in different physical and mental illnesses. When we get stressed, our body releases certain hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, which result in the typical reactions we are all familiar with: sweating, palpitations, breathing faster and shallower, and having butterflies in the stomach.
Although these may not be harmful in the short term, continuous excess demands on the body can, and do, lead to negative effects. Just like driving a car for many days without resting the engine will lead to it breaking down, our body, too, does not do well staying in a state of unending heightened response. In the long run, this can lead to things like heart disease, weight gain and stroke. The immune system shuts off and we can become vulnerable to cancer and other infections as well. As for the mental and emotional aspect, stress increases the risk of anxiety, irritability and mood disorders. In fact, many clinical studies have documented that negative life events like divorce, unemployment or abuse are the triggers for major depressive disorder and alcoholism.
Thankfully, morbidity from stress is avoidable. It is important to identify the stressor early before it has caused long term consequences. After this is done, a few minutes break on a regular basis may be all that is needed to rest and recharge. Many people use meditation exercises or physical activity. Many also find social support extremely useful in relieving stress. The best form of social support is different for each person. It may be your best friend, a co-worker or you might need the expertise of a mental health professional. If you would like to speak to one of our experts, set up a consultation on the RingWell platform today. Managing stress is an important part of optimizing your wellbeing and overall health.