We’ve all heard stress is bad for your health, but how does it really impact you? Here are 4 specific reasons that you will want to take steps to manage your stress more effectively this holiday season and and throughout the year…
You don’t have to search very far to find advice from health professionals urging us to reduce our stress levels and relax more. In fact, hundreds of charitable organizations and private companies exist to help us combat stress in our lives, either through meditation, massages, counseling, or other forms of relaxing therapy. But while you may know that stress is bad for your health, have you ever wondered why?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the negative effects that stress can have on your health, and why it’s such a big deal.
1.) It Impacts Your Mental Health
This is often the first thing you will notice – stress’ impact on your mental health. You may start to feel depressed, anxious, worried, low in confidence or more emotional than usual. If you start to notice any of these signs on an ongoing basis, you should visit your doctor. A health professional will be able to give you tips on managing your stress levels and may also refer you to a counselor for talk therapy.
2.) It Can Cause Unwanted Weight Gain (Or Loss)
The more you stress, the more you will notice differences in your appetite. For some people, this means eating more to deal with the stress they are feeling, while others will lose their appetite altogether and stop eating enough. Both of these can have a negative impact on the body in most circumstances, by either depriving the body of the nutrients it needs, or by giving your body too many calories to burn off.
3.) It Can Cause Sleep Disturbances
People who are under a lot of stress will often notice problems with their sleeping patterns. While these symptoms can be attributed to other health concerns, stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia and sleep problems. As well as struggling to fall asleep, you could find that stress causes you to wake up multiple times during the night, or wake up at early hours without being able to fall asleep again. Lack of sleep can create a vicious cycle, where you find you are tired all the time so you go to sleep earlier or take naps, but then wake up at night and lie awake for hours, which then causes you to be tired all the time, etc… Lack of sleep can also depress your immune system, which leads us to…
4.) It Can Cause You to Catch Colds and Other Viruses Easily
Too much stress means that your immune system cannot work at maximum efficiency, thus allowing bacteria and viruses to enter your body more easily. This is one of the most common ways that stress will affect your body physically, so if your body feels weaker than usual and you seem to be catching more colds, pay a visit to your doctor and discuss your options for reducing your stress levels.