Some people believe that stress is only in your mind while others surmise that stress is real. Indeed, stress dramatically impacts one’s health. It is scientifically proven!
So, the next time you hear someone tell you, “you look stressed” it means stress is already manifesting on your appearance. Before telling you how you can fight stress easily, here’s a rundown of the dangers of stress.
1. Stress either slows or speeds up your heartbeat, a condition called arrhythmia. This leads to chest discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath, among others.
2. Stressed people breathe heavily and rapidly. This strains the lungs and may even result in a panic attack and thus, hyperventilation.
3. Stress puts a pressure on the gastrointestinal system. An agitated stomach may eventually experience constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux and indigestion.
4. Stressed people are more prone to acne, rashes, and psoriasis. The skin will also look dull.
5. Stress compromises the reproductive system. It may result in painful monthly periods. Stress also undermines a woman’s capability to conceive.
6. Stress leads to headaches and migraines. Women are more prone to experiencing this than men.
7. Stress leads to changes in the genes. Our body produces unnecessary chemicals when it is under stress. These chemicals change our response levels including whether our body will develop cancer or not.
8. Stress damages the brain. Stressed people are more forgetful because the stress hormones damage the hippocampus, the center of memory and emotion.
9. Stress affects the immune system. It increases inflammation and slows down healing of wounds.
10. Stress ruins the teeth. Stressed people tend to grind their teeth more.
Simple ways to de-stress
To fight stress, in general, and its symptoms, here are some quick-fixes.
Rub your earlobes
Massage your earlobes lightly, pinching from the bottom upwards. This stimulates the pressure points. Do this for a minute.
Smell some lavender
Lavender soothes the senses and relaxes the mind and body. Before going to bed, put some dried lavender on a vase or light a lavender-scented candle. You may also slather some lavender oils while bathing.
Eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolates are rich in flavanols that fight stress hormones such as cortisol.
Massage the scalp
A scalp massage is a feel-good experience that melts the tension away. Using your fingertips, trace circular movements from the hairline towards the back of the head. Do this several times.
Sip some tea
A tea can be regarded as one of the mild tranquilizers. Drink a chamomile tea; chamomile is proven to reduce anxiety.
Rub your feet
Foot reflexology eases stress because of the release of endorphins, a natural stress reliever. Just massage your feet through exerting a light pressure on them.
Listen to music
Music heals, so listen to calm music such as instrumentals (i.e. nature or ocean sounds). Listening to this type of music has positive effects on the body and brain while also reducing cortisol.
Do one-minute exercises
One-minute exercises such as going to the pantry to drink a glass of water provide immediate relief. Simple exercises improve the mood instantly, and the movement releases endorphins.
Call a friend
A familiar voice relaxes the body even just for a few minutes. A call thereby puts things in perspective.
Stress is inevitable. How we deal with stress is something that we have full control of. Now that you know how stress affects your overall health and wellbeing, you can always choose to de-stress. The choice is yours.
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Harry Neal is a freelance writer and a blogger. He is currently writing for Paramount Direct, one of the top insurance company in the Philippines. He gives tips for life and accident insurance on his blog.