Posted on September 22, 2020 by Jenny Cromack

When we are stressed our body only perceives it as one way and that is danger! Regardless of whether you are hugely stresses or just a little bit stressed, your body doesn’t care, it still perceives the stress as danger. This is because stress comes in numerous forms, but our body doesn’t know how to differentiate these different forms so it just bundles them all in the same category aka danger!

Managing Stress

So, why is stress so important to manage and is it detrimental to our health?

Stress hormones such as cortisol can obstruct your weightloss efforts, it can cause ‘stress-induced’ eating and increase water retention.

More importantly, stress can affect your overall well-being and not just your weight. Your heart rate can increase and therefore so can blood pressure, this could be just in response to actual stress at that moment in time, but over time could build up to become long term high blood pressure. If you have any breathing issues it can be made harder to breath as stress can potentially increase your speed of breathing.

Digestion can be interrupted and cause issues like increased stomach acid (acid reflux), constipation, nausea and stomach ache.

Stress can also cause you to feel uncomfortable with symptoms such as headaches, chest pains, muscle pains and stomach ache.

Causes of Stress

Below are some examples of what the cause of stress may look like.

  • Relationships
  • Poor nutrition
  • Lifestyle habits (smoking)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Too much caffeine
  • Work
  • Social media
  • Financial troubles

The examples above show how stress can be stimulated from many different forms, meaning it can be difficult to manage, especially if you have a lot of stressors in your life. It’s important, though, to try to manage your stress levels, especially if you want to avoid the health issues discussed above.

When it comes to managing stress there is no one size fits all but taking note of your lifestyle stressors can be the first step to help managing stress. Take note of the ones you can control and focus on ‘controlling the controllable’, such as getting enough sleep, improving your diet, switching off social media and having fun with lots of laughter. Then take a look at the other stress stressors, ask yourself how can you improve them?

Finally, be realistic, take small steps and don’t expect things to change over night. Small steps over time lead to long term improvements.