No one can completely avoid stress, and, in some cases, it may actually be good for you. For instance, the physical, emotional, and mental responses of our body to this factor can give you the impulse you need in limit situations, or enhance your performance.
However, in most circumstances, stress can have plenty of negative impacts on our lives. Why? We are not talking anymore about situations where stress is the mantra for survival, but that excessive or chronic stress which is detrimental. This type of stress can have numerous effects on your mind and body, leading to a broad range of health problems.
The cause of many headaches
When it comes to headaches, from minor ones to severe migraines, stress is one of the leading causes. While your body is stressed out, more chemicals are released. For instance, the levels of cortisol and adrenaline are increased, leading to headaches. Also, as the muscles get more tensed because of these chemicals, the pain is getting more acute.
A recent study published in Cephalalgia confirmed the link between stress and headaches. People reported tension-type headaches and migraines caused by this factor. The impressive number of participants – 5,159 – and the fact that this study was longer than two years confirms its reliability.
Therefore, experts advise us to learn to control stress. Even though we cannot eliminate it from our life or run away from it, knowing how to manage it can be extremely helpful.
Leads to sleep disorders
One of the first effects of chronic or excessive stress is noticed in your sleep pattern. This issue can disturb your sleep cycle considerably, leading to chronic health problems.
When you can no longer rest well or sleep enough, your physical and mental health have to suffer. Your energy level drops significantly, as well as your focus power. Not to mention that when you have to deal with sleep disorders and feel tired all the time, you will have a difficult time trying to find solutions to your problems. Another impact of sleep disorders is a higher emotional vulnerability.
Gaining more weight
Have you ever noticed that you eat more or crave unhealthy foods when you are stressed? As it was already mentioned before, a natural reaction of your body to stress is to release cortisol. This hormone triggers your cravings for sweets and fatty foods. Besides this, chronic stress can cause adrenal fatigue, which will determine your body to store more fat. In these circumstances, you will surely gain weight.
Your digestive system reacts promptly to how you feel. For instance, many people experience abdominal cramps or indigestions when they have a stressful event in their life, such as an exam, a wedding, etc. But chronic stress has an even more dramatic impact on your digestive system.
According to a medical study published in 2000, stress in one of the primary causes of a wide variety of digestive problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease, gastroesophageal reflux, and peptic ulcer.