Sitting in traffic, high pressure office days, care of kids and minimal sleep or exercise while trying to meet up and make ends meet leads to accumulated stress over time. These stressors can damage your health in almost irreparable ways – leading to early aging, heart problems and it may even lead to long-term disability.
Stress is a physical and mental reaction to daily life experiences, and for the short-term many people think stress helps them achieve their set goals especially at work. However, in the long-term, stress can be disastrous, with the body responding by releasing hormones that could lead to an increase in your heart rate and breathing rate, making you anxious, depressed and irritated at times.
Stress can affect you in a number of ways.
Stress Can Lead to Brain Damage
Stress triggers the brain to release the hormone cortisol into your blood. This hormone is helpful as it supplies the brain more oxygen, releasing extra energy for you to deal with stress effectively. However, high level of stress could cause your brain to limit the amount of cortisol sent to your bloodstream. This can damage important parts of the brain such as the hippocampus – the memory center of the brain. It can also make you feel exhausted, dragging on with whatever activity you must accomplish.
Stress Increases Susceptibility to Infections and Inflammations
Accumulated stress could lower your body’s defense system, diminishing the protective effects of your immune system and administered vaccines, increasing the vulnerability of your body to infections. Stress could also decrease the wound healing process, increasing inflammation and shutting down your body’s immune system in the process.
Accumulated Stress Can Damage your Mitochondria
The mitochondria are the power houses of your body – an energy factory which produces ATP, the currency needed for the body’s cells and organs to do their work. This damage is not irreparable though, as it could go away when the stressors are absent.
Stress Reduces Your Metabolism and Detoxification Process
Studies have shown that stress negatively impacts on the activity of several genes responsible for releasing enzymes that break down fats and help in detoxification of prescription drugs. A stressed individual also has high desire for fat and foods with high sugar content, increasing the level of toxins in the body. This makes metabolism a lot more difficult.
Stress Affects Your Sex Hormones
Chronic stress can affect your body’s production of testosterone and estrogen with the increased production of sex hormone binding globulin. With stress also leading to increased production of cortisol, fewer sex hormones are produced as cortisol release leads to what is referred to as “cortisol seal”. This would have a negative impact on your sex drive due to a lack of concentration.
Stress is definitely not the drive you need to be successful in your endeavors. It is best to manage yourself and your activities properly as only a healthy individual can go out for the day’s activities. Avoid processed foods as much as possible; eat healthy, natural home-made meals. By so doing, you would achieve more, remain fit and keep glowing.