We know the meaning of “stress” all too well. There are too many examples of situations that trigger the stress response within us. Sitting in standstill traffic while driving to an important meeting, having your boss confront you out of the blue, paying off your monthly dues, you name it.
The immediate symptoms of stress are uncomfortable, and they distract us from thinking or acting logically. The usual symptoms are a faster heartbeat, getting out of breath, and sweating. This is a natural reaction to any of life’s experiences and nobody is exempted from getting stressed. Almost anything can trigger us – from daily activities to global issues, accidents, deaths, many more.
Our body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones that trigger our “fight or flight” response. Stressful situations make us want to either leave (“flight)” or face it headfirst (“fight”). Running late to a meeting would have you thinking if you should ditch it entirely or take on all possible solutions just to get there. But this is just one simple example. As we get older and more stressed with life, our overall health is put at serious risk.
If our stress response does not stop firing and our stress levels are high for a long period of time, we will be under what doctors call ‘chronic stress.’ Unfortunately, this is quite common and has many impacts on our bodies. This medically-reviewed article on healthline.com gives the rundown on the negative effects. Symptoms of chronic stress include headaches, depression, irritability, anxiety, even insomnia, and should be treated by a medical professional. Otherwise, chronic stress can influence unhealthy behaviors such as under- and over-eating, addiction (alcohol, drugs, etc.), and antisocial tendencies.
Effects of Chronic Stress on the Body
Responding to stressful situations affects our entire body. It is advisable to be aware of these effects so you can watch out for them. We will give you the shortlist of common effects of chronic stress.
1. Difficulty in breathing
As stress hormones are released, we end up breathing faster and faster because this is our body’s way of compensating. It wants to provide us enough oxygen in what it perceives to be a stressful situation. We are wired to think that breathing faster helps distribute more oxygen throughout our body. While this is true, it is an uncomfortable situation to hyperventilate and be unable to control your breathing. This is why professionals recommend breathing exercises and meditation in order to relax and calm down. However, people with pre-existing respiratory problems like asthma or emphysema will be affected by this and make it even harder for them to breathe.
Another effect stress has on the body is a faster heart rate. The stress response includes our heart pumping faster, constricting our blood vessels, and providing more oxygen to strengthen our muscles. While this is helpful in time-sensitive situations like escaping an attack or rushing to an event, this impacts our heart as well. It ends up working too hard for too long, and our blood pressure rises too, leading to risks for hypertension, strokes, or heart attacks.
2. Upset digestive system
The collective stress response can also upset our digestive system, giving us heartburn or acid reflux. An increase in stomach acids can give us a painful stinging feeling. This discomfort even affects how food moves in our stomach and our body. Sometimes, stress can result in constipation, diarrhea, or even nausea. So it is no surprise when people feel like vomiting before a big presentation or upon hearing the shocking news.
3. Muscle pains and body aches
Under stress, our body prepares us to respond to the situation. Our muscles will tense up, as a preventive or defensive mechanism to avoid injury or something of the sort. This tension and stress in our muscles make it harder for them to bounce back and relax even when the stressful situation is over. So we can experience more headaches, even back pains, and aches. For other people, they end up fainting and feeling weaker in the muscles.
4. Altered functions on the reproductive system
Stress impacts our mental capacity as well, which influences our reproductive performance. Prolonged stress may cause testosterone levels in men to drop, which affects sperm production and causes impotence. As for women, a stressful lifestyle will have drastic effects on the menstrual cycle – irregular or delayed periods, lighter or heavier flows, and even more dysmenorrhea or overall body pain. The more serious effects include worsened physical symptoms of menopause.
5. Weakened immune system
Over time, the stress hormones released by our body will weaken our immune system and reduce our ability to respond to pathogens like viruses and bacteria. You will notice that people who suffer from chronic stress often get sick with the flu, fever, colds, to name a few. More information on this is available on the Healthline website.
Ways to Combat Stress
It sounds like it can be the end of the world when we are dealing with stressful emotions all the time, especially since the effects are out of control. However, there are many practices we can adopt in our lives to mitigate these negative effects.
Many people turn to mylifeinfused colon cleanse pills. Perhaps you are familiar with “colon cleansing” and if you need it. Well, alternative health practitioners recommend that one’s colon should be regularly cleaned just like how we shampoo our hair. They advise that colons contain decaying waste and it’s basically a melting pot of unhealthy components that our body needs to get rid of, through – you guessed it – mylifeinfused colon cleanse pills.
Artificial colon cleansers tend to be expensive, and they come in forms of laxatives, enemas, and a “high colonic” procedure which will flush water through your intestines to give it a thorough cleanse. However, there are many conflicting arguments to the process of colon cleansing and the effects of mylifeinfused colon cleanse pills are different for everybody. It is definitely worth looking into so be sure to consult your doctor before you take on a lifestyle or medicine to help you combat years’ worth of stress.