In small doses, stress can be beneficial, however too much stress can cause serious damage to our bodies.
Any situation can use stress in the body, from work, family to more serious life events.
Stress is basically our bodies response to mental or emotional pressure. It causes the body to go into “fight or flight” mode. Hormones are released which cause the heart to race, breathing rate quickens and your muscles are ready to respond.
The hypothalamus, a small area located in the brain, triggers the adrenal glands to release the hormones, adrenalin and cortisol.
These hormones increase the heart rate and send blood to areas where it is most needed in emergencies such as heart, muscles and other important organs.
Continued stress can cause overeating, tension headaches, lack of sleep and also more serious effects on the body.
Cardiovascular and respiratory system can be affected if stress continues for longer periods.
The heart can be damaged by frequent or long term stress. Increase in blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Lungs have to work harder to distribute oxygen to the body. Asthma can become worse.
Digestive system can be affected. The liver produces extra glucose when under stress, and if this continues for a long time, it may lead to type 2 diabetes.
Muscles can be put under a lot of strain leading to long term pain.
Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and leave you more susceptible to infections.
Certain lifestyle changes can help you manage everyday stress.
Techniques to reduce and manage stress include:
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