Stress Kills: Is Yours Out Of Control?

Stress Kills: Is Yours Out Of Control?

Stress kills and is arguably one of the most silent killers on the planet, largely because people don’t realize something is going wrong, or they refuse to act on it.



But why does stress contribute to so many aspects of ill health, ultimately leading to death?

It is because often it is untraceable. You may not realize you are suffering from stress overload.

Interested to know if your stress is rapidly becoming out of control? Look for the following tell-tale signs:

Unexplained Aches And Pain About The Body

A little pain here and there is normal and should be nothing to get worried over, but it can spell a worrying trend when it occurs too often. And this is the case with being overly stressed all the time.

Muscular pains most commonly occur around the back, neck or shoulder areas, and may be attributed to poor sleep patterns, although it is not always the case. Medication to treat the pain many only yield temporary relief, and should not be relied upon as a long term solution.

Frequent Colds And Infections

One thing associated with high-anxiety levels is the negative effect on immunity. Cortisol suppresses the immune system and leaves the body wide open to infection. This is especially troublesome during flu season and necessitates that extra precautions be taken (such as increasing anti-oxidant food consumption).



Poor Sleep Patterns

Insomnia is usually one of the first signs to appear when you are over-stressed, as cortisol does not work by itself. In fact, it recruits the neurochemicals adrenalin and noradrenalin, which enhance awareness, and energy levels.

Fight with Stress

This is an important function in the mornings when you need that “get up and go” boost, but not at night when you should be unwinding. Use of heavy stimulant based supplements (such as with caffeine) too late at night will cause this to occur.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure involves multiple pathways all experiencing dysfunction for its development, with cortisol happy to oblige. High blood pressure, in this case, is precipitated by increases retention of water (which increases blood volume), faster heart rate, and blood vessel constriction. All these factors increase blood pressure, so care needs to be taken to manage cortisol and stress levels.

Loss Of Sex Drive

Both men and women require a normal level of testosterone to modulate sex drive, but this important hormone is suppressed when levels of the stress hormone cortisol are high. Cortisol and testosterone share a negatively inverse relationship, meaning that as one goes up, the other goes down. If this loss of sex drive occurs in a young person, who previously displayed normal behavior, it can be a clear indicator that an individual is overstressed.

Frequent Outbursts Or Mood Swings

It can be hard to maintain a level head when anxiety levels are high, causing you to lash out to anyone who seemingly irritates you. This is not normal behavior, especially if the individual was previously very level headed. If it does occur, it may be best to reduce workload and spend more time with family and loved ones in a bid to relax.

Depression Or Feelings Of Inadequacy

Stress can seriously affect your emotional well-being, especially since it can tear apart relationships with loved ones. You are likely to be irritable, picking fights, or feel pressured to perform. This can amount to depression, anxiety or feelings of disappointment. Depression is sometimes difficult to diagnose, especially in individuals who do not possess a strong support system.

Conclusion

If you find yourself experiencing one or more of the symptoms above with increasing frequency, it is time to take a step back from the burden you have placed on your shoulder. Sometimes, a short vacation, weekend getaway or just a simple trek in the great outdoors can do wonders for your wellbeing.







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5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

Stress is everybody’s business. You could think you have it under control, but the truth is that stress has a way of creeping up on you, and causing drastic health repercussions. We live in a hectic world, one which requires our stress hormone, cortisol, to work overtime to reduce anxiety. However, this is far from the way this hormone was meant to act.



The body’s anxiety reaction was supposed to be called into play when man’s survival was threatened, not when he or she was 5 minutes late to work. Today, regardless of what your stressor is, you need to find effective natural ways to reduce it. Do not rely on prescription meds, or consider them, as even though they may offer short term relief, they will make things worse very quickly.

Reduce Stress

Try the following tips and see yourself better for it:

1. Exercise

Exercise has numerous benefits on physical health, but can also help regulate emotional wellbeing, and reduce the negative results from a stressful lifestyle. Exercise elevated levels of beneficial brain chemicals, known as endorphins, which elevate mood, promote relaxation and counter stress. In addition, exercise also increases testosterone levels, which shares an inverse relationship with cortisol (as one goes up, the other goes down). For best results, exercise a minimum of three times weekly, making sure to include weight-bearing exercises.

2. Eat Dark Chocolate

Eating any chocolate makes you feel better, right? However, we’re not looking at milk chocolate varieties, which are loaded with sugar and not much else, but rich dark chocolate, which contains a compound known as epicatechin.

This compound is highly sought after, as it has multiple beneficial effects on improving heart health, brain function and more, but also the ability to reduce the effects of stress, and perceived stress. Perceived stress is defined as a relative level of anxiety since what affects one person may not affect another. Improving your threshold that causes negative effects is extremely important.



3. Try A Massage

Why is it that people often opt for massages when feeling stressed? Simple, because it works! Stress is much more than “psychological”, as its effects manifest throughout the body; muscular pain, tension, inability to sleep and much, much more.

A massage can help address some of the manifestations of anxiety, such as pain and tension. Some massage therapists are also trained in the art of acupressure, which is using focused pressure at specific acupoints in order to get “chi” flowing once more. Chi (or qi) is believed to be life energy, with blockages of it resulting in many maladies that we cannot fully explain. Acupressure isn’t merely wishful thinking, as it has been documented to have a profound effect on reducing stress levels in the real world.

4. Meditate

Meditation should be taught in schools. There is likely no other technique that has a more profound effect on many facets of human health as meditation, yet most people do not practice any sort of.

Meditation does not need to be made into a complex science, but at its core involves focusing the mind on absolutely nothing beyond the immediate present. Anxiety surely worsens your stress burden, and meditation perfectly helps to eliminate the worry of the future or past.

5. Laugh And Have A Good Time

The number one enemy of stress is fun. Laughter is the best medicine after all to reduce anxiety, as it can do miracles, ranging from reducing blood pressure, mediating pain responses, and helping to manage the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Stressed individuals rarely take time out to smile and have fun, which only feeds the flames of a downward spiral. Make time for memories, have fun with family and don’t take yourself too seriously.







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