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How stress affects your health

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How stress affects your health

STRESS AND HEALTH

Our lives are filled with ups and downs that bring with them their fair share of stress. Each person can be affected differently by life events, and what causes stress for one person may not necessarily be for another. Stress can come from happy situations (marriage, birth of a child, promotion, etc.) or difficult situations (conflicts, pressure at work, bereavement, etc.).

When stress becomes too intense and difficult to handle, it can take its toll on your health. Stress is a risk factor for many diseases including:

  • heart disease;
  • intestinal diseases;
  • mental illness;
  • different infections affecting the immune system;
  • etc.

 

HOW CAN STRESS MAKE YOU SICK?

Stress is a normal physiological reaction that occurs when there is pressure or aggression in our environment. Each of us is exposed to stress, but we do not all react in the same way.

In some of the most vulnerable, stress generates chronic anxiety and is at the origin of certain diseases such as depression,  burn-out , alcoholism, but also… cardiovascular diseases.

 

SYMPTOMS OF STRESS

The symptoms of stress are numerous and vary from person to person. They can be classified into three categories: physical, psychological and behavioral symptoms.

Among the physical symptoms of stress, you may experience:

  • muscle tension;
  • insomnia;
  • appetite or digestive system disorders;
  • sexual disorders;
  • headaches;
  • dizziness;
  • etc.

Psychic symptoms of stress include:

  • low self-esteem;
  • worry;
  • anxiety;
  • irritability;
  • restlessness;
  • etc.

Stress can also cause you to change your behaviors, for example:

  • isolate yourself;
  • take time off work;
  • consuming more alcohol or drugs;
  • change your diet;
  • etc.

HOW TO REDUCE THE RISKS?

 Some techniques to improve your stress:

  • Recognize the events that cause you stress. Pay attention to the symptoms of stress and take note of the types of events that affect you the most.
  • Identify the problem. When know the problem, it’s easy to deal with it.
  • Talk to people you trust about your problems. Express  your feelings that  you  stress will be decreased
  • Learn about stress management techniques. You can consult a health professional for help or consult books on the subject.
  • Reduce tension through physical activity.
  • Be less harsh on yourself.
  • Get a good night’s restful sleep.

In a productivity-driven society, stress can have devastating effects on health. It affects more and more individuals regardless of age and social situation. However, it is possible to cope with it by listening to your body and learning to recognize the symptoms of stress. 

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