How Stress Affects Your Health And 3 Simple Tips
Stress causes changes in hormone levels as well as immune system, cardiac and gastrointestinal functions. Prolonged stress results in predictable effects on the body, and the physiological and psychological consequences of acute and chronic stress can persist beyond the actual ending of a stressful event.
Stress is two-sided. Stress is needed at the right times, for example, working out but as soon as you finish your last set you want stress to dissipate in order to start the recovery process. The terms are used eustress (beneficial) and distress (harmful). Below is a list of common stressors and how they affect us
Biological – Exposure to bacteria, viruses, moulds and parasites.
Chemical – Exposure to toxins, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, heavy metals, household and commercial chemicals, fumes, dust, smog, tobacco and synthetic drugs.
Environmental – Exposure to extreme cold or heat, noise, UV sunlight, changes in pressure or altitude, xenoestrogens, EMG fields and radiation.
Nutritional – Caused by food allergies, refind and processed foods, mineral depleted soils, nutritional deficiencies, alcohol, drugs, free radicals.
Physical – Caused by physical activity, high blood pressure, trauma, starvation, surgery, drug use, sleep deprivation, illness, infection and chronic stress.
Psychological – Caused by depression, anger, fear, anxiety, worry, desire, grief, mental illness, major life changes. Psychological stress often is present with physical stress.
Spiritual – Caused by a sense of loss of meaning in life, or becoming directionless.
What to Do?
Simply being active contributes to a more balanced HPA axis and the ability to manage stress. Research has also indicated that one’s interpretation of stress is positively altered in those who resistance train. We recommend resistance training 3 – 4 days per week as a way to combat stress.
Nutrient deficiencies are a double-edged sword in stress due to the fact high-stress individuals need more nutrients due to elevated cortisol using more vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B. E.g. the more stressed you are the faster you will use nutrients! Paired with a typical North American Diet, lacking in nutrients, this can potentiate a negative stress debt cycle.
Research has shown that supplementing with a multivitamin reduces physical stress to the body and improved mental health. Key vitamins such as Vitamin B and Vitamin C are crucial in helping not only manage stress but provide the nutrients to support healthy adrenals.
In today’s busy world sleep can become less of a priority. Often scenarios come up that are out of our control such as working overtime to meet a deadline, dealing with stressful relationships, and going through financial difficulties can all contribute to poor quality sleep. In THIS article there are 4 key habits to incorporate into your daily life to improve sleep quality and manage stress.