How Stress Affects Our HealthNote that stress is a natural reaction to different experiences in life — it’s when the body gets stuck in a state of fight-or-flight and our stress response doesn’t return to homeostasis, that we run into some potentially serious health risks. Here are just some of the ways elevated stress can affect our health.
#1 Digestive ComplaintsIf you’ve ever had an upset stomach when stressed, then you know first-hand the connection between stress and digestive health. This is all thanks to the gut-brain connection, a bidirectional communication system where stress can affect our gut, and the status of our gut health can affect our brain. And, during times of stress, it’s not uncommon to experience symptoms like occasional heartburn since stress actually increases stomach acid production.
#2 Occasional Poor Sleep & Food CravingsBeing overly stressed can also make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. And, with poor sleep comes increased cravings for sugar foods, which can quickly become a vicious cycle.
#3 Impacts Immune FunctionEver notice how during times of stress, you find yourself more prone to getting more run down than normal? There’s actually a science to back up why this happens — as it turns out, elevated stress can impact the immune system. This is due to the fact that too much stress can decrease lymphocyte production in the body, which are important white blood cells, which can leave us feeling tired and run down.
3 Ways to Overcome StressSo we know that too much stress can be detrimental to our overall health, but how do we actually go about keeping stress levels in check? First, it’s important to acknowledge that reducing stress isn’t an easy feat, as some areas of stress we may not necessarily have control over. However, there are some daily steps we all can take to help calm the body’s stress response just a bit, and with consistency, we may notice a big difference in our health. Here are three simple ways to overcome stress daily.
#1 Meditate For Just 1-5 Minutes Each DayIt can be hard to find extra time in our busy day to practice stress reduction. But, if you can find just 1-5 minutes to meditate each day, it may make a massive difference in your stress levels. Start with just one minute and work your way up to five. It may quickly become a part of your daily routine.
#2 Practice GratitudeWhen you’re feeling stressed, grab a pen and paper and write down what you are thankful for. The change of mental direction may help shift your anxious thoughts into something more positive. It’s a simple but highly effective tool.
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Beat Stress, Feel Your BestMaking stress reduction a priority is a huge way of giving yourself a daily dose of self-care. With less stress, you pave the path to unleash your inner superpowers and live life to its fullest potential.
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