Could Stress Be Slowly Killing You?

Stress is a major issue that most Americans face. Approximately 84% percent of U.S. citizens report feeling stressed on a weekly basis. Nearly 80% of this number say that stress affects their physical health through headaches, stomach problems, or other stress-associated symptoms, and nearly three-quarters say that stress affects their mental health, making them feel more anxious or depressed. Nearly a third of Americans report feeling extreme stress on a regular basis, which can trigger severe health episodes like panic attacks or cardiac arrest. Experiencing stress on a regular basis for long periods of time can negatively affect your appearance, causing acne, hair loss, weight fluctuation, and premature signs of aging. It can also put you at a higher risk for serious health conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Here are some ways to help cope with stress so you can protect your health.

Fuelling to Fight Stress

One of our body’s responses to stress can be overeating, and oftentimes what it craves, as a result, is something comforting, packed with sodium or processed sugars. The unfortunate thing is that foods like this will only end up making you feel worse since they don’t properly nourish your body and give you the energy that you need to recover from stressful situations. Instead, reach for a handful of berries. The vitamin C in berries can help stabilize blood pressure and cortisol–the stress hormone–levels after they’ve peaked. The same effect can be found in dark chocolate, making it a perfect option if you have a sweet tooth. If you’re noticing that you’re experiencing side effects of stress, either headaches or an upset stomach, then try having a cup of tea to help your body relax. Chamomile has a reputation for its spectacular calming properties.

Outrunning Your Problems

When we’ve had a stressful day, sometimes all we want to do is go home, put on our comfiest sweatpants, and binge our favorite tv show until it’s time for bed. Again, what we want is the opposite of what our body needs. Cortisol activates our body’s fight-or-flight response, so the best way to combat stress is to increase your regular physical activity. Consider purchasing a gym membership. Look for a facility near your workplace, that way you can stop by on your way home each day to help you calm down and reset before continuing your evening.

If the gym seems either too intimidating or less than appealing to you, then you might consider taking up running. While research is inconclusive as to whether running really does produce the euphoric effect known as “runner’s high,” it is still proven that running can help reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.

If you’re looking for a form of physical activity that can both reduce stress and help build a sense of community, then you might consider signing up for yoga classes. Yoga is great for stress because it provides an outlet for all of that extra cortisol, and uses breathing and meditation to naturally calm your body and relax your mind. The hot yoga studio in Aurora offers classes five days a week, so you’re guaranteed to find a time that works for you.

Stopping to Smell the Roses

It has been found that aromatherapy is effective in reducing stress. A great way to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily life is through the use of essential oils. With how common the practice has become, it’s easy to find essential oil diffusers at your local department stores, or online with a simple search. It’s recommended that you place essential oil diffusers in spaces that you frequent the most. Keep one in your main living space to help you relax after a long day, or on your nightstand so you can be coaxed to sleep by the soothing scent of lavender. Different scents have different effects on your mood, so be sure to do your research to find the scent that will help you the most.

Managing Your Stress by Managing Your Health

One of the most important ways you can keep your stress from having negative long-term effects on your health is by closely monitoring it. It’s important to talk with your doctor about your stress and ask about any tests they would recommend to monitor your levels of risk. If for some reason your doctor refuses to perform any tests or offer you any treatment for your condition, and it worsens as a result, you should consider hiring a medical malpractice lawyer. Your lawyer will help you fight for the financial compensation that you deserve and will prevent the doctor’s negligence from causing anyone else to suffer.

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