Stress is unpleasant and damaging. But it is unavoidable. Unless you isolate yourself from everyone and everything, you can not create a life void of stress. Yet, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Indeed, while stress is a response to external events or situations, it doesn’t mean we are powerless. Stress is a conscious response that your body and mind choose to make to the things that happen to and around you. It might sound impossible, but simple tools such as meditation and healthy eating can significantly help get your stress response under control. Why so? Because you are always in charge, even when you are stressed out. You can choose not to experience stress! Admittedly, it’s no easy task, but you can train your mind to relieve stress with healthy coping mechanisms.
Most of us are familiar with the mental health effects of stress. Stress is an invisible enemy that can affect your mood dramatically. When you’re going through a lot of pressure, you are more likely to lose your temper. Anger and frustration walk hand-in-hand with stress, putting a strain on relationships. In extreme situations, stress also drives high anxiety and depression levels which can require medical treatment. But what most people fail to see is how stress can also affect our physical health. Indeed, stress can actively attack your body, making it weaker and more vulnerable to illnesses.
#1. No more after-dark fun
Stress and sex drive share a unique connection. Indeed, while stress doesn’t affect your romantic feelings, it can tap into your nervous system, which is connected to your sex drive. A lot of worried men who reach out to professionals such as paulmanoharurology.com.au to discuss dysfunctions in bed learn the hard way about the effects of stress. The good news, though, is that these difficulties can be managed effectively. Ultimately, the damage can be undone and doesn’t have to last. As you get to the bottom of your stress situation, the pressure on your nervous system relaxes.
For women, the worrisome discovery is that stress also affects their libido. It’s worth mentioning the stress hormone, which exists to prepare the body for survival. Chronic stress reduces the production of sex hormones because these become useless in a “fight-or-flight” situation. But the production regulates itself once you learn to handle your stress levels.
#2. You’ve got bad skin
Do you experience more breakouts when you’re going through a lot? It’s got nothing to do with the universal bad luck syndrome. Stress makes your skin genuinely more sensitive. If you are naturally oily skin, the oil glands are likely to produce more oil, which makes you more likely to develop acne.
People who are prone to skin problems such as rashes or eczema find that skin reactions are exacerbated by stress, even when you stick to your skincare routine. Experts recommend giving your skin a break from potentially abrasive products to help recover. You can encourage skin healing through gentle cleansing and hydrating techniques. Soothing facial masks can also work wonders on both your skin and your mind!
#3. You’ve got more white hair
Have you spotted gray or white hair in your curls? But I can’t have white hair already, you say. I’m too young for that! Here’s a sad truth for you: Hair pigmentation is not linked to your age. Your hair color is controlled by the stem cells within the hair follicle. Over time, the stem cells disappear, which means your hair loses its natural pigmentation and turns either gray or white.
Yet many conditions can also affect your stem cells. Studies show that mice subjected to high stress levels will experience hair depigmentation. In other words, the stem cells are damaged by stress and cannot produce pigmentation. While the experiment was made on mice, similar situations show the same response in human beings. Whether you are going through a short period of high stress or prolonged, chronic stress, the situation is likely to affect hair pigmentation regardless of your age.
#4. You’re sick more frequently
When you are stressed, your body’s ability to fight off antigens shrinks. The immune system is a complex collection of cells that travel inside your bloodstream to identify and remove health risks. The immune system defends the body against antigens such as viruses and bacteria.
The immune system consists of lymphocytes, which are cells responsible for the production of antibodies and the destruction of harmful cells. High stress, however, reduces the number of lymphocytes in your bloodstream, as per https://www.simplypsychology.org/stress-immune.html. So if you struggle with frequent viruses, this could be directly connected to stress rather than personal hygiene.
#5. You’ve got more wrinkles
Stress causes premature skin aging. There is a reason why the pandemic is making a lot of people consider cosmetic surgery. The prolonged stress leading to sagging, and visible lines, which stand out on zoom calls. How does stress make your skin cells look older? It’s a hormonal response. Stress increases the production of cortisol, called the stress hormone. Unfortunately, in large quantities, cortisol can break down the skin’s collagen and elastin. In the long term, your skin can’t maintain its firmness and elasticity, and wrinkles appear.
#6. Your nails are brittle
Did you know that the cells in your hair and nails are the same? So when your hair can lose pigmentation as a result of stress, your nail cells will also show signs of damage. The damaged cells can make your nail brittle, leading to breakage. You can also spot side-to-side lines or slow nail growth.
#7. Your digestion is disrupted
Nobody likes an upset tummy. But what you may not realize is that it’s got nothing to do with your meal. Stress ca, cause gastrointestinal problems and damage your gut health. Indeed, your gut is controlled by the central nervous system, which reacts to high stress levels. Additionally, the stress response activates the production of cortisol, which launches the fight-or-flight response. This will lead to spasms, indigestion, constipation, or even nausea. IN serious cases, you can experience IBS or even ulcers that are entirely caused by stress.
Stress can damage both your mental and physical health. In many ways, stress can be compared to a self-destruct button. Yet, remember: You are in charge of how you respond to stressful situations. Learning to develop coping mechanisms can help alleviate many physical conditions that are caused by stress.