Higher stress levels are experienced by everyone from time to time. Pressure is an essential part of living; it helps us adapt to new situations and challenges. However, when tension becomes excessive or prolonged, it can have adverse effects on your physical and mental health. When you experience too much pressure, your immune system weakens, which increases your risk for illness. You also may become more likely to develop heart disease and other illnesses. On the other hand, managing tensioneffectively can help you stay healthy and happy.
What does it mean to feel pressured?
Stress is an emotional response to any demand placed upon you. When your body perceives a threat, it prepares itself to deal with that situation by increasing your heart rate, breathing faster, and releasing hormones into your bloodstream. These are all common signs of being stressed out.
Types of Stress Affect Your Physical Health
There are distinct characteristics of the different types of tension and anxiety. Effective stress response management begins with understanding the differences between each.
- Acute Stress – This stress type happens in short bursts and usually has a specific trigger. An example of acute stress is the nervousness you feel right before a big presentation or taking an exam.
- Chronic Stress – Non-Stop pressure lasts longer than one day and doesn’t always have a clear cause. It often comes from long-term problems like financial struggles or relationship issues. Chronic stress takes over life and affects every aspect of everyday routine. It can make you feel anxious, depressed, angry, frustrated, guilty, or hopeless. Chronic stress leads to physical health issues like insomnia, headaches, stomachaches, back pain, fatigue, and weight gain.
- Anxiety – Episodes of anxiety can cause dramatic temporary spikes in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration which are common symptoms of stress. Anxiety is not the same as intense fear, which is a normal reaction to danger. People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder worry about things they cannot control, such as their job performance, finances, relationships, or family members’ health. They may feel afraid, irritable, tense, restless, or unable to sleep.
How Do Types of Stress Affect Your Physical Health?
While experiencing pressure, the body will release chemicals called neurotransmitters into the bloodstream. These chemicals affect how you think, act, sleep, eat. The neurotransmitters prepare your body to cope with whatever challenge is causing the pressure. They create a fear response that tells your brain to prepare to fight or flight. When the body experiences chronic stress, adrenal glands produce extra amounts of these neurotransmitters. Over time, this constant release of adrenaline can damage your internal organs and affect your heart, lungs, muscles, nerves, brain, and digestive tract.
The Effects of Pressure and Tension on Health
Clinical studies have shown that people who live with chronic stress are at greater risk for many diseases, including:
- Heart Disease – Types of Stress Affect Your Physical Health such as your cardiovascular system, making it harder for your heart to pump blood around your body. If you already have heart disease, pressure can increase your symptoms and make them worse.
- High Blood Pressure – Cortisol causes your blood vessels to constrict, which increases pressure inside your arteries and puts more strain on your heart. The added tension can eventually lead to heart failure.
- Diabetes – High levels of cortisol can interfere with insulin production and metabolism. This makes it easier for sugar to build up in your blood, leading to insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Depression – Studies show that depression is linked to high levels of cortisol. Having a taxing lifestyle can result in feelings of sadness.
- Mood Disorders – A study found that people who had higher cortisol levels from excessive pressure were more likely to develop mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and other anxiety-related disorders.
- Cancer – Researchers believe that types of stress affect your physical health can affect how cells grow and divide. This could mean that cancerous cells continue to multiply when they should stop growing.
Stress Can Be Prevented
If you want to prevent the aggravating physical symptoms from the stress that affects your health, stress management is the key. There are several ways to manage stress, and lifestyle changes are at the top of the list to counteract symptoms. It’s essential to learn how to find healthy ways to deal with stress.
Identify Sources of Stress
Where does the source of your everyday stress lie? Which types of stress affect your physical health? Is it work-related or personal? Is it money-related or relationship-related? Once you know the source of the problem, you can begin to address it.
Learn How to Relax
Relaxation response and deep breathing techniques will help you reduce tensionand feelings of fear. You can use meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and other relaxation techniques. Even listening to music can be a relaxation exercise.
Having a support system helps you stay positive during times of stress. Spend time with loved ones. Talk to friends, family, or clergy who care about you. Turn to a healthcare provider during difficult situations.
Create a Healthy Lifestyle
Healthy daily life choices will help you reduce pressure and improve your overall well-being. Daily regular exercise, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and getting enough rest are crucial for a healthy stress response. A positive attitude and spending time to take care of yourself emotionally will minimize the consequences of stress.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches you the skills and mental tools needed to control thoughts and behaviors that cause tension and mental health issues. CBT focuses on changing unhealthy thinking patterns and behavior in everyday life so that you feel better.