How Stress Can Negatively Affect Your Body and What to Do About It

How Stress Can Negatively Affect Your Body and What to Do About It

The numbers don’t lie. Americans are some of the most stressed-out folks on the globe, and it’s getting worse. One study showed that nearly 44% of US adults have seen their stress levels spike over the last few years. 

This Stress Awareness Month, our team of specialists at Gulf West Medical Associates, led by Dr. Rajesh Dave, takes a closer look at stress, how it impacts your health, and how you can manage it. 

What you should know about stress

Believe it or not, there’s such a thing as good stress. When you’re under some pressure, it strengthens the neural connections in your brain, boosting your cognitive function. Stress can also help you stay motivated toward achieving your goals.

Additionally, low doses of the stress hormone cortisol may also reduce your risk for colds and infections. When you have a bit of stress, your immune system responds by getting stronger to keep you healthy.

However, if you’re under constant stress, the negatives far outweigh the positives. Too much stress can interfere with all aspects of your life and health. Common signs that your stress is causing problems include the following:

Persistent stress is also linked to serious health conditions, including high blood pressureheart disease, and diabetes. Stress can also trigger mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.

What you can do about stress

Because stress can have such an impact on nearly every facet of your health, we make it a key part of our preventive healthcare services. Here are a few ways you can find relief from oppressive stress.

Get moving

Working out is a great way to work out your stress — both your body and mind get to take a break from your daily routine. Regular exercise has also proven to be a natural mood-lifter that can help you deal with life’s stressors more easily. 

Aim for around 75 minutes of exercise every week to get the best results.

Find a way to relax

Do you get lost in a good book? Is a massage your key to ultimate serenity? Whichever hobby or hack gets you to a more zen state of mind, try to make it a priority.

Take it a step further and make moves to avoid, or at least alleviate, the situations that trigger your stress.

Embrace the basics of breathing

The power of stress management may be closer than you think. Stopping for a few moments and taking a few deep, intentional breaths can lift the weight of the world off your shoulders. 

Evaluate your plate

They say you are what you eat. If your eating habits are just as muddled as your mood, try establishing a regular eating pattern and eating energy and mood-boosting food like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein. 

Talk it out

Talk therapy is one of the most effective and most popular treatments for stress and other mental health issues. If you can’t get to a therapist, get in touch with a close, trusted friend or family member to get support for your stress.

Ready to wrangle your stress and take control of your health? We want to help. Call our friendly staff at 727-848-0247, or use our online booking tool to request an appointment at our Port Richey, Florida office.

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