(Last Updated On: May 8, 2021)
What is stress?
Stressful situations can occur from time to time in all aspects of your life. Whether it is work-related, exam-related, or issues in your life stress can start to creep in before you even know it. Stress can manifest itself in numerous ways and is often attributed to further disorders and more serious health concerns.
These can be depression, anxiety, anger issues, and even cancer. The following tips can be used to reduce stress levels, deal with anxiety, and increase self-control at these stressful points in your life.
How Stress Affect Human Body Physically
Current hectic lifestyles have taken a toll on most people’s lives. With crazy workplace deadlines and frantic family demands, individuals are struggling with stress symptoms more than before. But what is stress, and how does it affect somebody’s life?
Stress refers to the physical or emotional strain caused by taxing thoughts or circumstances in one’s life. This may lead to anger, frustration, or nervousness as the body responds to mentally, emotionally, and physically demanding changes.
During a stressful episode, the hypothalamus, a tiny section of the human brain, releases stress hormones. As a result, the heart rate accelerates, breathing quickens, and muscles stiffen, ready to act. The response is a natural way of preparing your body to react during an emergency or chaotic times.
In some instances, stress positively impacts people’s lives by helping them beat a deadline or react while in danger. However, if it happens too often, it may lead to disastrous health implications.
Some common chronic stress symptoms include headaches, irritability, insomnia, depression, anxiety, stomach disorders, and many others.
Effects of stress on various parts of the human body.
The Endocrine and Central Nervous systems Effect
When one goes through a challenging situation, the brain communicates to the adrenal glands to emit stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline. The hormones boost the heartbeat which hastens the blood flow to where needed most in emergency times.
Once the traumatic incident is over, a properly performing hypothalamus regulates normal operations in all other body systems. If the central nervous system falls short, the body response continues. Despite the positive impact of stress hormones on the human body, overproduction is not healthy. For instance, a superfluous release of cortisol may increase glucose in the bloodstream.
Additionally, it may result in reduced energy levels for the stress victims. Since stress hormones affect the entire central nervous system, they may trigger some behaviors like low appetite, overeating, social withdrawal, drug abuse, etc.
Respiratory System Effects Caused by Stress Symptoms
The respiratory system is a network of tissues and organs that assists one to breathe. It allows the body to absorb oxygen so that the organs can perform appropriately. Additionally, it helps to remove waste gases from the blood like carbon dioxide.
Stress affects respiratory functions, leading to various ailments like rapid breathing or shortness of breath. If someone has a pre-existing respiratory disorder, stress may trigger severe asthma or panic attacks.
The situation gets worse when one receives sorrowful news like the death of a close person. In such cases engaging a psychologist may help to relax the breathing system.
Stress Symptoms on the Digestive System
A human being’s gut contains a whole load of neurons that communicates to the brain. Also referred to as the gastrointestinal tract, it processes food through the digestive system from the mouth to the rectum.
With several immune cells and good bacteria, the digestive system influences brain health and general well-being. Thus, it helps the body to fight off fungi, viruses, and bacteria.
One disastrous effect of stress is that it affects healthy gut-brain communication, which causes bloating, stomachache, mood swings, or other discomforts. If not controlled early enough, it may result in chronic gut diseases like peptic ulcers, intestinal problems, amongst others.
Stress also touches on the esophagus, where it may cause victims to eat less or more. Overeating causes acid reflux or increased heartburn. In rare cases, stress may cause the esophagus to contract and give a similar reaction to a heart attack.
It may also affect the swallowing food process leading to bloating, burping of excess gas. With severe gas, one may get nauseous, which sometimes leads to vomiting or discomfort in the bowels.
Furthermore, stress affects the digestion process and blocks proper nutrients absorption from the intestines. As a result, it may weaken the intestinal barrier protection from harmful gut bacteria.
Your immune system may manage to fight off these bacteria but not for long. For people with chronic bowel issues, stress may worsen the situation.
Cardiovascular Stress Consequences
The cardiovascular system involves two essential elements; blood vessels and the heart. Both need to work well together to provide oxygen and nourishment in the body. The success of this process depends on an individual’s response to stressful incidents.
Chronic or short-term stress increases heart rate or severe heart contractions. As a result, it may cause the blood vessels that transport blood to and from the heart to dilate. This leads to an increased amount of blood pumped to various parts of the body, elevating blood pressure.
After the stressful episode, the body may regulate itself to the normal state. However, if experienced for a more extended period, it may contribute to enduring blood vessels and heart ailments like stroke, hypertension, or heart attack.
Prolonged stress may also cause inflammation in the arteries and other parts of the blood circulatory system. Experts mention that repeated stress affects cholesterol levels as well. Regular production of cholesterol is essential in building up healthy body cells.
Nonetheless, excess levels of it increase the chances of heart diseases. More cholesterol in the blood vessels constrains normal blood flow in the arteries leading to chronic health implications.
Stress Influence on the Musculoskeletal System
One body response to stress is muscle tension. If one experiences stress more regularly, it may affect the muscle’s ability to keep guard. Irregular muscle functioning causes other body reactions like migraine headaches or chronic tension around the head, shoulder, and neck.
There are several relaxations and stress-relieving activities that effectively work in reducing muscle strain. For those experiencing chronic muscle discomforts, there are specific physical exercises that may help. Talk to an expert to identify the best therapies for your stress-related muscle nervous tension.
Results of Stress on the Immune System
Mild stress may kindle the body system, which is a benefit during urgent situations. However, if your body repeatedly releases stress hormones, it may affect the immune system leading to recurring body infections.
Chronic stress symptoms also prolong the time a human body takes to recover from an injury or illness. Again, these people are more at risk of viral ailments like colds and flu. This may escalate to other life-threatening related conditions.
Reproductive and Sexuality System Stress Effects
Stress affects the production of energy levels. During regular stressful periods, individuals may lose the desire for sexual activities. Sometimes, temporary pressure may increase the production of men’s testosterone hormone.
The response does not last for a long as repeated stress reduces testosterone levels. Consequently, it may influence low sperm production and lead to impotence or erectile dysfunction.
In women, stress symptoms may put pressure on the menstrual system. From young girls in adolescence to older women going through menopause, stress may amplify menstrual cycles’ length and cause excruciating painful periods.
In other cases, it may cause irregular or absent periods for a considerable time, which may minimize the chances of getting pregnant.
A little bit of stress here and there may not cause any alarm. It helps the body release helpful stress hormones ideal during urgent issues or strict deadlines. Nonetheless, constant chronic stress may exacerbate the severe health problems mentioned above.
The issue may worsen when stress victims use alcohol or other stimulants to amend it. For an effective stress management process, maintain a healthy support system, indulge in safe physical exercises, and sleep adequately.
Natural remedies for stress and tension
Identify when you are stressed
Stress is the most common problem faced by many today. It is evident for you that you are stressed, but, it is equally important to give attention to the circumstances that are pushing your body to stress. There are a few things that the body shows ups its signs of letting you know that it is stressed out. You will be tired, your eyes will feel heavy, and your hands go up, resting them on your head.
Know your stress response
When you are stressed, your body sends different signals notifying the same. You should pay attention to your body’s response to stress to detect the right strategy for stress relief. The stress response may be overexcited like getting angry, over-emotional, agitated, or it can be under excited stress like depression and spaced out with stress.
If you have an over-excited response, stress relief activities that quiet you down will help a lot of it is under excited stress, stress relief activities that are stimulating and energizing will do the job.
Take time to recharge
To avoid the adverse effects of stress, you need time to replenish and return to your pre-stress level of functioning. As a process, you need to switch off from the work that triggers stress and take breaks in between to recharge yourself.
If needed, plan for a vacation with family for a while and keep yourself away from work completely and you will feel rejuvenated when you are back on track again. If it is not possible, you can even get a quick boost by switching to your smartphone and browse through non-work-related activities for a while.
Indulge in the activities you enjoy
Worries in life are the major triggering point for stress. You should take your mind off your stress and take plenty of time to indulge in the activities that you enjoy a lot. Try listening to some soothing music, reading books, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.
You can also time to involve in creative activities, learning new things. Work on targets will small goals so that it gives you a sense of achievement, which is a stress reliever too.
Spend time with friends and family
Getting social support from friends and family is, no doubt a great stress buster. Spending some time with your loved group develops a sense of belonging and self-worth, which is quite helpful during tough times.
According to scientific research, women who spend time with family and friends during the stress period are found to benefit from the production of stress reliving hormone oxytocin.
Home remedies for stress and depression
Release energy that is pent up inside you via any means necessary. You could go
for a jog or a run, go for a bike ride, go swimming, or even just dance around to some high-energy music. Anything that gets your heart racing and blood pumping to release pent-up energy should make you feel a buzz of good energy afterward and enable you to relax.
Meditation is used by some to reduce stress levels. Meditating can help you to clear your
mind of the stress that is building there, and gain perspective on the situations that are causing them stress.
Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods
What you eat has a huge impact on your mental and physical state. Food that is high in sugar and processed foods are the worst things for you when you are stressed. They give you a quick buzz, but the comedown just makes you feel far worse as they lead to the build-up of bad toxins that increase stress levels.
Water is the best thing for stress as it will detox and hydrate your body, allowing your mind to function at its best and feel overall less stressed.
Celery contains phytonutrients that have sedative properties so eating celery can be very
Eating cherries are known for many medicinal benefits, one of those is soothing the nervous system.
Lettuce also has sedative properties known as lactucarium which is the sap that comes out of the celery stalks.
Rolled oats and oatmeal is also known for their calming effects so eating porridge is a great
home remedy for stress.
Pasta instigates the brain to release serotonin which is the feel-good chemical our brains naturally produce. Eating pasta for dinner will go a
long way to reducing stress levels.
Whole Wheat Bread
Very high in vitamin B which is excellent for your nervous system. Try to
include B vitamin-rich foods in your diet. Brown rice, pasta, and whole-grain cereals are all rich in vitamin B.
Herbal teas sweetened with honey are excellent relaxants and can help to relieve
stress. Among the best are Varian, catnip, chamomile, and tarragon. Have a herbal tea in the evening before bed.
Monitoring breathing is a well-known stress reliever, as it allows oxygen to
circulate and get rid of any toxins in the lungs. Take slow and deep breaths, around ten per minute if you can. This should make you feel calm and revitalized.
uncooked will also help. problem solving and resolution. The brain needs to be stimulated in this way to be at its best, and when it is not, and when you don’t take regular breaks and take time to enjoy the life that is when the stress builds up.
Aromatherapy is a great way to relax and using essential oils such as jasmine and
lavender in a bath or as part of a message will trigger neuro-pathways in your mind to then
change your body’s chemistry and encourage you to feel peace and joy. And the smell isn’t so bad either.
Being surrounded externally by clutter, such as in your workspace or home, will automatically hurt the mind. Clear and organized personal and workspace leads to a clear and organized, stress-free mind.
Plants are a soothing and relaxing addition to the home and workplace. Many offices
have plants as they not only increase the oxygen levels in the room but also naturally promote calmness and stress reduction through their living vibrations.
A fountain or water feature of some form is soothing, as the sound of the running
water is calming to our subconscious. There are even machines that you can purchase that imitate the sound of running water if you didn’t want to install an actual water feature.
Taking a long and relaxing hot bath helps to clear the senses and relax the muscles and
mind. The use of essential oils as mentioned, or some lovely smelling bath salts and soaps aid in the relaxation of the mind, and leave you smelling great afterward.
Holiday In Mountains:
There can be nothing more satisfying than connecting with nature, counting on the little joys like peacefully watching a pretty sunset or feeling the gentle touch of fresh wind with drizzle, that you were missing out on in your running city life. Count on the simplicity of mountains for detoxifying your mind with its untouched purity.
Go For Daily Morning Walk:
Starting your day with a lot of stress already circulating in your system will overload your brain till the moment of the crackdown. So, why not start your day with a peaceful and silent morning walk, inhaling fresh and cool morning air, and soaking the first rays of the sun to energize your body and mind?
Stop Eating Junk:
Junk food toxifies the body that affects its metabolic rate. Lower metabolism cuts down on the energy that your mind and body demand per day, making you lethargic. Also, it leads to digestive troubles like constipation that irritate further. Go for fresh fruits and delicious salads instead.
Meditate For Deep Sleep:
Already depressed mind needs relaxation. And deep sleep will sure give the mind a boost of peace that will calm down your irritation, boosting your mood. But stress cuts down on sleep and piles up irritation. This is why meditation works as a natural sedative by secreting happiness hormones.
Reading books take you down the alleys of adventure that cut your mind off from daily stress. This happiness therapy, when made a ritual, sets your body clock to have a little leisure time and uplift your mood. Try reading hard-core comedy books to bud your mind with happiness.
Take Aromatic Bubble Bath:
The body demands de-stressing to uplift your mood. Getting lost in a fragrant aromatic bubble bath can calm down your overworked nerves. Use aromatic candles to light up the bathroom to enjoy a peaceful night ahead. It is for this reason that aromatic spa massaging uplifts mood too well.
Wear the colors you love, listen to the music you like, and most importantly, cash out on some of the money you have been earning under a lot of stress for leisure shopping. Meet your old friends from school and college, and stay at a bay from pessimist people.
Relax At Home:
The only way to do this is, leaving work at the office. Not just in papers, but also mentally. Tame your body to differentiate between work hours and relaxing hours. This will also help you in managing work better.
Drink Herbal Tea:
Sounds funny? Well, it isn’t. Habitually starting your day with a cup of herbal tea infuses your body with calming and cleansing antioxidants. And most of these antioxidants control hormonal secretion as well. This is why herbal teas are edible mood uplifters.
Incorporate each of these habits in your life, and you will see yourself living better, happier than before.
Taking a day off from work might not really boost your dropping mood for long. It will demand much more beyond a lazy day in bed for you to detoxify your mind and spirit, and befriend with life with a fresh smile and enthusiasm once again.