Stress is a natural reaction within the body, also referred to as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This is the response within the body which occurs when the mind perceives the environment as harmful in some way. While this reaction is important in life or death situations, it is often more of a burden in modern life, as stress can be triggered by any daily hassles or life events. Unless it is managed correctly, chronic stress can also have a serious negative impact on the body and mind. Therefore, it is important to find methods to combat the effects of stress on your physical and mental health.
Looking after the nervous system
When the body becomes put under stress, the central nervous system is activated, which causes a change in the chemical reactions within the body. High levels of adrenaline and cortisol are released, which keeps the body and mind alert. This also means that the body expends a lot of energy in short bursts, which is one of the reasons why some people tend to comfort eat during stressful situations.
To keep your hormones in better balance, it is important to spend short periods of time relaxing. Find a quiet space, and allow your body to de-stress, which will help bring down the high level of adrenaline in the body. It is also vital to ensure you get enough sleep at night, as this is the period of time which allows your body to repair and stabilize itself.
Tending to your muscles and teeth
Your muscles tense up when you are stressed, and chronic stress leaves your muscles with very little opportunity to relax. This is what contributes to an increase in headaches, back pain, and other muscle pain. Try and combat this by finding ways to relax your muscles: gentle swimming is particularly good for this, as it allows you to stretch the muscles in a low impact way. Stress also has an impact on your oral hygiene, due to a reduced immune system, and secondary features such as a poor diet. Stress can also cause teeth grinding, something which people often do unknowingly in their sleep. Therefore, it is important to keep care of your teeth and to get regular dental check-ups to keep on top of any problems which may arise. Go to www.southviewdentistrycharlotte.com for more information and dental advice.
Caring for your cardiovascular system
Stress increases the likelihood of problems occurring in your heart and lungs, as well affecting other areas of your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Due to the fight or flight response, stress makes your heart beat faster, and your breathing rate also increases. If you are exposed to this over a prolonged period of time, the high blood pressure within the body can dramatically increase your risk of a heart attack. Keeping your cardiovascular system happy has a lot to do with your diet. If you are undergoing a lot of stress, try and cut down on substances which will make your heart work even harder, such as foods heavy in saturated fat. Substances such as alcohol will also have a negative impact on your heart, so try and keep the amount you consume to a minimum.