The Invisible Effects Of Stress On Your Overall Health

Whenever we’re exposed to challenging circumstances in our lives, the result is emotional or physical tension. Genetically, we have a flight-or-fight mechanism that helps to protect us from danger. Therefore, whenever our brains perceive us to be in a potentially dangerous situation, it sends signals to the adrenal glands which, in turn, release a flood of hormones.

While this process makes sense if you need to take on an enemy in combat or outrun a lion, our bodies don’t know the difference between these genuinely hazardous situations and less harmful circumstances such as being late in submitting a work project or having to attend an interview.

Although stress is a natural process, it can cause harm to your health. As a health coach in London, I regularly see the impact that stress can have on my clients’ overall well-being. Here are just some of the invisible effects that it can cause.

Weight Gain

Cortisol is one of the hormones released when you experience stress, and it increases your craving for fat and sugar. If you give into those cravings, you could easily gain weight. Even worse, cortisol can also increase how much fat your body retains while enlarging fat cells. This can result in increased belly fat that can be very dangerous to your health.

Heart Problems

Evidence has shown that there is a link between ongoing stress and heart problems. Furthermore, it can also increase your chances of giving into other behaviours that increase your risk of heart disease such as overeating and smoking.

Insomnia

As a health and well-being coach, I regularly tell me clients that getting enough quality sleep is essential for our overall wellness. However, stress causes hyperarousal which, in turn, results in insomnia. Disrupted sleep patterns can cause other mental health problems to arise or become exacerbated and are also linked to additional physical problems too including poor memory and recall.

Hair Loss

Although hair loss may not be a life-threatening problem, it can be emotionally distressing. Stress can cause hair loss in two different ways. Stress prevents new hair strands from being produced as often or as quickly as usual. It is also linked to a medical disorder called trichotillomania which causes people to pull out their own hair.

Digestive Disturbances

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) may be caused or made worse by stress. These digestive disturbances can make life very difficult and unpleasant.

Skin Problems

Stress can cause skin problems including acne and breakouts since it can cause male hormone levels to increase. It can also cause psoriasis to arise which can, in turn, cause emotional problems like low self-esteem and poor self-confidence. Chronic stress also causes the cells in the body to age more rapidly, resulting in premature aging.

Reduced Immunity

If you’re exposed to long-term stress, you are more likely to become ill with other medical problems such as colds, flu and other viruses. The immune cells of stressed people are less sensitive to the hormone which switches inflammation off, and therefore, people who are very stressed are at an increased risk of illness.

Lowered Sex Drive

If you’re very stressed, you are likely to be in a poor state of mind and this can impact on your levels of sexual desire. This can cause sexual dysfunction that may trigger other emotional problems in the long run.

Consulting A Lifestyle Coach In London

If you’re experiencing high levels of stress in your life, you’re putting yourself at risk of a host of emotional and physical issues. Seeking advice from a wellness coach online or in person in London is your best course of action to learn healthier ways of coping.

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