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10 consequences of stress (and 5 tips to relax)

Jun 26,2021

There are many consequences of stress,  and the causes are also multiple. A busy job, a busy schedule or financial problems are just some of the causes of stress that we can experience on a daily basis. And if this feeling seems rather banal to us, it is nevertheless dangerous for health.


Indeed, there are two types of stress  : acute and chronic. The first is that of which we feel the immediate effects, when our body puts itself in a combat situation to counter a threat: increased heart

rate, more jerky breathing, profuse sweating, nausea, muscle stiffness.

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The stress level will then depend on its intensity, but it will disappear once the danger is removed, allowing the body to return to normal.

But when these anxiety-provoking situations take hold in our daily lives, our body continually lives on a mode of defense. The consequences of stress can then be disastrous.

And the reason is simple: when our nervous system feels in danger, our brain is stimulated. It then produces adrenaline, while at the same time soliciting our adrenal glands. To manage stress, these will also produce adrenaline, as well as a hormone called cortisol, which is harmful to many of our organs.

Here are 10 harmful consequences of stress on our body.

1. Cardiovascular disease

Under stress, our heart beats faster, and our blood pressure increases to activate our blood circulation, which will then supply our muscles with oxygen to give them energy.

The blood vessels are reduced, and the arteries, hardened. Also, to ward off a possible injury, the blood will thicken, which can cause, as a result of stress, heart disease and stroke .


2. Skin problems

The consequences of stress also affect our superficial blood vessels, since these will prefer to direct blood to the muscles rather than to the skin. Our skin will then be less well nourished and will tend to redden, or on the contrary to pale, as well as to age prematurely.

Skin diseases and inflammation can therefore result from the consequences of stress, such as psoriasis or hives . The acne , in turn, be caused by an excess of sebum due to high cortisol production.


3. Hair problems

Just like the skin, the blood flow does not feed our hair as well in times of stress. The growth of our hair is slowed down, which can even cause it to fall out .

The more sensitive scalp is also affected. It can be itchy, painful or even flaky and cause dandruff to appear as a result of stress.


4. A weakened immune system

In normal times, our body has the necessary resources to counter the viruses and attacks that threaten us on a daily basis. Except of course if he is too busy fighting an immediate threat, a message conveyed by the consequences of stress.

We are therefore more vulnerable to new infections, in addition to awakening existing ones, while worsening their symptoms and disturbing their healing. What's more, a little-known fact, a weakened immune system could even cause new allergies to appear.


5. Digestive problems

We observe the same process in our digestive system when faced with the consequences of stress. Too busy countering the danger transmitted by stress, it slows down and disrupts intestinal activity, and no longer properly assimilates food.

The result: bloating , heartburn , acid reflux, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome and, of course, constipation , diarrhea and indigestion. In short, it is not for nothing that stress hurts your stomach!


6. Weight gain

It is not always easy to maintain a healthy weight when you are dealing with the consequences of stress, let alone when you have a hectic pace of life. For lack of time, or of interest, we then tend to swallow the contents of our plate in one gulp, or to ignore healthy meals.

But another major contributor is closely linked to the overweight observed in many people who are continually stressed: the famous cortisol. This stress hormone sends a hunger signal to our brain, since our bodies generally need food to recover from an “attack”. Except that these comfort foods are not always the most balanced.


7. Sleep problems

As we know, stress and sleep don't mix. In the evening, we often ruminate on our day and negatively anticipate that of the next day. And that is without taking into account that, tired, we cope less well with anxiety , which will then settle down a bit.

But the psychological aspect is not the only one responsible for sleep disorders. Physiologically, our sympathetic nervous system also gives us a hard time; he refuses to put himself on standby in order to be able to face the danger that awaits us.


8. Memory loss

The hippocampus plays an essential role in the memorization process. So when cortisol rushes to destroy nerve cells in this area of our brain, all of our cognitive functions are affected as a result of stress.

This explains why our focus and lack of judgment also fail us when we are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.


9. Lack of libido

Let's face it: after a tough day, we don't feel the most attractive. So when stress gets involved and hits our precious hypothalamus, another part of the brain, our production of sex hormones is also slowed down.

Consequence of this stress: the parts of legs in the air are relegated to the background.


10. The reproductive system

In women, stress can greatly affect the symptoms of menstruation, making it irregular or painful, as well as during menopause, by increasing hot flashes , for example.

Men see the consequences of this stress through erection problems , and even see their sperm production decrease.


5 tips for dealing with the consequences of stress

If stress is difficult to eliminate on a daily basis, we can however learn to control it.

We already know that, but regular sleep, eating a balanced diet and participating in sports are the foundations of a healthy life.

Here are 5 other tips that might help us when the consequences of stress take hold.

1. Do an express yoga or meditation session

We isolate ourselves for fifteen minutes, and we breathe . We focus on our respiratory movements, without trying to modify them, and we remain attentive to our bodily sensations and our emotions. The goal? Refocus on what is most important: us.

2. Relax our muscles

Head to toe, one at a time. Starting with the toes, contract each muscle as much as possible before releasing it, gradually working your way up to the muscles of the face.

3. Take a walk

And no need to go for miles! A ten minute enough to lay your head and turn our minds of our little irritating.

4. Listen to music

It's proven, music softens manners ... and the consequences of stress. Classic, it would even lower blood pressure and heart rate. But the main thing is of course to listen to our favorite songs, since they will activate the famous hormones responsible for well-being.

5. View

Our imaginations can also help us relax in the face of the consequences of stress. Seated comfortably, we visualize a scene that makes us feel good: a place filled with happy memories, a loved one, our next vacation, etc.

What are your means to cope with the consequences of stress, and to calm down on a daily basis?




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