When you become stressed, you suddenly find yourself under much more pressure than when you’re relaxed, and your body must quickly switch in order to cope with this stress.
High amounts of stress affect multiple parts of the body:
1.The Immune System
- When we become stressed, our body is immediately signaled to release hormones in order to help it cope. Among these hormones is cortisol, which tends to suppress the immune system and inflammatory pathways. This causes a person who is under major stress to become increasingly susceptible to infections and other illnesses.
- Stress causes us to breathe more quickly and heavily so that we can distribute more oxygen-rich blood throughout our body. This is not necessarily an issue for healthy individuals, but for those with asthma or other breathing-related issues, this could cause serious problems.
- Our muscles inevitably tense up when we become stressed, which is natural. However, repeated muscle tension leads to aches and pains in the shoulders, neck and head, which very commonly lead to tension headaches. Therefore, the more a person stresses, the more likely he or she is to suffer from pains and headaches.
These are just a few of the many ways that stress can affect our body. With this in mind, it is extremely important to regularly take time for yourself and participate in activities that allow you to escape from your everyday routine and take you to your “happy place.” Breathing exercises and massage are also great ways to reduce the negative effects that stress can have on you.
Make an appointment with me today and we can talk more about ways to reduce and control your stress.