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The Effects of Stress and How to Combat Them

Stress affect

Whether you are about to make your first presentation at work, playing a big game and you have 30 seconds to break a tie, the brain has a way of sending the command for stress hormones to be released during these crucial moments. Stress is a mechanism that your body uses to prepare you to react promptly to emergency situations. Your breath fastens, your heart races and your muscles are ready to act. However, if you are always under stress, your health might suffer severe effects.

1. Chronic stress makes losing weight difficult

Stress hormones increase your appetite because your body requires extra energy. Also, when you are stressed, your body relies on sugar as it can only metabolize carbohydrates to produce energy. You also sweat when you are stressed.  You can just feel the perspiration forming. Sweating during a stressful time is normal, but can adversely affect the clothing we are wearing. We can machine wash our clothes from sweat, but how to get sweat stains out of hats is a good question.  The best way would be to handwash them if you are not sure of the material.

· Why burning fat is difficult

So long as you are under stress, burning fat will be nearly impossible. So, you might run that treadmill all you want without any positive changes. The reason for this is that stress prevents oxygen from reaching your cells, which makes it difficult for your body to metabolize fat. That leaves you to depend on carbohydrates as your sole energy source.

· It exhausts your insulin stores

You require insulin to convert sugar from the blood to your cells. Stress hormones prevent proper insulin secretion from the hormones. It gets worse when the sugar overload makes the pancreas hyperactive, to the extent that it cannot produce enough insulin.

· Sugar cravings

During a stress reaction, the hormones raise your blood pressure; thus accelerating your breathing and heartbeat. This sends glucose to the blood to help in freeing sufficient energy for the brain and muscles. As the shortage of energy increases, sugar is the only way to fix the deficit, making one to crave excessively for sweet foods.

How to fight this effect: Keep moving

Exercise is an ideal way of combating stress. However contradictory it might sound, the truth is that putting physical pressure on your body by working out is a practical way of relieving mental stress. The benefits are best experienced when you exercise regularly. Going on vacations often can also help in managing stressful situations.

2. Chronic stress triggers health-related problems

Chronic stress responses damage different body organs and cells in the bodies. It does not only make the body prone to infections, but it also interferes with the body’s ability to heal itself by lowering one’s immunity. Adrenaline causes your heart to beat faster than it should and increases blood pressure. Too much of it results in hypertension. Similarly, an excess of cortisol prevents the artery walls from functioning as they should.

How to fight this effect: Meditate

Taking a few minutes of silence daily to think through the day’s events is a proven method of battling stress. Meditation alters the brain’s neural pathways and makes you resilient to stress. Thankfully, meditating is simple. All you should do is to sit with your eyes closed and feet on the floor and then focus on reciting a mantra. You can do so either silently or loudly. The mantra should be positive, such as “I love my life” or “I am at peace.” Place your hand on your belly so that you can link the mantra with your breaths.

3. Chronic stress shrinks the brain

The effect of stress goes beyond your physical health. Cortisol has been found to shrink the brain. They affect the part of the brain that is responsible for judgment, decision making and concentrating. Eventually, it makes the affected to be susceptible to severe mental problems like Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

How to fight this effect: Reach out

Your social network is your best defense for combating stress. Talk to those around you, whether over the phone or face to face. Share what you are going through. It is easy to find a fresh perspective that will strengthen you.

Stress and anxiety may arise from your personal life or in your workplace. Whichever way, there are several ways to reduce the pressure. If things don’t get better, do not shy away from getting professional help.