Imagine sitting in traffic and you’re late for an important meeting, or for picking the kids up from school. How stressed does that make you feel? These are the effects of stress on health.
The fact that it makes you feel anything means that stress has an emotional effect on your health. Anything which affects our body, either positively or negatively and whether that be mental or physical, has a serious longer term impact on our health.
So, by default, the way you react is the short term impact of stress on your health.
Subtle changes over time
Underneath all that panic there’s a subtle change going on to how your body processes all this stressful information. Your physical body is adapting to your increased mental pressure and turning stress into a more negative, chronic problem. You’re sweating to cool down on the off chance you may need to run, because back in the old caveman days, when we’re under stress we needed to run. Our bodies haven’t got over that yet, and so that’s also why our heart rate increases because we may need the extra blood and oxygen to make that run for it.
So, this is the long term affect the stress of repeatedly being stuck in a traffic jam can have. Day after day that sustained peaks in stress takes its toll on our heart and our health, because our system is overworking meaning it doesn’t now have enough energy left to keep us properly healthy.
Big changes and by then it’s often too late
Compound that little health issue with additional mental stresses that we all take for granted as being part of a busy life (picking up the kids, preparing food, holding down a job etc), and you’re now starting to see how easily stress can built up and the impact it very quickly takes on our health.
By utilising our energy to deal with stress, we’re taking from the available resource that we would use to function normally. This is when our body then starts to not have enough resource left to fix itself properly. So, we might get headaches from tension, our fight or flight response doesn’t know when to shut off so we don’t sleep at night and often times we are depressed.
Compound effects of stress
And so the story continues to compound as our body is now not only dealing with stress and a base level of anxiety, but also the triggers.
We’re busy so we forget to drink enough. And because our body needs water to filter out toxins, the situation worsens further. The whole thing turns into a self fulfilling prophecy.
Fertility and stress
The first physical thing to suffer usually is our fertility because this isn’t critical to keeping us alive. So, our sex drive will drop, we’ll miss periods and men will suffer symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Over time, the problems of stress on health are unimaginable as cells don’t have the resource or the necessary sleep time to reproduce effectively. Malformed cell over the longer term become disease.
Our clients scoff at us when we tell them that stress is the root of all evil, and while that may be a tad on the dramatic side, hopefully you can now see how there are valid points to be made about reducing the impact stress has on our health. And if we can’t, then at least managing the effects it has on our body.
Reflexology is a great way to improve our immune system and reduce the way our mind overworks, thus reducing stress levels. A bit of self care goes a long way when we’re trying to combat the way stressors which make us jump to conclusions about events that are not actually as harmful as we perceive. Within a few reflexology sessions you’ll be able to see life from a more understanding perspective. Once you do this, stress disorders that you’ve been living with usually start to clear up on their own as your fight or flight reactions dull in line with the more relaxed approach you’ve now adopted to life.
You can find out more about reflexology and how it can improve your health, here.