Effects of Stress

Stress can be a significant and important motivator when striving for a goal, whether that’s accomplishing an important task for striving for a promotion.  However, it’s become such a standard part of our lives that it’s no longer all positives. The American Psychological Association states that if stress is chronic, whether that’s financial problems, illness, or family issues, that it may become detrimental to our health.  It doesn’t even always matter what the event is, it’s more your body’s response to it. Some people are able to handle stress better than others, either physically or emotionally. However, just because someone doesn’t necessarily show the traditional signs of stress, doesn’t mean that they’re completely immune to the potential harmful side effects of chronic stress.

When we’re stressed, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone that helps us focus, and shuts down some of our bodily processes so that we can focus on the task that we need to accomplish. Circulation is increased to the large and important areas of our body such as the heart and the lungs. However, when cortisol is overly active, this could cause a decrease in immune activities, since that’s also considered a secondary function when our bodies are undergoing a lot of stress. Over time, this could increase the risk of the common cold, pneumonia, as well as other problems. You may also start to see signs of problems with digestion and sleep, which further depletes our defenses against common bacteria and viruses.

Stress also changes us mentally over time. Someone who was once happy go lucky may become more quiet and introverted, constantly thinking about the things they have to do, and thinking about how to get those things done. Someone who was once the life of the party may recoil and become less social, possibly due to not having enough energy to keep socializing after all of the battles at work. It can lead to lower levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are the neurotransmitters that make us feel good about ourselves.

One easy way to relieve stress is by relaxing, whether that’s with a massage, reading, or even treating yourself and going to the hair salon in San Diego. Treat yourself today!

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