We all know that stress is bad for us, but do we really understand why? The reality is that we all have a certain level of stress in our lives.
Though stress can’t be avoided it’s all in how we deal with it. Learning to adapt to and manage the stress that comes at us each and every day can really have a positive impact on our health.

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In the short term and even in the long term there are some very negative consequences that stress may pose. Though we know that avoiding stress is the best way to live, the reality is that some level of stress is always going to be present. So what can you do? How can you manage stress? Most importantly, what are the negative impacts that stress can have on your body and on your health?

Senior woman with headache

1.    It can cause you to gain weight: You probably don’t realize it but when you are under a great deal of stress it can actually lead to some rather significant weight gain. When you feel stress the brain sends signals and this goes straight to the hormones.
This may not sound like trouble until you consider the fact that cortisol happens to be a hormone that when released due to stress can result in belly fat. The hormone goes into overdrive, the belly fat accumulates, and you are left feeling stressed and bloated. Not a good end result!

2.    It can give you some less than desirable short term health issues: When you feel stress you are far more likely to develop some undesirable and somewhat debilitating short term health issues. This can range from an inability to sleep to trouble concentrating to a lack of energy in terms of mental health.
For the more physical symptoms you can count on tension headaches, muscle aches, stomach upset, and nausea. The stress you feel could quite literally be making you sick! 

3.    It can weaken your immune system and temporarily cause a shutdown: When you feel stressed you are not taking care of yourself in the optimal way. Your immune system is likely one of the first things to go. You aren’t eating right; you aren’t getting enough rest, and the immune system and related organs sort of shut down in protest.
This means that you are more susceptible to getting sick and that you are going to have to fear the germs that you come into contact with. Any toxin that enters the body can make you sick and when you feel stressed that can become more pronounced leaving you feeling just awful.

4.    It can lead to some very serious health problems in your future: When you don’t learn how to manage your stress throughout the years this can really cause some serious complications. Not only are you more likely to become obese but that in and of itself can lead to health problems such as diabetes.
If you happen to have your weight in check then you can still suffer from some long term health problems. Stress can cause you to develop true depression or anxiety disorders; it can lead to high blood pressure, skin problems, and yes even heart conditions. So learning to manage stress won’t just help you in the here and now, but it will also help well into your future as well.

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  1. I’ve always heard that being under a lot of stress can cause weight issues, but stress is a part of everyday life and it can be so hard to manage, at least for me. I have gained almost forty pounds in the last 2 years, and looking back I truly believe that stress played a huge part in it. My Mother became very ill and I am now her full time caregiver. It is the hardest job I have ever loved, but it’s very demanding, both physically and emotionally and at the end of the day I am literally exhausted. I know this also has affected my eating habits because my daily schedule is anything but routine, so I tend to skip meals and then just grab something when I can, which I know is NOT a healthy eating plan. I need to really focus on planning ahead, so that this does not continue. I want to feel good again and get my energy back. I have a 9 yr old grandson and I would love to be able to keep up with him like I used to. Anyone else dealing with this issue?? Would love to hear that I’m not alone!

  2. I have a lot of stress in my life and my skin has gone real bad have eczema around my eye area and other parts of my face which I never had b4. My mum passed away and I possibly have gall stones which gp cant find. So stressed about that.

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