Stress is often ignored, suppressed and stuffed and stored in your body as an emotion or tension in your muscles, joints, neck or back. Stress is an invisible aspect beneath the surface that plays a role in our life and health that we don’t fully understand so we just ignore it and continue to get stressed over and over again at work, home, in our relationships or for reasons such as our finances or a variety of other reasons. Stress is a choice in many instances and it’s that choice that determines whether we get to live in ease, harmony and flow or dis-ease and dis-harmony when we are stressed.
I found an info-graphic the other day from the heartmath institute that illustrates just how much stress affects our body and health and I was shocked. Every single area of your body from your head to your toe can and will be effected negatively by stress. Your organs and systems from top to bottom to stiffness and pain in your joints and muscles as well.
The reason I believe that stress is often overlooked as an impact on health is because we don’t really understand it. Different situations stress different people differently. It’s more difficult to pin down and understand because we can gather more science on an apple for example. We can find that the apple has fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are good for us and tell people to eat apples to keep the doctor away! that’s all fine and dandy but what about stress?
You can’t put stress in the position of the apple. Stress is something that is much more dynamic and has a different ‘shelf-life’ for each person. It’s much harder to measure and quantify the effects of stress across the board especially since stress can mean MANY different things to many different people. What we do know though is that overall stress is not good and that it literally compromises every area of our body and our overall health. It increases our chances and likelihood for disease and much more.
Take a look at what stress does in the human body
Isn’t that fascinating? Let’s take a look at the full list of what stress can affect in your body.
1. Your Brain
2. Your Teeth
3. Your Cardiovascular System (Stroke/Heart Disease)
4. Your Digestive System (Potential precursor for cancer development)
5. Your Sexual System (Potential precursor for cancer development)
6. Your Muscles/Joints
7. Creates More Inflammation (One of the main causes of any disease. Newer research is showing this)
Virtually every system, organ, gland, joint, muscle and area of your body can be affected by stress. Inflammation will also reduce circulation which is needed throughout your entire body to keep it oxygenated, hydrated and to have adequate amounts of nutrition.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola your heart takes a beating when you’re stressed but your digestive system does as well. The digestive system has decreased nutrient absorption, decreased oxygenation to your gut, decreased good gut flora, decreased enzymatic output and even more! Your digestive system becomes MUCH less effective while you are under stress, anxiety, sadness or grief that creates the stress response in your body. When you think of stress and how it affects your body and overall health you have to understand that…
Stress could be killing you faster than any other health or lifestyle decision that you’re currently making.
Why? because when you’re stressed it affects everything from your head to toes. When you eat junk food or something not healthy it can do the same but typically only hits one area hard and leaves the rest of the body not affected as much. For example, your liver may take a brunt of the hit when you eat or drink something not so healthy but when you’re stressed it goes everywhere.
So what can you do about it? Learn to enjoy life more and live in the moment and to not react to situations and instead to breathe, wait and respond. We often induce stress upon ourselves if you really think about it. You can also add positive habits and practices into your life that help your brainwave state, your heart and create more harmony and ease which helps to de-stress.
Recommended Reading: 50 Ways To Reduce Stress, More stress reduction tips and ideas will be mailed via the email newsletter so be sure to subscribe in the upper right-hand corner of this page.
Sources: Hearthmath.com, Mercola.com