It's essential to understand the effects that of stress on various areas of your life. It doesn't only your mental well-being-it can also cause physical symptoms as well. Fortunately there are ways to eliminate the effects of stress and improve your quality of life.
Common Physical Effects of Stress
Most people are familiar with the common effects of stress such as tension headaches, stomach ulcers, and acne, but many people don't realize the effects stress can have on your health in the long-term. For instance, did you know that stress can cause asthma symptoms? I was unaware of this effect until I was treated for a recurring case of bronchitis that also caused wheezing. At the time I was working full-time, going to college full-time, raising three kids including a problematic teenager, and dealing with the effects of a dead marriage. It took a three week trip away from everything to help with the stress and get me back on track without the inhaler the doctor had prescribed.
Sometimes we don't realize that stress is the cause of many common ailments including allergies, gastrointestinal upsets, angina pain, sleep disorders and even the common cold. We don't look at stress as the cause for physical symptoms because we see stress as the cause of emotional issues such as panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Sometimes we even overlook substance abuse as an after effect of stress, and though it may not always be a cause, smoking, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse can definitely be worsened because of stress.
Why Stress Creates Physical Symptoms
Although we don't know why stress affects our physical well-being in every case, it is safe to assume that it has a detrimental affect on our immune system. Lack of sleep-or at least quality sleep-can be stress related, and without proper sleep there is no way one can maintain a healthy immune system. Another factor affecting the immune system during times of stress is failing to eat healthy foods. When we are stressed, we tend to pick at our food or grab snacks that are not healthy. Chocolate is a well-known stress reliever, so many people reach for it when they feel stressed.
How to Relieve Stress
Each of us has our own way to relieve stress, but eating is not one of the ways you want to achieve that. Exercise is a very good way to reduce your level of stress, especially high level aerobic exercise that allows you to concentrate on your activity and push other thoughts from your mind. A couple of activities that I have found works for me is going to the beach and just listening to the roar of the ocean. Even if it is cold outside, you can stand on the boardwalk and listen to the waves cracking on the sand. Music is another way I can relax, especially when I put on my favourite band and allow myself to pretend I'm in the concert hall listening or imagining my favourite group member is singing just to me.
You will also find there are some vitamin supplements that have stress-relieving qualities-the B vitamins fall into this category as do some other vitamins as well. The important element here is to find an activity that helps you reduce your stress level so you sleep well, eat properly, and learn to leave the stresses of your job at the office when you leave for the day. Though you may have stresses at home, many of those are created by bringing home stresses from the office