Stress is inevitable. Whether we are preparing for a job interview or avoiding a potential car accident, our body responds with a series of changes that raise our awareness and prepare us to respond to dangerous, unexpected, or uncomfortable situations. This speeds up our pulse and breathing, increases brain activity and tenses our muscles. Once the immediate threat or discomfort has passed, we return to normal functioning
The constant demands of work and home, the health problems of loved ones and yourself, dysfunctional relationships, and the troubles of the world can put you in a chronic state of stress. It is harmful to your physical, emotional, and mental health.1 It can even slow your weight loss! Check out these seven most common symptoms and signs of stress and how they affect your health.
1. Lack of energy.
While short-term stress can boost your energy levels and keep you alert, persistent chronic stress can make you feel lethargic and unmotivated with low energy levels that will help you steadily lose weight.
When you are stressed, you may run out of energy because you cannot sleep at night or you are awake at night.2 Failure to sleep seven to eight hours each night can affect yours Bless you and Weight loss.
3. Muscle tension and pain.
Sore muscles can keep you up at night. If your body is stuck in “Escape or Fight” mode, you may feel like you are clenched all the time. This tension manifests itself in headache or discomfort, jaw cramps, and even severe muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, or back.2 Persistent pain can keep you from being active and lead to more serious problems.
4. Upset stomach.
Your brain and your gut are connected. Chronic stress can lead to upset stomach and digestive problems. According to the UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders, “Common gastrointestinal symptoms due to stress are heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and associated pelvic pain.” 3
5. High blood pressure.
In stressful situations, your heart starts pumping harder, causing your blood pressure to rise. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure – a permanently high blood pressure. Even “thinking about stressful events can delay blood pressure recovery,” researchers say in a study published in the journal Current Hypertension Report
6. Drinking daily.
An “adult drink” can help you feel more relaxed and less focused on your worries, but drinking frequently or excessively is also a symptom of stress. In fact, alcohol is a sedative that makes the problem worse. It is also high in empty calories and often leads to unhealthy food choices.1 Speak to your doctor if you have these symptoms or if you feel excessively stressed
“Chronic stress is known to alter food intake patterns, nutritional preferences, and the rewarding properties of foods,” researchers say in the journal Current Obesity Report. They found that stressed people are more likely to eat foods that are high in sugar and fat
3 smart strategies for stress management:
The good news is that there are some proven stress prevention practices, as well as stress management strategies, that can help reduce chronic stress and its harmful effects. You may not be able to eliminate the causes of stress in your life, but you can lessen the effects it has on your health.
1. Talk about it.
When you’re alone and feeling stressed out, your thoughts can get stuck in a seemingly endless worry loop. Professional advice is a valuable tool when you can’t break this cycle, but simply talking to family and friends about your stress points will also help alleviate them, according to researchers, published in the medical journal Psychiatry. Their study results showed a strong association between social support and stress resistance
2. Breathe with a purpose.
Breathing exercises are a recommended activity that can help with relaxation and stress management. You can also try other activities to relax and relieve stress, such as exercising. B. Meditation and Muscle Relaxation 2 Check out these two breathing techniques that will reduce stress! >
3. Move around.
Going for a walk, working out in the gym, or any other type of exercise can help lift your mood and reduce stress. Consider yoga or tai chi classes that take stress relief to another level. These are relaxing exercises that can help with stress management
Even if you only walk 30 minutes a day (the recommended amount of activity up Food system), it can improve your health and improve your mood.1 It will also speed your progress towards your weight loss goal, which is one less thing to feel stressed about.
* Always speak to your doctor if you feel excessively stressed.