What are the Effects of Unmanaged Stress?

Key stressors in life are death of a spouse, family member and close friend, separation and divorce. Then there are daily stressors like getting stuck in traffic on your way to work, deadlines with a boss breathing down your neck, a sick parent or child, exams at school, and having too much on your plate. Certain people deal with and manage their stress better than others. Stressful situations can linger, dissipate, or build up day after day.  

Your brain deals with stress by sending a message to your adrenal glands. These glands release hormones that increase your heartrate. Blood is sent to areas of your body, like your muscles and heart to shore them up in case of an emergency. Even though your body is amazingly resourceful, too much stress is not good for your heart.

We all get headaches from time to time. When too much stress builds up in your body it can lead to chronic headaches, muscle tension and pain. The result of too much stress can cloud your ability to think clearly and make good decisions. It can lead to fatigue and troubles with sleep. Stress causes some people to have stomach aches, and puts them at risk for ulcers. If unmanaged, more serious illnesses can occur such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other maladies.

Stress adversely affects mental as well as physical health. You can feel overwhelmed, irritable, and lose your sense of motivation. If unattended, stress can exacerbate your moods and leave you at risk for depression and anxiety disorders. When stress isn’t managed, other areas of your life such as your behavior can be affected. These can manifest into behaviors like road rage, flying off the handle, withdrawing into yourself and dismissing the importance of exercise. Overeating, alcoholism, and drug addiction are more serious illnesses that can overcome you as a consequence of unmanaged stress.

Now that you have information on the effects of unmanaged stress, here are a few ideas you can implement to manage stress. A professional can help you identify stressors in your life. Together you can develop responses and actions to better deal with them. This can be as simple as taking breaks during the day to give your brain a chance relax and recalibrate. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress in your life. Taking a mindfulness training class will improve your self-awareness, so you will be more able to recognize when stress builds up. 2-to-1 breathing is something you can do anywhere, and most important, it has a positive effect on your nervous system.

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