Life can get pretty darn hectic at times. In between balancing work, family and a social life, you’ve also got to manage your budget and look after your body. With all these responsibilities weighing you down, it’s not surprising that stress and anxiety disorders are the most widespread mental illnesses in America, affecting 40 million adults over the age of 18, which is almost 18% of the entire US population (Source: ADAA). With May being both Mental Health Awareness and National High Blood Pressure Education month, there’s never been a better time to look at how a stressful lifestyle can affect your health. Here at Antiaging Nutrition, we want to highlight what being stressed actually does to your body, and offer advice to help combat anxiety. Whilst small amounts of stress can help you achieve great results, if your body is overloaded with anxiety it can cause long term issues. Let’s look at some of symptoms and illnesses associated with stressful living:
Becoming overstressed can affect your ability to store and recall certain memories. The hormones that your body releases when it becomes stressed can interfere with the way that our brains encode and retrieve information, thus causing memories to be distorted.
With lots on your mind, it can often be difficult to relax and let your body fall asleep. Stress can cause hyperarousal, which upsets your body’s balance between being awake and sleeping, and can often leave you feeling restless. In turn, this chronic lack of sleep can lead to a lack of energy, deprived sex drive and rapid mood swings.
Loss Of Appetite
There are actually two types of stress, acute and chronic stress. The former refers to sudden bursts of stress which are the result of a task or issue requiring immediate attention. The latter refers to long-term stress which builds up over time. Acute stress requires your body to focus all its energy and resources into completing the task at hand, and thus can result in a loss of appetite. On the other hand, when experiencing chronic stress your body will want to reserve resources over time, thus causing you to overeat.
Cardio Vascular Issues
Whilst there is no direct correlation between stress and heart disease, there are consequences to the methods you use to cope with stress. If you resort to drinking, smoking and/or drug use to deal with the effects of anxiety then you may be putting your body at an increased risk of heart attack and diseases.
Studies from the University College London have found that men with shorter telomeres tend to take longer to recover from stressful situations than men with longer telomeres. This could mean that men with shorter telomeres suffer from symptoms of chronic stress. Telomeres, the strands of DNA that make up our biological structure, shorten over time with age. However, scientists have developed a means to halter this process by activating the enzyme necessary to repair these strands, using a supplement labelled TA65®. For more information on how you can protect your DNA, visit the product page for the TA65® supplement.
Now that we know the negative impact it can have, what can you do to combat stress? The first step is recognising you have an issue. If you constantly find yourself getting worked up, whether you’re in social situations or alone, it may be wise to visit a consultant. In the meantime, here are several steps you can try to help relieve some pressure and calm your nerves: Change your scenery – moving to a new location, even if it’s just outside for a breath of fresh air, can help you feel less confined. Take deep breaths – close your eyes and take some time to refocus your mind by breathing in and out deeply. Some people also like to use this opportunity to count down in there head, helping them gain control of the situation. Exercise more – exercise releases good endorphins into the body and improves your overall health and wellbeing. Fix your diet – Your mind and body can be kept healthy by consuming a balanced diet and ensuring you’re absorbing enough vitamins and nutrients. Multi-vitamins are a great way to consume all the necessary goodness in one small intake. Meditate – the art of meditation is a great way to clear your head and find inner peace. Those are our top tips for reducing stress, but let us know if there are any particular methods that work for you in the comments section below. Image credits: Image 1 – Bigstock Image 2 – Bigstock Image 3 – Bigstock