Stress And Illness

Can suffering from too much stress cause illness? How stress affects the body and steps to take to avoid stress, calm down and relax.

Can suffering from too much stress make you sick? Scientists seem to think so. Stress can have a dramatic impact on the immune system. Biologically speaking, when a person suffers from prolonged or chronic stress, hormones that have an effect on the immune system are affected.

There are different kinds of stress that a person can experience. Some forms of stress can even be beneficial to the body. Shorter bursts of stress that are not considered chronic or prolonged, such as the stress encountered when going on a job interview or performing in public causes your body to create adrenaline. This can improve your memory and increase your energy level. However, it is the continuous and prolonged or chronic forms of stress that can be detrimental to one's health.

This kind of stress can have a great impact on the rest of your body. Most commonly, it can make a person more susceptible to stomach problems, such as constipation or diarrhea and can aggravate and make some disorders, such as ulcers, worse. Headaches are another common complaint made by people who suffer from stress. Some people have reported that stressful and pressure situations seem to trigger migraines. Stress can even affect the skin and complexion. Many have associated stress to acne breakouts and hives and research has shown that people suffering from chronic stress experience more frequent colds and upper respiratory infections.



Stress can also have an impact on the body in more serious and potentially life threatening ways. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes can be linked to stress. After reading this you may be experiencing some stress yourself. You may be thinking, "What is a person to do?" Everyone suffers from stress of some kind at one time or another. It is not possible to eliminate it. However, it is possible to try to control it and keep yourself healthy.

- One of the best tension relievers for the body is exercise. If you've had a particularly stressful day, try taking a walk or do some aerobics. In the beginning, you may not feel quite up to it but you'll undoubtedly feel better afterwards and be glad you did. You could even try making a daily stress-buster routine.

- Make sure you're getting enough sleep. Some people require more sleep than others but experts agree that the average amount of sleep recommended for a healthy adult is eight hours per night. Of course, everyone has had days when they feel tired and run down and have not gotten as much sleep as they needed. On these days do you feel more anxious? Do you feel pressured? Stressed? Try to ensure a good night's sleep as often as possible.

- Deep breathing exercises can aid in stimulating the body and mind offering a fresh outlook on that stressful situation. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Hold the breath for five seconds. Try to clear your mind and think of something pleasant.

- Avoid too much caffeine. Try to limit your intake of coffee, tea, cola and other foods and beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants. Do not drink coffee or tea towards the end of the day as it may impede a good night's sleep.

- Don't panic. Try to keep your problems in perspective. Is what you're stressed about still going to effect you tomorrow? Next week? Next year? If not, it may not be quite as emergent and important as you might think and fear.

- Talk to your doctor. If you seem to be unable to balance things out for yourself and keep your stress under control or if you are experiencing stress-related sign or symptoms of illness see your doctor.

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