Stress can be a positive or negative factor that affects people. But before anything, we need to define what stress is. Stress is the body’s reaction to challenges, bringing about changes in the different aspects of our being. It is a normal state to be stressed, but it always depends on the situation.
Stress can be good for us in many ways. For people in desperate situations, the stress can prompt them to do something they thought they could not do and save themselves from whatever is threatening their safety. This can also apply to simpler situations like chasing a deadline or pushing ourselves to become better individuals.
But stress becomes a negative factor when it starts to overwork the body and overwhelm the mind. Prolonged exposure to stress can affect the body in different ways. Here are some of the systems that obtain damage from too much stress.
Most kinds of stress will always affect the mind. Stress, primarily not obtained physically, is initially received to be processed mentally before affecting other body parts. This is why when we feel emotionally drained, our mental state goes down first and is followed by the decline of our body, prompting other symptoms like headaches and body pains to warn us that something has to change.
No matter what causes our mental stresses, whether pressure at work or in school, emotional turbulence, or other life challenges, we have to try to put ourselves in a better place to feel better afterward. Directly dealing with the cause of our stress may not always be possible, but taking the time to slowly adjust and even reach out to other people or professionals for help should put our bodies in a more stable condition.
When we feel stressed, our bodies start to act erratically, with our hearts pumping faster, our breaths getting shallower, and our skin sweating more than ever. Too much stress from and extended exposure makes the heart work harder for longer, exhausting and damaging it in the process.
Unhealthy conditions like being overweight, smoking, and not regularly exercising can be aggravated further by stress and will definitely spawn more health problems. This increases blood pressure and heightens the risk of developing other life-threatening heart diseases.
The insides of our mouths also obtain damage when we are put under a lot of stress. People who are always physically and mentally exhausted will tend to sleep uncomfortably because of sleep apnea and teeth grinding. Sleep apnea can be dangerous as it hinders one’s breathing while sleeping, blocking the airway and stopping circulation momentarily. Teeth grinding or bruxism can cause many problems such as teeth damage, headaches, and jaw disorders that are difficult to cure. Canker sores are also linked to emotional stress, causing breakout even when no physical injury is obtained.
A dental care provider and a sleep specialist should help you deal with these by prescribing treatments to minimize the effects and eventually remove the symptoms entirely.
The muscular system benefits from the stress that comes from exercising and working out. But too much stress, even non-physical stress, can cause the muscles to stiffen up and cause pain. This makes it difficult for the muscles to relax, opening risks for injuries and other problems like headaches and migraines.
Stress can greatly diminish a person’s sexual drive. Because of our worries and problems, we tend to ignore our bodily needs, including our need for sex. Even when we engage in the activity, it may come out as an unsatisfying experience because of the million things that plague our minds. This can be even more destructive as it can create rifts in the relationship between partners.
But as a couple, you may be able to deal with this better. Do consider bringing up your worries and talking about them with your significant other. They should be able to understand your situation and help you by giving love and support as you brave your way through whatever it is that stresses you out.
Stress should always be monitored because it can start taking a toll on a person’s health. Too much stress and too long exposure to it will manifest as difficulties and diseases that will weaken the body over time. On the other hand, good and regulated amounts of stress can trigger boosts in one’s mood and overall motivation, which can benefit everyone. Even though stress is inevitable, we should all develop enough tolerance to reap all the benefits that it can give and know our own limits to break the tension as needed.