Stress is one of the leading causes of chronic illness globally. Researchers evaluate Blue Zones when looking for low-stress lifestyles. The regions hold the most centenarians because of a low risk of fatal conditions.
When comparing residents in Blue Zones to Americans, they found critical differences in their daily stressors and symptoms. Professionals examined five signs you need to reduce your stress, improving your health and well-being. Before reviewing the symptoms, we must assess what stress is and where it comes from.
Stress is the human body's natural response to pressure. It shows up as overwhelm or a limited ability to cope with specific situations. The response is an essential part of life, moving us through challenging times, and it may cause unpleasant symptoms.
There are various types of stress, differing based on a situation and one's bodily reactions. Acute stress derives from a brief occurrence, such as someone cutting you off in traffic. You may respond by pulling the emergency brake, and the following effects show up as headaches or stomach sickness.
Periodic stress occurs when acute situations follow each other. Individuals may experience a series of unfortunate events, decreasing their sense of control. Like acute stress, it is treatable and less detrimental to one's health.
Chronic stress causes the most adverse health effects ranging from weight loss to stroke. Individuals can evaluate the different symptoms related to chronic stress and practice effective reduction techniques.
Elongated periods of stress can lower your lymphocyte levels, decreasing your white blood cells' abilities to fight infections. You may suffer from chronic stress if you constantly experience cold symptoms or get sick after a significant assignment. If your immune system is inefficient, you can engage in stress minimization techniques, improving your health and well-being.
Chronic stress also causes fatigue and insomnia. If you experience trouble falling or staying asleep, or your quality of sleep is decreasing, you may need to reduce your stress levels. The body's response derives from common situations where one feels a loss of control.
Studies show a correlation between insomnia and challenges at work, divorce, loss and other significant life alterations. When you are experiencing similar situations, you can take preventive measures to reduce your cortisol levels.
Another symptom of chronic stress is bruxism, or unconscious teeth grinding. When individuals experience significant life changes, they may begin grinding their teeth at night, causing an aching and clicking on the jaw and tooth damage. Nearly 70% of grinding derives from stress, increasing one's risk of headaches, erosion, earaches, lockjaw and more.
The stress hormone cortisol affects hunger cues and nutrient processing responses. Increases in hormone levels also raise insulin in the body, causing one's blood sugar to drop. When individuals experience a decrease in blood sugar levels, they crave fatty and sugary foods, increasing their likelihood of gaining weight over time.
Similarly, the fight or flight response associated with stress and anxiety can change one's appetite. While some individuals experience an increase in hunger, especially their attraction to comfort foods, others feel nauseous. Over time, a limited appetite may cause weight loss.
Stress also causes breakouts, further reducing one's confidence and happiness. When your cortisol levels peak, it can trigger your skin to overproduce the oil sebum. Increased amounts of sebum can clog your pores and enhance acne-causing bacteria's expansion.
Changes in one's diet and sleep schedule also affect hormone levels, causing breakouts. When you recognize stress showing up in your life and practice reduction techniques, you can lower your risk of developing acne.
Individuals can decrease their stress levels by practicing yoga and meditation. Yoga allows one to connect their mind and body, reducing subconscious teeth grinding and other adverse physical effects. Meditation enhances your ability to remain present and mindful, separating yourself from the stresses of work when at home.
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