Why stress is dangerous

High-pressure jobs, bringing up children, not getting enough sleep or exercise, financial worries and personal problems all contribute to our stress levels. From premature aging to health problems, the effects of stress can damage our health in many irreversible ways.

Stress can promote disease

Some people are more prone to certain diseases, and chronic stress can give these conditions the green light. Stress has been linked to illnesses that include heart attacks, cancer, lung disease, and suicide and researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that children exposed to chronic stress are more likely to develop a mental illness if they are genetically predisposed.

Stress can make it difficult to control our emotions

Some people believe stress makes them perform better, but that’s rarely true and research consistently shows the opposite. Stress usually causes a person to make more mistakes. It’s no secret that stressed people can fly off the handle. But new research reveals just how little stress is actually required for you to lose your cool and a study in 2013 found that even mild levels of stress can impair our ability to control our emotions.

Stress can damage your heart

Stress can physically damage your heart muscle because stress hormones increase your heart rate and constrict your blood vessels. This forces your heart to work harder and increases blood pressure. According to the American Institute of Stress, the incidence rate of heart attacks and sudden death increases, after major stress inducing incidents.

Stress can affect your love life

We all know that sex is a pleasurable and effective way to relieve stress. But stress can also get you out of the mood and spoil the occasion quicker than you think. Numerous studies have shown that stress especially performance anxiety can lead to impotence.

Stress can make you gain weight

Researchers at the University of Miami found that when people find themselves in stressful situations, they are likely to consume 40 percent more food than normal. We all have the tendency to comfort eat or reach for those sugary snacks at times of stress.

Stress can make you look older

Chronic stress contributes significantly to premature aging. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that stress shortens the structures on the end of chromosomes so that new cells can’t grow as quickly. This leads to the inevitable signs of aging such as wrinkles, weak muscles and poor eyesight.

Stress weakens your immune system

The connection between mind and body is often underestimated. But everyone has experienced a cold when they can least afford to. That’s because the high demands stress puts on the body make the immune system suffer.

Stress can lead to long term disability

The potential dangers created by even mild stress should not be underestimated. They can lead to long-term disability serious enough to render you unable to work. Researchers reached this conclusion after their five-year study of 17,000 Swedish working adults, ages 18 to 64, published in 2011 by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

25% of participants who had mild stress were awarded disability benefits for physical conditions like angina, high blood pressure, and stroke while nearly 66% drew benefits for a mental illness.

Conclusion

Stress doesn’t care whose life it touches. In the last 16 months since the world got sick, Covid-19 has also shown us just how stressful life can be and why it is important we work together, so that everyone can keep on top of their emotions. Away from other life stresses, Covid-19 has shown just how easy it is for us to continually live with stress.

It has become even more important that we all work together, and whilst it is clear not everyone is doing it, it’s bringing more stress for the rest of us, who are doing our best to get through the pandemic. We all need to work together to help reduce the impact of every day stress, even more so through Covid-19.

Source: https://www.healthline.com


17 May, 2021

4 thoughts on “Why stress is dangerous

  1. Stress leaches our health out of our bodies and can eventually lead to harm, to our mental and physical health. And we now know that harm can be serious and sometimes even fatal.

    As you say, living through the pandemic has been and continues to be hugely stressful, as it puts a strain on our relationships, it is isolating for lots of people and for many has had devastating financial consequences.

    Many of us feel much more stressed now than we ever have, making it even more important that we try and look after our health. Thanks for writing blogs like these, because not only do you highlight important points, but you also show we’re not alone.

    1. Thanks. Yes, if it’s in my head it’s stressful. Having autism creates anxiety, and makes life even more stressful.

      It is only through people like yourself contributing that I am able to have a voice. But my voice isn’t just for me. The diary is a platform for everyone.

      Where you say, ‘many of us feel much more stressed now than we ever have, making it even more important that we try and look after our health’ – that’s right. Covid-19 is showing us we need to do things differently.

      If our lives are to go back to something resembling ‘normal’ we must all work together, not only to reduce our stress levels, but to reduce the virus and its effects.

  2. I’m sure that stress is responsible for the many issues I’ve had to deal with. I grew up in a world where we had so much stress, but we never had the chance to deal with it properly.

    My parents response to stress was just to drink more, or take more pills, which explains why I ended up doing the same things myself. Nowadays I fight to keep myself calm like a vulcan, but it doesn’t work very well on humans.

    I’m sure people often think I am one, but if they only knew how much I’m screaming on the inside! It would nice to be able to relax and enjoy my life like everyone else, but I don’t always have that luxury.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, I am sure you’re right. Stress is responsible for a lot of what we physically get to deal with, although it starts with how we feel.

      I can resonate with you. As a small child, I didn’t express myself and like you struggled to find a place, I also struggled to find that place.

      From an early age, we ‘get our environment,’ and we understand more than we are able to express. Couple that with growing up, it means we will get to deal with more stress. Stress can cause disease.

      As you say Randy so eloquently, you lived with stress, but never had a chance to deal with it properly , and in doing so never had the tools to act on it.

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