5 ways stress affects your body
The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it, and believe it or not, but stress can be positive; keeping us alert and ready to face challenges. However, chronic and unaddressed stress – no matter what the cause – WILL have a detrimental physical effect on your body. There are multiple ways that this can manifest itself; here are just five of the most common ways…
Physical effect of stress #1: premature ageing
Our bodies are continually striving to stay in perfect pH balance, and we need to be ever so slightly alkaline to survive. Stress produces an excess of acid in the body, which can slow things down on a cellular level and in turn speed up the ageing process.
Physical effect of stress #2: weight issues
Because stress can often lead to poor nutrition, inactivity and/or lack of sleep your digestive function can become compromised, resulting in weight gain around your mid-section that becomes almost impossible to lose. You may also experience a suppressed appetite, which can lead to a host of other health issues.
Physical effect of stress #3: hormonal disruption
Stress can take its toll on the normal workings of your hormones, which can see you experience things such as menstrual disruption or mood swings, as well as skin breakouts.
Physical effect of stress #4: weaker immunity
The more stress you place on both your mind and body, the more you reduce your immune system’s natural ability to fight off illness and infection. This can not only leave you feeling rundown and generally unwell, but also can make you more prone to getting sick and increase your recovery time as well.
Physical effect of stress #5: serious illness
Unfortunately, modern life has exposed us to so much stress we often ignore, or fail to recognise the symptoms. This can lead to more serious physical issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stomach ulcers.
So what can you do to reduce the physical effects of stress?
Stress solution #1: have a massage
Swedish or relaxation massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which balances out your ‘fight or flight’ response to stress and controls your ‘rest and digest’ function. During massage your heart rate and breathing also slow down and peristaltic action in the bowel increases as digestive function is stimulated. Alkaline Spa & Clinic offer a range of treatments and relaxation therapies to reverse the impacts of modern life, reducing stress and recharging your reserves.
Stress solution #2: alkalize your body
Anything you can do to alkalize your body (such as drinking alkaline water, eating fresh vegetables, or taking greens supplements like NuZest’s Good Green Stuff will help to combat some of the physical effects of stress-induced over acidity on your body. Stockist, www.nuzest.com
Stress solution #3: meditate for a few minutes
Mentally, meditation has been shown time and time again to decrease your emotional response to stress. Even 10 minutes a day can help. If unaided patience isn’t your thing, there are several iPhone apps available for guided meditation, try a few and see what works best for you.
Did you know that stress could have such negative impacts on your body? What do you do to relieve stress?
Kylie Armstrong is a qualified Naturopath at Alkaline Spa & Clinic, Sydney’s premier integrated health spa & clinic.