Research

Stress Can Lead to Chronic Illnesses | Studies Prove

Whether it’s an exam day or a graduation day, whether it’s some loved one who’s going through a hard stage of life or it’s someone whom we just lost, whether it’s a relationship that didn’t work well or it’s a new relationship where you’re all worked up, whether it’s some daily hustle and bustle or it’s traffic jams, we all go through stress day in and day out. This is a kind of stress which each of us goes through in one way or the other. But, how many of us are aware of the kind of stress which can be chronic for our own health? How many of us know that stress can make our bodies too vulnerable for so many diseases.

Normally, during certain situations, our bodies react with the fight-and-flight response. When there’s an emergency or when there’s a situation where such a response is required then our bodies choose this response. As soon as the situation ends, the response of fight-and-flight in our bodies automatically decides to subside. But, if this response doesn’t subside and instead the body remains in this state because of any stress that invades the body from the outer sources then this can cause a number of problems.

When we start keeping things inside, be it some anger or guilt, instead of releasing them, then it starts affecting the body in a negative manner. All the pent-up anger, guilt or resentment produces the same effect on the hypothalamus and thus can cause the body chronic illnesses.

When a situation subsides, the body rate normally gets back to normal and the blood pressure, heart rate muscle tension, digestion, metabolism and the immune system also comes back to their normal position. But when even after the situation has subsided and all of these systems aren’t getting back to the normal state then sympathetic nervous system doesn’t get activated either and the adrenaline rush also decreases which becomes detrimental for the health.

Illnesses that Occurs Due to Stress

Illnesses that can be caused because of stress over time are as follows:

  • Catching cold
  • Gaining weight
  • Depression
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Disease of Heart
  • An ache in the back, neck or shoulders
  • Ulcers
  • Schizophrenia
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • A migraine
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Asthma

How can Stress be reduced?

Some of the techniques which have been widely practiced, researched and are considered to be authentic are as follows:

  1. Exercise: Exercising can bring a drastic change in an individual’s mood. This can help in reducing the stress of a person. The researches of Princeton University has confirmed that inculcating exercise in one’s life can actually release stress and can, in fact, inculcate in the individuals on how to be resilient towards stress.
  2. Social Support System: The NYUSCI (New York University Spouse Care Giver Intervention) affirms the fact that people who remain in social gatherings the more experience less stressful emotions.
  3. Gardening: Many people take gardening as a hobby. But very few know that doing gardening can actually have some health effects on the body too. Some of the Dutch studies show that just by spending half an hour in gardening can actually aid in decreasing the stress.
  4. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness has a lot more benefits. The Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh’s research shows that just by practicing 25 minutes of mindfulness for about three days can help an individual in fighting back to stress.

Some other techniques which can help on a day to day basis are to:

  1. Learn to set boundaries.
  2. Learn to say ‘No’ when required.
  3. Prioritize things in an orderly manner.
  4. Keep a time for checking your emails.
  5. Limiting to watching news can also help in reducing stress.

References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/
  • https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/stress-and-disease.html
  • http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress.aspx

 

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