The fast paced life we live is one of the major contributing factors to the increasing stress we face. Many studies have linked increasing stress levels to chronic lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. Besides the obvious impact it can have on mental stability and its influence on anxiety and depression, excessive and continuous stress can also make its presence felt in the form of gastrointestinal problems and also Alzheimer’s disease.
Let’s take a look at some of the top ways stress can impact your life:
Studies show that ‘Type A’ personalities – those who are more competitive, outgoing, ambitious, impatient and/or aggressive – are more susceptible to high blood pressure and cardiac problems. The exact reason isn’t known, but it is indicated that higher stress levels increase the heart rate and blood flow and cause the release of cholesterol and triglycerides into the blood stream.
Studies have shown that stress worsens the possibility of an asthma attack and that the children of parents who suffer from stress have a higher chance of developing the disease.
Stress can bring on two habits that are extremely bad for those on the brink of diabetes – excessive eating and drinking. Besides diabetes, this also puts the patient at risk for obesity. Stress is also proven to increase blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
Don’t underestimate the impact of stress. Besides tension headaches, it can also bring on migraines.
Although stress isn’t the cause of this dreadful disease, it can worsen the condition of a patient by causing the brain lesions to form quicker.
But all is not lost yet. Although you may not be able to remove all stressors from your life, you can try and minimise their impact. Here are three simple and effective stress relief tips you can try the next time you feel stressed:-
1. Breathe deeply
Even a few minutes of this exercise can do you a lot of good, especially when it comes to taming the immediate response that stress has on your body. Deep breathing exercises can be really helpful since they can be practiced anywhere, be it your home, workplace or even outdoors.
2. Live in the moment
Most of the times we are stressed, we’re either worrying about the future or reliving the past. Dr. Winner says, “You can calm yourself by bringing yourself back to the present moment.” By focusing on the present you get a chance to enjoy each sensation, whether it’s walking, eating or simply listening to some music.
3. Keep your problems in perspective
It may seem overly optimistic, but just taking a moment to remember all the things you have going for you, even when you are stressed, can be a stress reliever in itself. It’s easy to lose perspective when focusing only on the problem/stressor at hand. Simply reminding yourself of all these things, can be a surprisingly good stress reliever.