The Link Between Stress and Physical Health Conditions
Chronic stress has been linked to various physical health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and digestive problems. Stress activates the body’s “fight or flight” response, which can have physical effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. If this response is activated frequently, it can strain the body and increase the risk of physical health problems.
How Stress Affects the Body
When you’re under stress, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to help you cope with the perceived threat. This response can be helpful in short-term situations, but it can adversely affect the body when it becomes chronic. Chronic stress has been linked to a range of physical health conditions, including:
• Heart disease: Chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, including heart attacks and stroke.
• Diabetes: Stress can affect how your body processes sugar, increasing the risk of diabetes.
• Digestive problems: Stress can also affect the digestive system, leading to symptoms like stomach aches, nausea, and constipation.
• Other physical health problems: Chronic stress has also been linked to many other physical health problems, including high blood pressure, headaches, and fatigue.
The mystery case of Nathan
In 2021 I worked with a young man called Nathan; following the pandemic period, he was tired, often having sleep issues and constantly having problems with his gut. He went to see gut specialists, endocrinologists for hormone inspections, brain surgeons and a host of other doctors until he was referred to me for solutions to over-diagnoses.
A holistic-minded doctor who listened felt as if the young man was feeling stress and perhaps repression or ignorance of long-term pressures had accumulated, leading to sensitivity to pain and digestive issues.
We jumped on a consult, and he eventually signed up for my Empowered Performance Coaching, and over the space of eight weeks, we managed to bring down his stress by more than 50%.
Interestingly enough, each week, his symptoms began to improve and eventually, he was back to playing sports and began to feel as if he had some normalcy in his life again. Unfortunately, stress isn’t just a mental concern. It will also manifest physically, often as symptoms leading doctors astray.
Managing Stress for Better Physical Health
Managing stress is essential for maintaining overall physical health and reducing the risk of these conditions. There are a variety of techniques that can help reduce stress, such as exercise, deep breathing, and mindfulness. Incorporating these techniques into your daily routine can help you better cope with stress and improve your physical health.
It is also essential to address the sources of stress in your life and to seek help if necessary. If you are experiencing chronic stress or are struggling to manage stress on your own, seek the advice of a healthcare professional or a mental health professional. They can help you develop strategies to cope with stress and improve your overall health and well-being.
Don’t let stress get in your way. Instead, please take action to manage it and improve your overall physical health. By incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine and addressing the sources of stress in your life, you can better cope with stress and reduce your risk of physical health problems. If you need support, don’t hesitate to seek help from a healthcare professional or a mental health professional. They can provide the tools and resources you need to better cope with stress and improve your overall well-being.