How Stress Impacts Vital Organs

How Stress Impacts Vital Organs

Stress affects just about everyone’s daily lives. Unfortunately, stress is not a benign thing. It can affect your body in ways that can have a long lasting impact on your health. Here are some ways stress can affect your health:

• The Effect Of Stress On Your Brain – Stress can cause you to lose your concentration and memory abilities. Whether this is psychological or physiological is not completely clear. When you are under stress, parts of your brain associated with memory, such as the hippocampus, do not work well and you cannot turn short-term memory into long-term memory. You can also fail to concentrate on things you hear or things you are reading. It isn’t clear whether this is a long-term effect or short-term effect; however, things like stress reduction techniques seem to be able to restore your ability to think.
• The Effect Of Stress On Your Gastrointestinal Tract – Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight response so that epinephrine and norepinephrine are released from your adrenal glands. This has multiple effects on the body. One thing this phenomenon does is shunt blood away from the gastrointestinal tract and toward the muscles of the body as a way of gearing up to “fight or flee” from a real or imagined opponent. This can lead to a decreased blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, which translates into indigestion and poor uptake of nutrients. Fortunately, this can be short-lived unless you live under situations of chronic stress. Then the GI system will be more permanently affected.
• The Effect Of Stress On Your Cardiovascular System – Stress causes the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which automatically raises your blood pressure and heart rate. This puts more stress on your heart and puts you at higher risk of suffering from hypertension-related diseases like heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. These kinds of things do not happen overnight but if you suffer from chronic stress, the long lasting implications of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, and stroke are real possibilities, especially if you do not eat well or have a strong family history of heart disease.
• The Effect Of Stress On Your Immune System – Excess stress also causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol has many effects on the body but one of the main ones is that it suppresses the immune system. High levels of cortisol mean that you are at greater risk of getting colds and the flu and have a harder time healing from open sores, cuts, or wounds. Cortisol can suppress several aspects of the immune system so you will find yourself sicker more often when under stress than you would be if you were under less stress.

Things You Can Do To Reduce Stress

Because stress can wreak havoc on your body, you need to do what you can to lessen the stress on your life so you can remain healthy. Sometimes it is just a matter of reducing the things in your life that are major sources of stress. It might mean getting out of a stressful relationship, getting your finances in order or changing your job situation so you don’t go to work each day with stressful feelings.

If you can’t change your circumstances, you may want to practice stress-relieving techniques. These include things like meditation, Tai chi, yoga, and Qi gong.

These activities can be easily learned through attending classes at a local health club or buy purchasing a DVD that will teach you ways to reduce the amount of stress you perceive in your life so you can live a healthier life.

Another great way to reduce stress is to take a vacation, or spend time in nature that naturally calms the mind, body, and spirit.

How Does Stress Impact Your Body

stressmanagement How Does Stress Impact Your Body

We all experience stress from time to time and occasional stress isn’t a problem – in fact, it can be helpful.  But when you experience chronic stress as many people do, your body can begin to break down.

The worst part of this process is that most people just go with the flow until it’s too late. They don’t see the tsunami of emotional turmoil coming at them until one day they’re overwhelmed and feel like they can’t cope.

We all need help managing our stress, and you can get help from the privacy of your own home – online. In the course Primal Stress you’ll learn how to counteract some of these negative effects.  But first, let’s look at what stress does to the body.

The Physical Effects of Chronic Stress

When you think about stress, you may think about emotional changes but you may not think much about what it does to your body.  Stress in a specific situation can cause your heart rate to increase and can even cause a headache.   Those go away when the stress does.

But chronic stress can cause many hidden problems that you might blame on other factors.  When you experience long periods of stress, your body begins to produce too much of a hormone called cortisol.

Cortisol is a helpful hormone when you have an isolated stressful incident.  But when you have too much of it in your body it can cause inflammation.  This leads to problems such as weight gain (especially in the belly), fatigue, problems sleeping, and an increased risk of heart disease and other illnesses.

In fact, people who undergo chronic stress have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer.  You may even begin to experience symptoms such as chronic headaches, chest pain, and digestive problems.

You may notice that you begin aging more rapidly as inflammation causes your cells to age more quickly.  Your immune system can become suppressed.  As a result, you pick up more colds and other infections than you did when stress wasn’t such as factor in your life.

Another area that can be affected is your sex life.  Chronic stress can take a healthy sex drive away and replace it with disinterest.  It can also lead to problems with sexual performance and fertility.

These symptoms might creep up slowly over time.  You may not even notice the transition happening.  But one day you wake up and you know that you just don’t feel as good as you used to.

Many people will go to the doctor to discuss symptoms and walk out with prescription drugs when the real problem at the core is stress.  Those prescriptions may treat symptoms, but also come with an array of side effects that can put further stress on your body.

While your body is an amazing machine that can handle some infrequent stress, it simply wasn’t designed to handle the problems that come with chronic stress – and that’s an epidemic in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world.

The Emotional Toll of Stress

When you think of the body, you may think of flesh and bone.  But the mind is intimately connected with the body, so it’s important to look at how it’s affected.  While the physical body experiences many symptoms of stress, your emotional health is also at risk when you have more stress than you can handle.

People who have high levels of chronic stress often feel greater levels of anxiety.  If you’re very stressed, you probably find yourself worrying and feeling restless all the time.

You may also feel irritable more of the time.  That underlying tension can lead to problems with anger or even rage.  While this wreaks havoc on your relationships it also causes you to have higher blood pressure and problems with your heart and digestive system.

People with chronic stress are also more likely to suffer from depression.  Depression can take its toll on your physical body as well.  You may find it difficult to get out of bed, perform your work responsibilities, and maintain relationships.

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help to relieve symptoms, but they do nothing to remove the source of the problem.  And antidepressants, like all prescription medications, also have side effects that can be dangerous.

Chronic stress can be a vicious cycle of causing your body to feel bad, leading to depression, leading to feeling even worse physically.  Until you do something to stop the cycle and interrupt it, you’ll find yourself feeling worse and worse.

For example, if you have chronic stress, you’re more likely to develop diabetes.  Having a chronic disease that makes you feel physically bad can lead to depression.

The more depressed you feel the more inflammation your body experiences and you can find that your diabetes is exacerbated.  This leads you to feel worse physically and depression increases.

This cycle can keep going until you’re in pretty bad shape.  But following a program, such as that one found in Primal Stress, can interrupt this cycle and allow you to reduce the effects of stress on the body and improve your mental health.

If you’re currently caught up in this cycle, it’s important to know that there is hope for getting out of it.  By reducing stress and taking better care of your body, your mental health will improve as well.

Stress Behaviors that Affect Your Body

There are also many things you might do as a result of stress that can cause a negative impact on your body.  People who have high levels of stress are more likely to:

* Turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs to deal with stress
* Overeat or even under eat in response to stressors
* Smoke or use other tobacco products as a coping mechanism
* Withdraw socially and become isolated
* Have angry outbursts that even lead to physical harm
When these issues become part of your life, things can quickly spiral out of control.  Using food or other substances to ease your stress symptoms leads to a whole host of health problems including liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

And using substances can also cause you to make decisions with poor judgment.  Things you would never do as a sober person become more acceptable as your judgment melts away.

This can lead to even more harmful effects on your body such as sexually transmitted diseases, injuries, and overdose. These behaviors can also impact you financially.

You can find that you’re spending all of your money on coping mechanisms rather than taking care of your real needs.  And that leads to even greater stress. You may also find that inappropriate behavior causes you to lose your job or makes it difficult for you to keep a job.

And people may just not want to be around you if your behavior becomes volatile. You can even find yourself completely out of control and in need of professional help in order to get life put back together.

The best thing you can do is intervene before your stress levels get to this point. Much like the cycle of depression we discussed in the last section, adding these behaviors on top of chronic stress can compound the problems and begin a downward spiral for your body and mind.

When you interrupt the cycle of chronic stress you can avoid having problems that grow out of control, you can have a healthy body, and a healthy mind.  And when you’re healthy you won’t rely on unhealthy behaviors to keep you going.

Chronic stress is often dismissed as just a normal part of life, but it’s really not normal to experience that type of stress.  And when you don’t intervene, the consequences can be grave.

Am I Suffering from Chronic Stress?

Now that you know the impact of stress on your body, it’s important to evaluate whether or not you’re in the middle of experiencing it.  There are several things you can look at to determine if you’re in danger.

These aren’t the only indicators of chronic stress, but they’re some of the most common.

Sleep Problems:  One of the first ways that chronic stress becomes obvious is that you notice trouble sleeping.  You have a hard time falling asleep and you may have trouble staying asleep.

The serious problem with this is that a lack of sleep will cause the impact of stress to become even greater. If you’re feeling exhausted and you notice that you’re not getting good sleep, it’s a sign that you may be experiencing chronic stress.

Anxiety:  Do you feel like your mind is racing all the time?  You may always be worrying or focusing on things over which you don’t have any control.  This can cause you to feel edgy and nervous.

Difficulty Concentrating:  Chronic stress can make it difficult to focus.  You may find that you’ve begun to misplace things or that you have a harder time finishing things you start.  We all forget things from time to time or procrastinate, but the problem comes when it becomes more severe and really causes problems in daily life.

Headaches:  People who have chronic stress often report headaches.  These could be tension headaches caused by muscle tightness in the head and neck.  But people with high stress levels can also experience more severe migraine headaches.

If you suffer from regular head and neck pain, chances are that the source of this pain is chronic stress.  By working on a program to reduce chronic stress, you can say goodbye to these headaches.

Digestive Problems:  Chronic stress causes many different digestive issues.  If you’re always popping antacids or you’re dealing with constipation and diarrhea on a regular basis you may actually be suffering from stress.

Stress causes indigestion and can lead to problems with irritable bowel syndrome.  You may also experience changes in appetite.  If you feel like your stomach is always upset, it’s time to take a look at stress as a possible culprit.

You Feel Overwhelmed:  Chronic stress can make you feel like you just can’t do all the things you need to do.  You can become scattered and it may seem like you’re working hard but not getting anything done.

In the end, living your life this way will make it difficult to experience joy and happiness.  If you feel overwhelmed much of the time, it’s time to examine what you can do to find more balance and happiness.

The Effects of Stress Are Unique to Each Individual

If you’re very in tune with your body, you may be able to notice problems before they spin out of control.  But many people don’t notice stress is a problem until it becomes a major problem.

The truth is that stress affects every person in his or her own way.  You need to look at what’s going on with your own body and mind and determine what role stress plays in your life.

Once you get real about your current physical and mental state, you can begin to combat it.  It’s important to break the vicious cycle of chronic stress and its devastating effects on the body.

In Primal Stress, you’ll learn how you can combat the effects of stress and get the body and mind you really want.  When you take care of managing your stress and you take care of your body you can reverse many of these issues.

Even if you suffer from chronic disease, such as diabetes, you’ll find that your health can be restored.  You can also lower your risk of developing cancers, heart disease, stroke, and other chronic illnesses.

Stress is different for every person.  Some people react to stress in a way that’s more positive. You don’t need to compare your experience with that of other people.

Instead, you need to look at how stress is affecting you and make the necessary changes to improve your life. Most importantly, don’t ignore what your body is telling you.

Learn to be in tune with your body and recognize when negative or positive changes are taking place.  When you pay attention to the signs your body is giving you, you’ll be able to have more control over your own health.

By working to change the impact of stress on your body you’ll find that you feel more energetic, look younger, and have fewer health problems.  You won’t have to depend on medications to keep you going.

Instead, you’ll have better health naturally. If chronic stress is a major part of your life, it’s time to address it before your health suffers even more than it already has.

 

The Benefits Of Cardiovascular Exercise

Why is Cardiovascular Exercise So Important?

Our bodies were designed to move. Movement, especially continuous movement that involves major muscle groups like our arms and legs, helps our bodies function correctly.

Cardiovascular exercise focuses on movement that strengthens your heart muscle and increases efficiency in your lungs.

The word cardiovascular means “heart” and “blood vessels”.

Think of cardiovascular exercise this way: when a fire doesn’t have enough oxygen, the flames dwindle and the heat given off is not as intense. Oxygen reacts in the same way in our body: if all we take in are shallow breaths the majority of the day, our cells don’t get all the oxygen they need, our metabolism cools down a little, and our body becomes sluggish.

With cardiovascular exercise, the lungs are challenged to inhale more deeply and therefore deliver more oxygen. The cellular activity jumps back up with the increased oxygen, our metabolism fires back up and our body’s systems pick back up with renewed vigor. The same can be said with the blood flow as well. Without regular exercise, the heart muscle can become inefficient and the blood flow isn’t as forceful as it should be. Cellular waste isn’t carried away as completely, nutrients aren’t always delivered where they need to go, and the body can become bogged down in its in own inefficiency.

With cardiovascular exercise, the body can regain balance and efficiency in its processes.

When the body is working efficiently we experience:
• Improved sleep quality
• Reduced cholesterol
• Lowered blood pressure
• Reduced stress
• Increased lung capacity
• Decrease in depression symptoms
• Clearer thinking
• More energy

What kinds of exercise deliver these types of benefits?

Jogging, running, swimming, bicycling, rowing, and even the more vigorous forms of yoga all excel in getting the heart beating and lungs breathing more efficiently.

Other cardiovascular exercising includes dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, race walking and water aerobics.

It is only recently in our evolution that we humans have begun sitting around for hours each day. This is completely opposite of what our bodies were designed for, so it is no wonder obesity and diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle are rampant these days – we are literally sitting ourselves into an early grave!

Cardiovascular exercise utilizes our body in the way it was created – movement that balances and maintains our systems the way nature intended, resulting in an efficient set of lungs and strong, healthy heart. Although many of us don’t think of exercise as “fun”, try to remember that the benefits will be well worth short periods of exertion. By making cardio exercise a part of your daily routine, you’ll be making changes to improve your quality of life.

Hot Health Topics- 4 Top Benefits Of Juicing

A hot health topic is juicing and this article covers the 4 top benefits of juicing.

There’s a health craze going on right now. It’s not a fad diet that goes against all common sense, though. This trend fits right in with what we already know: that eating more fruit and vegetables helps us get the nutrients we need. This trend is juicing.

The main idea behind juicing is that it allows people to consume a greater amount of fruit and vegetables in one serving – via juice – than you could ever eat whole.

The following  are the top 4 benefits of getting into the juicing craze:

1) Weight Loss and Weight Management

Juicing is widely used by people who want to lose weight. They start off on a juice cleanse to get rid of unhealthy toxins and break bad diet habits, and then continue to make juice a regular part of their diet afterwards.  Your focus will be on consuming healthy foods and eliminating simple carbohydrates and fast food from local restaurants, making it a lot easier to shed those excess pounds.

2) Increased Energy Levels

Through juicing, large amounts of nutrients can be consumed and digested by the body quickly throughout the bloodstream, and as a result that can increase your energy levels. This is a great alternative for the use of stimulants first thing in the morning. You really do have to experience it to believe it – an increase in energy levels is one of the main reasons people quickly become addicted to juicing!

3) Improved Skin Tone

The pure nutrients found in both fruits and vegetables can, over time, transform your face into a smooth and radiant vision and help prevent the signs of aging. That is definitely a plus with the amount of lotions and treatments we purchase to keep our skin youthful – plus juicing is cheaper! Juicing will also help to reduce dry skin.

4) Prevent Disease

As long as you juice the right vegetables and fruits, you can help prevent the chances of certain diseases. Antioxidants can help fight cancer-causing ingredients, and the healthy eating that juicing promotes can help prevent conditions associated with being overweight. Many people choose to use organic vegetables to reduce the number of pesticides they ingest through food.

Juicing is a health craze, but it’s one that actually has science to back it up. Yes, juicing can be expensive, given that you need new equipment, and you will spend more on fruit and vegetables, but most people agree that the benefits are well worth it.

 

5 Tips For Improving Your Posture While Sitting At A Desk

5 Ways To Improve Posture When Sitting At A Desk

Most of us know that our posture is very important for the future health of our backs, but when you work at an office every day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Here are 5 quick fixes for improving posture when you sit at a desk.

1) Support Your Lower Back

You can reduce the strain on your back with lower back support. This means you should use an adjustable chair so that you can find the perfect height and tilt to support your lower back. If you can’t immediately get your hands on a better chair, use a cushion to increase support in that area.

2) Change the Position of Your Screen

Adjust your computer screen so that the top is roughly level with your eyes. This will help you naturally sit better as you look at the screen throughout the day. It also helps to make sure that there is no glare or reflection on the screen so that you don’t have to strain to see it.

3) Adjust Your Height

An adjustable chair is very important to ensure you’re at the right height for typing. Your arms should be straight and parallel to the floor. Any higher or lower and you could be damaging your posture. Optimum posture also means having your feet flat on the floor, but you may need to use a footrest to help. Remember, crossing your legs isn’t good for posture.

4) Change Your Phone

If you use the phone a lot as part of your job, then you can end up straining your neck and back muscles. In this case, a headset may be a better choice for you. Even if you don’t use the phone often enough to justify this change, remember to keep your phone – and any other items you regularly use – in easy reach so that you don’t need to stretch and twist to reach them.

5) Take Care of Your Wrists

You should leave a gap at the front of the desk, before the keyboard, to let your wrists rest when you’re not typing. It also helps to use a padded mousemat to reduce strain, particularly if you experience pain in your wrist when clicking the mouse.

Although not all of us have the benefit of being able to choose the desks and chairs we use in our office, we can all do small things to improve our posture and reduce the possible chance of injury now and in the future.