Stress, or the excess of it, can hurt your personal health both physically and psychologically. Unchecked, stress is a silent killer, by the time it comes into focus as a problem some level of damage is usually already inflicted. The ability to deal with and conquer stress varies with each individual, and can mean the difference between an early grave or a long and productive life. This process is preceded by the realization that mounting stress is have a negative impact on the quality of life, and should be addressed immediately.
At it’s foundation, stress invokes a survival instinct, a fight or flight response to a situation that an individual deems is of great importance. Physically, the heart rate increases, blood pressure rises and respirations are deeper and more frequent. If left unchecked with no immanent relief in sight, stress can have catastrophic impact on both short and long term health. A lesser known impact of stress is it’s ability to weaken the immune system drastically, and thereby promote the development of new disease or accelerate the progress of an existing one.
The most common negative impact of stress on health lies in the large number of physical maladies it can help to create. Headaches including migraines, stomach and digestive problems, back pain, and insomnia are the most common effects of excessive stress. Individually, these problems are difficult to address and conquer, but in someone experiencing more than one symptom of stress, the result can be life changing.
In the area of mental health, stress can induce any number of psychiatric illnesses and episodes, ranging from minor personality changes to full blown mental breakdowns. As stress builds, patience and temperament becomes short, and an angry response is more easily presented in a stressful encounter. In severe cases, this can even escalate to physical violence resulting in grave consequences. Personal relationships, work related associations, and family unity can suffer as the stressed person either withdrawals into depression or displays tremendous aggression. In these instances, professional assistance is necessary for full recovery.
The best way to prevent stress from having a negative impact upon your health is to find a release outlet. This can be as simple as finding a stress-relieving exercise, engaging in an activity or hobby that reduces stress, or just quietly reflecting on a day’s events. In any event, the build-up of stress can be prevented or reduced, but not without some active attention.