Major Effects Stress Has on the Body, and How to Control It

Learn how stress negatively effects your health, and may shorten your lifespan. Methods to help you overcome, or cope with stress, and when to seek help.

 

Definition of Stress

 

Acute stress is the most common, and is usually triggered by perceiving an immediate threat, whether it be psychological, emotional, or physical.

Often times, we build up a situation to be much larger in our minds, than it really is in reality, and it can lead to us feeling overly stressed and unable to handle the situation. Once the situation has passed, then we feel a sigh of relief, and often times feel as though we stressed for no reason.

Stress comes in all different levels and degrees, from mild acute stress, to more severe chronic stress, but one thing each level has in common, is that stress is not good for your health.

We experience stress every day from our place of work, task deadlines, school, preparing for a wedding, caring for small children and managing a household, bills, traveling, worldly news, or overly traumatic events that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Some stressors are considered healthy, because they push us past our comfort zone, but if you are feeling stressed often, irritable and easily agitated, have bouts of anxiety, and having a hard time feeling happy or enjoying any activity, then you may have acute stress disorder, or possibly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (if these symptoms/feelings followed a traumatic event).

I highly suggest speaking with a counselor, therapist, or pastor, to work through what you may be experiencing, so that you are able to overcome and enjoy life again, stress free.

Can Stress Kill you?

As mentioned, we experience little stressors daily from various activities, which is perfectly normal, and does not play a major role on our health, as long as we are able to control the situation, and do not get fully consumed by the stress.

Once stress consumes you, then it can affect everything in your body, such as your immune system (which is vital to prevent illness and keep you healthy) weight (increasing or decreasing), thyroid function, raised cholesterol levels, blood pressure and heart rate (which could lead to heart disease), and may even increase the chances of developing diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or other chronic illnesses.

Stress can also increase oxidative stress within the body, which greatly increases the onset of premature aging, and potentially developing tumors that later on develop into cancer.

 

How to Relieve Stress

 

Today, there are thousands of books on the market for how to cope and deal with stress, counselors earn a full-time income helping patients deal with stress disorders, pharmaceutical companies make a killing each year on prescriptions for stress disorders, and the internet is full of tips and tricks for managing stress, but what is the best route to take?

The answer to this question, depends entirely on your situation, and what may work best for you as an individual (for no two people, or situations are exactly alike). What may work for one person, may not work for you.

Below, you will find suggestions to help you cope and manage stress on a day to day level, to get you out of the health danger zone, and back in the driver seat of controlling how you perceive and live life.

These are merely suggestions on how to manage stress, and should not replace the advice of a medical professional.

As stated above, if you feel that your situation is beyond your ability to control, then it is highly advised to seek professional guidance to help you overcome whatever may be causing or triggering your disorder.

Please do not feel ashamed or in fear over the thought of seeking professional help, for proper mental health, is vital for maintaining overall health and longevity.

 

Meditation for Stress

 

Meditation has been proven time and time again, to help relieve stress and give us a sense of control over our body, mind, and emotion.

Mediation could be as simple as sitting in a comfortable, quiet place, closing the eyes, and observing the thoughts that come and go out of your mind.

There are also many meditation apps you can download for IOS or Android devices, that help you create a regular routine of mediation, and can be used anywhere, and at anytime you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

So far, my favorite meditation app, is the “Calm” app. They offer many different routines for whatever you may be dealing with (they even offer routines for children that are categorized by age), soothing background music or nature sounds, and my favorite of all, is their story library for helping you drift off to sleep as someone else reads a story for you (my kids listen to it every night for falling asleep).

The Calm app is free, but they do offer an upgraded version where you have unlimited access.

Wim Hof Meditation

Wim Hof meditation, takes regular meditation a few steps further, by exposing the body to stressors, in order to combat and overcome stress.

Wim Hof, also known as “Iceman,” has rapidly been gaining popularity for his methods of incorporating deep breathing and mediation techniques, with cold water treatments, in order to help treat stress, depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and cancer.

Below, is a tutorial video explaining the Wim Hof breathing method, as well as a beginner video to help get you started on this incredible journey.

 

Wim Hof Breathing Technique

 

Daily Bible Scriptures

 

You may, or may not be a believer, but it is proven that reading the Bible daily, fills you with peace, and a sound mind, shattering all stress, depression, or anxiety.

Speaking scriptures out loud over yourself during your daily Bible study and meditation, releases fear and strong holds that kept you feeling in bondage, and gives you a feeling of pure joy, and a purpose in life.

Never underestimate the power that the Bible possesses, for it is the only book that has been around since the recording of time, and it also is the only book that truly comes alive, and will speak to you and your situation through its scriptures.

Whatever you may be going through, there is a scripture for it, for you are not the only one who has experienced what is causing you stress today, and you most definitely will not be the last.

In fact, there are a number of scriptures that describe stress, and how to deal with stress in your day to day life.

 

 

If you are someone who has tried everything to feel happy again and reduce the stress that has taken over your life, but nothing has worked, then it may be a spiritual matter effecting your life, and I challenge you today, to give the Bible a try.

The Bible however, will be just like any other book to you, if you do not ask Jesus to come and fill your heart with His presence, and with the Holy Spirit, and give you understanding in what you are reading. Doing so will give you a whole new revelation not only on what you are reading, but a whole new positive outlook on life.

The book truly is alive! I speak this from experience and witnessing many miraculous things over the years.

You honestly have nothing to lose, but everything to gain by taking on this challenge, so don’t let that little negative voice speaking to you right now, sway you from living the life you are striving for.

 

Does Exercise Help Relieve Stress?

The answer is, YES!

Exercise can greatly reduce stress, because it raises endorphins (neurotransmitters that provide the “feel-good” high in your mind), and reduces cortisol levels (which is a stress hormone, that can be contributed to a number of health issues).

Exercise can improve your mood and how you perceive yourself, because exercise will make you feel better about your physical appearance, which boosts confidence levels.

Exercise will also help you get a good, restful night’s sleep (something that can sometimes be difficult to achieve under stressful situations). Getting enough sleep, will significantly improve your mood, boost your immune system, and help maintain good health.

 

 

According to the Medical Mayo Clinic, any type of physical activity that helps get your heart rate up, will help reduce stress hormones, improve sleep, and boost your mood and overall health.

The most important part of incorporating a physical exercise routine, is to pick an activity that you enjoy doing.

Some examples are, cardio, walking, jogging, stair climbing, swimming, biking, strength training, yoga, Thai Chi, roller-skating, and even gardening.

Whatever activity you choose to do, try to be consistent and build a routine that becomes a part of your everyday activities, in order to truly capitalize on the many great health benefits exercising regularly has to offer.

 

Aromatherapy for Stress

 

With the ever-growing popularity over the past ten years, you may have heard about essential oils at some point from a friend or co-worker, or may already use essential oils for a plethora of remedies at home, but did you know that they are highly beneficial in helping to reduce stress?

When defusing essential oils (especially during mediation), they have the ability to calm and soften our mood, bringing us to a more grounded state of awareness, and relax the body, all of which will reduce stress levels.

 

 

There are many different ways to defuse essential oils. The most common would be combining it with water in an essential oil diffuser, that omits a slight mist into the air, providing a fragrant aromatherapy into the surrounding room.

There are also necklaces or bracelets that can be purchased, in order to utilize your essential oils wherever you go. They usually contain a discreet cloth (that you put a few drops on), and is tucked inside a beautiful pendant, omitting the fragrance from the oils, and helping you to calm whenever stress is high.

The top oils for relieving stress is:

  • Frankincense
  • Vetiver
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • Cedar
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Clary Sage

There are also a number of blends that come pre-made (depending on the company you purchase your oils from), for reducing stress, or you can create your own blends.

The sky is the limit on how many blends can be created by mixing oils!

 

Final Take Away

 

We are all exposed to stress daily, some types of stress we can control, while other types we find difficult to cope with, and allow it to affect our mood, mental and physical abilities, and our health.

As mentioned above, some stress is ok, and considered healthy, but if it is something that has been consuming you for some time (especially following a traumatic event), then it is highly advised to seek a professional counselor, to help you work through any situation that is bringing you down.

There are times that we can’t do it all on our own, and there should never be any shame in seeking help for dealing with a situation.

 

 

Stress negatively effects every part of your life, which is why it is called “the silent killer.”

Don’t let stress have the final say over how your life is run, take control, take action, and get back the life you deserve and are striving for!

 

18 thoughts on “Major Effects Stress Has on the Body, and How to Control It

  1. Awesome job.  I made sure I also posted a comment on your site directly as “stress” is something that I see a lot of people do in my life for unnecessary reasons.  I tend to shrug off mostly everything that everyday people stress about.  I see things differently I guess – If its not killing me, I’m still learning so let er go! 🙂  Keep up the great work and God bless.

    1. You are so correct Dave! Life is too short to waste anytime stressing about things we can not control. 

      May you have a blessed, and stress free day!

  2. As you mentioned, Stress can be both a good and a bad thing. Especially with all that is going on in the world right now with Coronavirus, people are becoming increasingly stressed over how to manage things with work, school, bills etc. I think it is so important to have ways of coping and relieving stress but of course this is unique to everyone. 

    For me, I like listening to music with messages of encouragement. I also like to listen to Godly messages from Pastors/Bishops (My favourite is Pastor Mike Todd and Bishop TD Jakes). 

    I have never really tried meditation or yoga primarily because I was always doubtful of their ability to provide true relief from stress. After reading your review I might give it a try. Has this way of stress relief worked well for you?

    1. Hello Tosyn! I’m a big fan of TD Jakes as well! Not familiar with Mike Todd, but will have to check him out. My other favorite is Pastor Mark Hankins podcast. He most definitely knows how to get you fired up! 

      I have found meditation to be greatly beneficial for me, especially the Wim Hof breathing techniques. The Wim Hof method greatly improves my mood and outlook, making me able to handle so much more, without feeling overwhelmed.

      When it comes to yoga, it too would help improve my mood, and I love how it keeps me lean, toned, and flexible. Recently started getting into “arial yoga,” which is better for your back and joints, and really gives you an intense, but fun workout.  

  3. Yes stress is silent killer. stress can raise blood pressure, triggering heart attacks and strokes. … But over time, continuously feeling frazzled could trigger heart attacks, strokes, and even suicidal thoughts. READ MORE: ‘Flexible’ working may cause burn out: here’s how to stay stress-free. “In short, yes, stress can kill you. 

    You can treat some maney ways stress such as: 

    1 – Kava may be one of the most effective herbal supplements for stress and anxiety. According to Calm Clinic, “unlike other herbal anxiety supplements, kava is not only effective for anxiety symptoms – it’s effective for anxious thoughts as well.” WebMD explains, “kava’s calming effect may relieve anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, and stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm.” Take kava as a concentrated extract in capsule or tablet form or hold back your taste buds and attempt the liquid form.
    2 -Green-tea-derived theanine has become a well-known stress reliever. According to Life Extension, “when swallowed, theanine is readily absorbed and easily crosses the “blood-brain barrier,” allowing it to quickly reach brain cells.” Studies suggest theanine has the ability to support brain health, promote calmness and boost cognitive function.

    3-Valerian herbs have been used throughout the world to help treat anxiety and insomnia. It is one of the most well-known remedies and promotes feelings of tranquility and peace. Drink Valerian Root tea or purchase the supplement as a capsule or pill.

    4- chamomile are endless. If you are feeling jittery, this herb will help relax muscles, calm nerves, reduce anxiety and help with insomnia. It also improves digestion and decreases headaches. The most popular way to consume chamomile is in tea form.

    5-lemon balm has positive effects on relieving stress, anxiety and other mood disorders. According to Fox News, “in one study of healthy volunteers, a daily dose of 600 mgs of lemon balm for a week improved mood, and boosted both calmness and alertness.” Drink lemon balm in tea form, it will give you the feeling of calmness in just minutes.

    1. Thank you so much for this list of supplements! Many of them I already have on a list that I will be submitting in another post regarding good supplements to take for stress and to ease anxiety. Love to see that my readers are well educated, and hope to see you back again with more suggestions!

  4. Thank you for the post Brandy.  I really do think you have a special post here.  I am usually a very impatient and stressed out person.  After reading a couple of paragraphs of your post I began to feel more relaxed.  I listen to Eckhart Tolle and he helps me with my stress.  I have tried a lot of these techniques but I think the best thing that helps me is being able to tell myself that my situation is not going to get any better when thinking about or feeling stressed.  I know that I have to do what I have to do and that it is going to get done no matter what so why stress about anything?  Stress is a sympton of moving in fear and we have to move through hope and love.  I am very passionate about this subject.  Not a master at this by any means.

    1. Hello Eric! Sounds like you are doing an amazing job working through stressful situations, and it can only continue to get better with each passing day. 

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! May you have a blessed and joyful day!

  5. Stress is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you in life. The things that you pointed out are absolutely a MUST to do, not only for people who are under the pressure of stress, but also for those who are not. 

    Keep yourselves healthy, this is the most important thing for everyone.

    1. Thank you Victor for such true and encouraging words! 

      Staying health is the key to preventing most issues people suffer from, yet, it can be so far fetched for some to attain. Mind over matter!

  6. It is so true that we often make issues bigger by going over them in our heads over and over, building up a situation much more than it actually is … I do that too, and I don’t like doing it … There are good stress factors that push you over your comfort zones, as you mention, but there are too many stress factors that push our bodies too much … I had burn out years ago, and it affected me in terrible ways. Fortunately, my health was not impacted, only my hair suffered a consequence, it got so brittle and unhealthy that the only thing left to do was to chop it all off, but well, I hair grows back, I was grateful that it had not impacted my health in other ways.

    Since then, I have practiced meditation, but I have not been consistent with it. I will try the calm app though, if I have an app with meditation music it might help me be more consistent with it. When I feel sressed or upset, I always do a breathing meditation and that always helps!

    I don’t do exercise, but I’m outside a lot, and now that we are staying at home I have been busy clearing weeds from my land, and clearing up my land in general, and my living space. I have been very busy, and cleaning up everything makes a better living space, which means it lifts your spirits. 

    Excellent post, thanks for sharing these tips!

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post Christine, and thank you for sharing your journey so far on managing stress. Even if there are days that feel like complete set backs, you are still moving forward and making progress with every step. Keep up the good work!

  7. Back in the day stress was known as the number one killer because stress has been known to cause the body to shut down. In this world that we live in, we must learn how to live a stress-free life and if we can manage it. I believe that mental exercises by reading books and doing other funfilled activities along with having a physical workout plan can and will work wonders to control stress along with getting sufficient rest. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Stress has a very compound effect on the body, when I say the body I mean every single part including the mind. For study stress hormones has its way of hitting the heart very strongly, they can cause once blood to constrict thereby diverting more oxygen to your muscles and this can be catastrophic as during this process there is the boost in strength and this would have devastating effect on the body later on

  9. Hello there! this is an amazing review you have got here. I am very sure the quality informations in this post will be of help to anyone who come across it.  I was shocked when I saw that reading the Bible can also relieve stress; I had to screenshot and send to my Whatsapp status. Thanks for the update

    1. Thank you Joy! 

      The Bible is the most powerful book on this planet, and reading it will also build your faith while giving you power to conquer any obstacle you may face. 

      Be blessed!

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