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Amira McLaughlin

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Stress causes everything from depression to stroke. It affects your ability to concentrate, to function and your sleep. It affects your personal life, relationships with family and friends, and your work. It’s no wonder people spend thousands of dollars on books, stress balls, essential oils, pills, and other gadgets trying to find ways to fight and reduce our stress.

When you are stressed your nervous system release chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline. These are key to preparing your body to face physical danger. Your heartbeat increases, your breathing speeds up, your muscles tense and you begin to sweat. This is the “flight or fight” response to danger. The chemicals are used up as we fight the danger. 

Unfortunately, most stress isn’t caused by physical danger but emotional, mental, and spiritual stress, instead. That leaves all those chemicals floating around our body, causing damage. 

Prolonged or frequent stress can cause:

  • Strokes 
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of focus
  • Mental health issues
  • Tense muscles
  • Muscle aches
  • Heart disease
  • Blood sugar levels are difficult to manage, leading to diabetes
  • Stomach or digestive problems, constipation, diarrhea
  • Heartburn, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Decreased libido, fertility issues
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Autoimmune issues such as arthritis, asthma, or eczema

These stress-related conditions become serious or life threatening when they are left untreated. That’s why learning how to reduce your stress and anxiety is important for your overall health.

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