I’ve been invited by Gilda’s Club Seattle to give a series of presentations on the effects of stress on health and healing. The most important thing to remember about stress is that it’s a normal part of life. The problem is not with stress itself. Rather, the problem lies with how much stress, how often we feel stressed and what tools we have to deal with stress.
Stress has an immediate effect on your body. In the short term, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but chronic stress puts your health at risk. Stress suppresses immunity, shrinks brain cells and impairs memory. It also inhibits your body’s inflammatory response, thus explaining why stress makes you more vulnerable to getting sick. In a state of stress, the adrenaline causes an increase in blood pressure and constricts vessels to skin and the digestive system, making you feel physically tense, uptight or tired.
At Seattle Hypnosis with Roger Moore you can learn quick and easy to use mindfulness stress reduction techniques to manage how you respond to the stressors in your life.
The Effects of stress on the Body
Under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. Unused blood sugar is reabsorbed by the body. If you’re under chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with this extra glucose surge, and you may be at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The rush of hormones, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate can upset your digestive system. You’re more likely to have heartburn or acid reflux. Stress doesn’t cause ulcers — a bacterium called H. pylori does — but stress may cause existing ulcers to act up.
You might experience nausea, vomiting, or a stomachache. Stress can affect the way food moves through your body, leading to diarrhea or constipation.
Under stress, your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury. You’ve probably felt your muscles tighten up and release again once you relax. If you’re constantly under stress, your muscles don’t get the chance to relax. Tight muscles cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and body aches. Over time, you may stop exercising and turn to pain medication, setting off an unhealthy cycle.
Sexuality and Reproductive System
Stress is exhausting for the body and for the mind. It’s not unusual to lose your desire for sex when you’re under chronic stress. However, men may produce more of the male hormone testosterone during stress, which may increase sexual arousal in the short term.
For women, stress can affect the menstrual cycle. You might have irregular or no menstruation, or heavier and more painful periods. The physical symptoms of menopause may be magnified under chronic stress.
If stress continues for a long time, a man’s testosterone levels begin to drop. That can interfere with sperm production and cause erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may make the urethra, prostate, and testes more prone to infection.
Stress stimulates the immune system. In the short term, that’s a bonus. It helps you stave off infection and heal wounds. Over time, cortisol compromises your immune system, inhibiting histamine secretion and inflammatory response to foreign invaders. People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like influenza and the common cold. It increases risk of other opportunistic diseases and infections. It can also increase the time it takes to recover from illness or injury.
Mindfulness stress reduction techniques can help you to manage the stressors in your life. You will experience stress and you can learn to control stress, relax and let it go. I invite you to download Orange Blossom, my free 27 minute hypnosis MP3 download.
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I am in a joyful state of relaxation.
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