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Here is how stress can influence your body

Written by: Mina Stanisavljevic

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Time to read 4 min

Keywords: stress, stress management, chronic stress

Is stress just a buzzword, or does it have real, tangible impacts on our health and wellbeing?


Stress can be a complex phenomenon that can influence and impact us all in varying degrees. Can it really have an effect on the body, and is it linked to conditions like hair loss and hives?


Let us try and dissect what causes it, what it causes and how you can help it.

Keywords: stress, stress management, chronic stress

1. The Physical Impact of Stress

Stress, while often viewed negatively, can also serve as a motivating force that enhances performance.


However, when experienced over extended periods, it can evolve into chronic stress, negatively impacting health and well-being.


Chronic stress disrupts almost all of the body's processes, leading to inflammation in the circulatory system , particularly in the coronary arteries, a pathway thought to tie stress to heart attacks.


It can also lead to disease due to changes in the body or the adoption of unhealthy habits like overeating or smoking as coping mechanisms.


Understanding these impacts is crucial as it provides insights into the prevention and management of stress-related health issues. 

Keywords: stress, stress management, chronic stress

1.1. Stress and Its Effects on Hair Loss and Hives


Chronic stress can have a significant impact on your hair and skin .


One of the most common stress-related conditions is hair loss, specifically a type called telogen  effluvium .


This condition occurs when stress pushes hair follicles into a resting phase , causing hair to fall out more rapidly than usual.


It's a leading cause of hair loss in women and people assigned  female at birth .


Stress can also trigger hives, a skin reaction characterised by  itchy welts .


This is due to the release of  histamines , chemicals your body produces when you're stressed.


Natural remedies for these conditions include stress management techniques, such as mindfulness and yoga, and a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support hair and skin health.


Topical treatments and hair growth shampoos can also be beneficial.


However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most effective treatment for your specific needs. 

Women's Health

1.2. Spotting the Symptoms of Stress

Stress manifests itself in various ways, affecting both our emotional state and physical health.


Recognising these symptoms is the first step towards effective stress management.


Emotionally, stress can make you feel irritable, angry, anxious , or wound up.


Stress can also cause your thoughts to race , making it difficult to switch off and relax.


This can lead to a decreased ability to enjoy yourself, feelings of depression , and a general lack of interest in life.


It's important to remember that these symptoms are not a sign of weakness, but a natural response to high levels of stress.

Keywords: stress, stress management, chronic stress

1.3. The Different Types of Stress and Natural Remedies


Stress can be categorised into two main types: acute and chronic .


Acute stress is a short-term response to a threatening situation, while chronic stress persists over weeks or months.


Chronic stress, if not managed effectively, can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression , anxiety , and skin problems .


It can also exacerbate existing health conditions.


To manage stress naturally, consider incorporating practices such as meditation and aromatherapy into your daily routine.


Meditation can help slow racing thoughts and manage stress and anxiety , while aromatherapy , particularly with soothing plant essential oils like lavender, can ease stress and anxiety.


Another natural remedy is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep.


Pets have also been found to be beneficial for people with anxiety and stress. 

2. Understanding the Root Cause of Stress


Stress can be triggered by a variety of factors, ranging from significant life changes to daily hassles.


According to the American Psychological Association , common causes of stress include pressure at work or school, financial difficulties, health issues, and relationship problems.


However, it's important to note that what causes stress can vary greatly from person to person.


For instance, one person might find public speaking to be a significant stressor, while another might thrive on it.


Understanding the root cause of your stress is the first step towards managing it effectively.


This is because stress management techniques should be tailored to address the specific stressors you're dealing with.


For example, if financial difficulties are causing you stress, a stress management technique might involve creating a budget or seeking financial advice. On the other hand, if your stress is caused by a busy schedule, time management strategies might be more effective. 


Keywords: stress, stress management, chronic stress

2.1. Critiquing Common Stress Management Techniques


Common stress management techniques often adopt a reductionist approach, oversimplifying the complex emotional states associated with stress.


They typically offer a one-size-fits-all solution, failing to consider the diversity of individual needs and preferences.


For instance, techniques such as deep breathing or yoga might not resonate with everyone, and their effectiveness can vary significantly among different individuals.


Furthermore, socio-economic and demographic factors can influence the efficacy of these techniques.


Access to certain stress management resources might be limited for individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds, questioning the fairness and inclusiveness of these techniques.


It's crucial to recognise the limitations of common stress management techniques and seek personlised approaches that consider individual differences and socio-economic realities.


How do you manage your stress? Comment below!

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