Undoubtedly, stress and anxiety are the diseases of the 21st century. Children, adults, men, women, rich, poor, westerners, easterners; no one is immune. No matter where you come from, how happy your childhood may have been or how perfect your life may seem, you can fall victim to them. And we can assure you that, if you don’t live them chronically, you have experienced them at least once in your life.
Waking up with 100 unread emails, spending 2 hours in traffic, being late for an appointment, having unrealistic goals to meet at work, worrying about your weight, experiencing a loss, ending a relationship, getting involved in a family drama …. there are countless situations that can lead you to experience a sense of extreme stress. Some are a clear and direct consequence of our current busy lifestyle and become unavoidable. Because it’s not easy to put your foot on the brakes when you feel like you’re in a tailspin; life can be truly overwhelming.
And it’s not just your mental health that suffers. In addition to the energetic and psychological discomfort involved, your body also experiences certain physical phenomena. If you’ve noticed your heart racing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness in your limbs and an upset stomach, perhaps stress and anxiety are beginning to affect you physically. The physical effects can have short and long term consequences, what are they and what can you do about them? We list them.
Your body while experiencing stress and/or anxiety:
The throat: during an anxiety attack, fluids disperse to different parts of the body, causing the throat to dry up and muscles to tighten. As a result, great difficulty in swallowing is experienced.
The skin: in response to stress, your body will increase blood flow. This means that blood will redistribute within your body, which results in a paler appearance in some cases, while in others it causes them to blush.
The liver: when the body produces cortisone, the liver increases glucose production. This causes blood sugar levels to spike and, if not used, it is reabsorbed by the body.
Muscles: the body’s first reaction to a stressful situation is to tense up. This is a natural reflex of the muscles that can lead to contractures and physical discomfort.
The spleen: in order to produce more oxygen during an episode of anxiety, the spleen will go into a period of hyperactivity, releasing more red and white blood cells.
The mind: in addition to causing headaches, stress can lead to depression and cause sleep disorders such as insomnia.
The reproductive system: stress interferes negatively with the reproductive health of men and women. It can cause fertility problems, erectile dysfunction, irregular periods and significantly decrease libido.