We live in a busy and demanding world and some stress is a normal part of everyday life. But sometimes it’s the everyday stressors, not big stress events, which makes life feel unbearable. This blog post is part one of a two-part series on stress. This week we will take a look at stress, next week I will offer suggestions on stress relief.
In response to a stressful situation, your body secretes the stress hormone called cortisol, which alters your physiological response. Cortisol helps us cope with immediate stressful situations by increasing blood levels for energy, increasing appetite, converting fat to energy, suppressing the reproductive system, and stimulating immune organs to cope with injury or harm.
However, if the level of cortisol is chronically elevated, it results in a number of negative and destructive effects, including: fat deposits in your waist and belly, memory impairment, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, acne, mood swings, changes in sleeping habits, various digestive issues, tension in the shoulders, neck and jaw, and an impaired immune system – which could lead to disease.
Chronic stress can create a poor attitude and dissatisfaction with life as well as a cascading series of physical responses in your body that lead to serious health issues, including:
Minimizing everyday stressors and maintaining manageable stress levels are necessary goals for total wellness. In the next post, I will include some simple ways to manage stress for optimal health. Take action this week by noticing your everyday stressors, and exploring ways to reduce or eliminate them.
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health Coach who provides private health coaching, nutrition education, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com