Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

Wellness Wednesday: Don't Mess With Stress

Wellness Wednesday: Don't Mess With Stress

Wellness Wednesday: Don't Mess With Stress

When you’re stressed out, it can feel like it’s all in your head. That isn’t true: stress is a full-body experience. While it is healthy and normal to feel worry and concern, too much stress can have a powerful and unwanted impact on your body. Stress can lead to elevated levels of cortisol in your body, which opens the door to a whole host of potential physical and mental ailments.

What Is Cortisol?

Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol, which interacts with parts of your brain that control mood, motivation, and fear. Cortisol affects a number of important processes in your body:

  • Regulates your blood pressure
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Increases your blood sugar
  • Controls your sleep/wake cycle
  • Manages how your body uses fats, proteins, and carbohydrates

Cortisol is elevated during times of stress because the hormone acts as kind of an alarm system for your body. When you feel like you're in danger, cortisol is produced and also provides a boost of energy to help you get clear of the situation that's triggering you. The problem with stress is that it sticks with you, so your cortisol levels have a harder time dropping down to normal levels. When your cortisol levels are unbalanced it can have a negative effect on your heart, blood pressure, and other vital organs.

How Stress Impacts Your Health

Too much stress can have a debilitating effect on our physical and mental health. Take heed of the early warning signs. Untreated stress can lead to a variety of ailments, including:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Digestive problems 
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep deprivation 
  • Headaches 
  • Weight gain 
  • Loss of libido
  • Memory and concentration problems 
  • Heart disease

Relieve Your Stress

The good news is that there are a lot of techniques you can use to alleviate stress, and most of them cost zero dollars! Make some of these practices a part of your day-to-day life to cut down on stress and maintain a state of relaxation:

  • Regular exercise 
  • Eat a healthy diet 
  • Meditate 
  • Spend time with friends and family 
  • Be well-rested
  • Yoga
  • Breathing exercises

 

Want more wellness tips? Check out these stories:

Share this article