3 Ways Stress Can Mess With Your Health and Energy

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

Acute stress usually won’t mess with your health too much. It is your body’s natural reaction to circumstances, and can even be life-saving.  This type subsides after the cause of the stress is over which is usually short-term.

It's the chronic stress that's a problem.  It is these stress reactions that are triggered every day or many times a day that can mess with your health and cause unwanted symptoms of headaches, illness, sleepless nights and weight gain.

Stress may be temporary (acute), or long-term (chronic).

Stress (and stress hormones) can have a huge impact on your health.

Let's dive into the 3 effects of  "stress mess."

Effect #1 Immunity

It’s that time of year when the weather is changing that adds more stress to your system.  This is when you need to be careful to support your body or you could end up getting sick.

It’s bad enough when you do not have enough energy on a daily basis but to get sick on top of it makes life more challenging.

Did you notice that you get sick more often when you're stressed? Maybe you get colds, cold sores, or even the flu more frequently when you are stressed?

Well, that's because stress hormones affect the chemical messengers (cytokines) secreted by immune cells consequently, they are less able to do their jobs effectively.

Did you hear that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut?  

Effect #2 Gut Health

Stress puts a strain on your intestinal microbiome otherwise known as the ecosystem of your gut bacteria and gets it out of balance.

Stress can contribute to leaky gut, otherwise known as "intestinal permeability." These "leaks" can then allow partially digested food, bacteria or other things to be absorbed into your body.

The stress hormone cortisol can open up tiny holes by loosening the grip your digestive cells have to each other. These are called gap junctions.

Picture this: Have you ever played "red rover?" It's where a row of children hold hands while one runs at them to try to break through. Think of those hands as the junctions between cells. When they get loose, they allow things to get in that should be passing right through.  

Cortisol (produced in excess in chronic stress) is a strong player in creating the imbalance in your intestinal system which leads to these gaps in the lining being open too long!

This can lead to a host of health problems relating to your fatigue issues including painful joints, allergies and skin conditions.

Effect #3 Poor Sleep Quality

So many women I talk to are not sleeping well.  I think we have too much on our minds and list of things to do don’t you?  The amount of stress we as women have can be detrimental to our sleep.

Stress and sleep go hand-in-hand, wouldn’t you agree? It’s often difficult to sleep when you have very important (and stressful) things on your mind.

And when you don't get enough sleep, it affects your energy level, memory, ability to think, and mood.  

More and more research is showing just how important sleep is for your health.  Not enough sleep (and too much stress) aren't doing you any favors especially when you wake up feeling exhausted.

If you have read this far and are interested in getting on a call with me to discuss how to increase your energy and reach your health goals, click on the button below for a complimentary 30-minute call.  No obligations. Let's talk.

Stress Busting Tips

Reducing stressors in your life is an obvious first step to fighting fatigue and other health challenges.

Can you:

  • Put less pressure on yourself?

  • Ask for help?

  • Say "no"?

  • Delegate to someone else?

  • Finally, make that decision?

No matter how hard you try, you won’t eliminate stress altogether. So, here are a few things you can try to help reduce its effect on you:

  • Deep breathing

  • Meditation

  • Walk in nature

  • Unplug (read a book, take a bath)

  • Exercise (yoga, tai chi, etc.)

  • Connect with loved ones

Please click on the button below for a complimentary 30-minute call.  No obligations. Let's talk.

Conclusion

Stress is a huge and often underappreciated factor in our health. It can impact your physical body much more than you might realize.

Stress has been shown to increase  affect your immune system, gut health and sleep quality.

There are things you can do to both reduce the stressors and also to improve your response to it.

Be aware of what is causing your stress and eliminate one thing that is not serving you well.

You can bust through the stress with less!

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