Last Updated on 1st November 2021
This last year has shown how much stress can impact our daily lives. But we may not realize the damage stress can do to our bodies both in the immediate, as well as over the long-term, as we age.
You may have found yourself looking in the mirror and seeing more wrinkles, dryness in the skin, or even an excess of acne you might not be used to. While there may be other factors involved like your regular diet or lack of water, stress usually is one of the main reasons why we find irregularities in the way our body functions.
If you have found yourself in a substantial amount of stress lately, you might be doing more harm than you imagined. Here are several ways stress can damage our bodies, as well as what we can do to help address some of these issues.
Early Onset of Wrinkles
Stress can make a dramatic impact on your skin through the early formation of wrinkles. When we are induced with stress, it actually alters the proteins in our skin which reduces its overall elasticity. And when they say, “turn that frown upside down,” it is for a very good reason. Stress causes us to furrow our brows or use extra muscles to frown, contributing to an early onset of wrinkles.
One way to alleviate this is through the use of botox injections. They can help prevent wrinkle formation and smooth out facial lines from any stress-related skin issues you may experience.
Lack of Sleep
When we are feeling stressed, it can very easily reduce our ability to fall asleep. We toss and turn at night with racing thoughts or increased energy from anxiety. If not properly treated, it can very easily lead to insomnia which only causes us more stress.
Thankfully there are ways to help with this. By increasing melatonin in the form of a supplement or by eating foods high in melatonin, such as tart cherries, you can find yourself falling fast asleep in no time. You can also try using an air diffuser with lavender oils. Lavender can reduce anxiety and aid in getting a good night’s rest.
High Blood Pressure
There are many internal factors that come into play when our bodies are experiencing stress. When we become heightened with anxiety, our blood vessels constrict from stress hormones. This can ultimately raise your blood pressure, which can lead to other serious complications if not addressed, such as heart disease or a heart attack.
Meditation and a focus on deep breathing can slow down your mind and ease your body from any tension. This will relax your blood vessels and allow you to gain back control over what’s happening inside of the body along with the outside. If high blood pressure persists, make sure to consult with your doctor immediately to avoid further life-altering complications.
A side effect of living a stressful life that many people do not consider is the impact it can do on your reproductive system for both males and females. For women, stress alters hormones that can impact their menstrual cycle. This will lead to missed periods or bring them to a complete halt if severe enough.
For men, it can cause erectile dysfunction and other reproductive issues. If you are trying to conceive, it may already seem like a stressful time but unfortunately, the added stress only makes it more difficult.
In order to address stress, you may want to consider seeing a counselor if it’s impacting your reproductive system. Both you and your partner could greatly benefit from talking through some of the stressful issues you’re experiencing. It’s also recommended to see a doctor if these specific issues persist.
Just as stress contracts your blood vessels from tension, chronic stress also tenses the other muscles in your body. From various bodily pains to even having aggressive headaches, the tension in your body can lead to a wide variety of issues.
A great way to alleviate muscle tension due to stress is by regular stretching or doing a form of yoga. Not only are you easing your muscles from any pain you might be experiencing, but you are also focusing your attention back on your breath to slow everything in your body down.
As you can see, stress does much more to the body than simply making us feel a little frazzled. Repetitive stress in our lives can cause significant long-term effects, some of which we can not see. It’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels or to reduce things in your life that cause any added stress when possible.