Let’s Address Your Stress.
In our “always-on” culture, being in a perpetual state of stress can start to feel normal for many of us. As our schedules get busier and busier, we adjust to a more hectic lifestyle without even realising that we seriously need to slow down. Multiple studies have shown that chronic stress can take a toll on our mental and physical wellness.
When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections and other symptoms such as chronic fatigue and disruptions in sleep, changes in libido, or even depression and depressive episodes.
While it’s evident that stress can disrupt sleep, not everyone who experiences stress or who is going through a stressful time will deal with insomnia or sleep disturbances. Stress can also have an indirect effect on the immune system
as a person may use unhealthy behavioural coping strategies to reduce their stress, such as drinking and smoking and the use of illicit drugs.
Be on the lookout for these subtle signs that you might be stressed.
- Jaw or tooth pain. If you’ve been noticing soreness or pain in your jaw or teeth, you might be under some pretty intense stress. Grinding your teeth, known as bruxism, is something you may be doing whether you realise it or not — many of us do it in our sleep, which can lead to serious pain during waking hours.
- Acne. Some studies have found that higher levels of stress are associated with increased bouts of acne.
- Rapid heartbeat. Stress can also affect the immune system by raising blood pressure. Hypertension (consistently raised bloodpressure over several weeks) is a major risk factor in coronary heart disease (CHD)
- Exposure to stress may also cause excessive sweating.
- Muscle tension. When you’re under a ton of stress, your muscles respond by involuntarily tensing up, which can lead to a lot of body pain in time.
It’s important that you acknowledge and realise when you are stressed.
Take this stress quiz to check if you are ok, or if it’s time to take a break.