"Life seems to become more stressful with each passing year." one of my clients - an IT expert - sighs.
"The impact of stress can pose serious challenges to your health and happiness. Much of our stress is the result of habits that have a negative impact on our lives." I replied.
We create our own stress and become less capable of dealing with it effectively.
There are two types of stress: acute and chronic stress.
Acute stress is good as it helps to generate important functions in your body. It provides energy and enhances your focus and executive functioning.
However, chronic stress can have negative impact on your health:
1. Stress can lead to weight gain.
Studies have shown that higher levels of stress frequently reduce the desire to exercise. Stress also has a negative effect on the ability or desire to make healthy food choices.
According to WebMD in times of high pressure a lot of us become overeaters. This happens thanks to your fight-or-flight response. Levels of "the stress hormone," cortisol, rise during tension-filled times. This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.
Excess weight is dangerous, especially considering that it can lead to a variety of serious medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and sudden death.
• If you’re struggling with your weight, consider the amount of stress in your life.
2. Stress can disrupt your sleep.
If you’ve ever noticed what a lack of sleep can do to your mood, it’s easy to imagine what it does to your body. When you’re stressed, it can be difﬁcult to fall and stay asleep.
Your body and mind need the restoration provided by sufﬁcient sleep.
3. Stress increases the likelihood of serious illness.
High levels of stress have been shown to result in a higher prevalence of serious illnesses.
• Societies and professions with high levels of stress tend to experience the poorest health.
4. Stress has a negative impact on your immune system.
Physical and emotional stressors have a detrimental effect on immune system function. This not only makes you more susceptible to catching a cold or other mild illnesses,
but it also increases the risk of cancer. Your immune system plays a vital role in the destruction of cancerous cells.
5. Stress kills your neurons in your brain.
In acute stress situations your brain can regulate the stress response very well. With prolonged stress however, research has found that neurons in your hippocampus
which is responsible for short term memory and learning, are actually killed. This means that the size of your hippocampus can shrink having long term consequences in older age.
6. Stress can negatively affect your mood.
Stress is believed to be a leading cause of depression. We’ve all had that feeling of being trapped and miserable during times of excessive or chronic stress.
• It’s difﬁcult to have a positive outlook toward the future if stress is a big part of your life.
7. Stress can negatively affect your relationships.
Whether it arises from money, parenting, work, family issues, or other personal situations, stress can make relationships much more difﬁcult to manage.
Stress and happiness rarely go together. Reducing your stress will likely lead to greater peace, harmony, and happiness.
“The truth is that stress doesn't come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, trafﬁc jams, health challenges, or other circumstances.
It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances.”
- Andrew Bernstein
Silke Glaab (aka SilkCelia) is a psychologist (MA) who helps executives, entrepreneurs and experts to be more resilient to stress and dramatically improve their thinking and feeling so that they enhance their performance and leave a legacy in their companies, their lives and the world.
Silk uses rapid transformation therapy to help clients to transform the roots of a presented issue within minutes while using neuroscience to boost brain power and emotional intelligence to create mindful behavior and decision making in all areas of life.
Silk holds a master degree in psychology and has worked for over 20 years as a trainer, consultant and counselor in divers industries in Germany, Kenya, and Dubai. She is personally trained by the celebrity hypnotherapist Marisa Peer and the neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Kennedy.