relieving stress

How Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk – and How to Manage It

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Short-lived feelings of stress are a normal part of life. You might feel stressed while sitting in traffic or when entering a meeting with your boss. But these feelings should subside when the stressful event is over. However, if they persist or become long-lasting, they can severely impact your mental, emotional and physical health. 

Let’s learn more about how chronic stress can put your health at risk and the steps you can take to control it. 

The Natural Stress Response

In an earlier post, we talked about the physical stress response and how your body shows signs of anxiety. When you encounter a threat, your body is hardwired to protect you from it. Back in the day, humans had to fight off predators and aggressors, but today, this is no longer the case. The problem is that the body still responds to stress and overreacts to things like paying bills or sitting in traffic. 

Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signs, your system prompts your adrenal glands to release a surge in hormones. Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy, while cortisol increases sugars in the blood, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and suppresses the immune system. 

When your body thinks it’s constantly under attack, almost all of your body’s processes are disrupted, putting you at risk for:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches 
  • Muscle tension and pain 
  • Heart disease or heart attack
  • High blood pressure or stroke 
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain 
  • Memory impairment 

Learning to React to Stress in a Healthy Manner 

Research shows that people who are under chronic mental stress are at a higher risk of an early death from heart disease, cancer and other health problems. And, it doesn’t matter where the stress comes from – major events or minor stressors. Both types of stress can be deadly. Therefore, it’s important to manage your stress levels and practice good self-care to protect yourself from chronic health problems and premature death. 

Here are some effective stress management strategies: 

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get regular exercise 
  • Sleep at least 7+ hours a night
  • Practice relaxation techniques 
  • Talk with a life coach in Los Angeles 
  • Take time for hobbies 
  • Write about your thoughts in a journal 
  • Foster healthy relationships 
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Volunteer in your community 
  • Seek professional counseling

How a Life Coach in Los Angeles Can Help Manage Stress 

Talking to a life coach can be an effective way to help you work through chronic stress. This does not necessarily take the place of professional counseling, but some people do very well with one or both. The purpose of adding a life coach to your life is to help you better understand where the stress is coming from and how to manage it. 

Jack Rourke is based in Los Angeles, but he provides his services all over. Through coaching, stress management is possible. Jack will be there to provide ongoing mentorship so that you’re more prepared to manage your day-to-day life and control your responses to stressful situations. To learn more, schedule a life coaching session with Jack today