Stress is your body's response to any demand or challenge. Stress can be any thought or event, whether it's irrational fear or a sudden change in one's life. Stress can happen happen to anyone. It can be short term like trying to finish that term paper due in a few days or it can be chronic like having a terminal illness.
Coping with long term stress can be challenging, especially in this day and age trying to achieve a work-life balance. But it is important to find ways to manage it. Chronic stress can disturb the immune (lowered immune defense, increased risk of becoming ill), digestive (diarrhea, constipation), cardiovascular (heart attack, stroke), integumentary( hair loss, acne,dry skin), and reproductive systems (decreased libido and hormones). Some people may experience digestive symptoms, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, sadness, anger, or irritability.
Over time, chronic stress can can even cause long-term harm such as high blood pressure, heart disease, depression,and anxiety.
In fact, according to Medical News Today, "people who are stressed may have higher levels of certain hormones that can affect how insulin works. High stress levels can also lead to unhealthful lifestyle habits, which can, in turn, increase a person's risk of developing diabetes."
But all hope is not lost, the National Mental Institute offers some advice on how to manage stress.
1- Be vigilant- excessive drinking, spending, difficulty sleeping, irritability, having low energy and not eating or eating excessively are signs of stress.
2- Talk to your health care provider.
3-Get regular exercise- the Mayo clinic suggests to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
When in doubt, get a trainer to work with you and develop a plan just for you.
5- Stay connected- get help from friends, family, a community or a religious organization.
Lastly, try a relaxing activity like meditation or massage each of them have been proven to help alleviate stress if done regularly.