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How does stress affect your body?

What is stress? Most of us identify with stress as something that gives a feeling of physical or emotional tension to a person. Stress affects different people differently. It can make you feel nervous, frustrated, or even angry. 

Stress is your body’s response to any challenging external factors. It is caused by the stress causing factor or stressor and can continue even when the stressor is gone. It can gradually take the form of anxiety. 
It affects your body both physically and emotionally and if left unchecked, it can cause severe health issues like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood sugar level and stroke. 

When people with type 2 diabetes are under stress, they experience an increase in their blood sugar levels. On the other hand, people with type 1 diabetes experience either a drop or increase in their blood sugar level. The blood sugar level of a person can also increase when they are under physical stress, for example, if they are sick or physically injured.
Your body has its own defence mechanism as it releases hormones in order to protect itself from stress. 

Stress can be divided into two categories:

  • Acute stress
    It is extremely common and everyone has faced it at some point or other in their lifetime. As the name suggests, it lasts for a short period of time. You can experience acute stress even when you do something new or exciting. It is believed that acute stress helps in managing dangerous/threatening situations.
  • Chronic stress
    Chronic stress is a long-term stress. It can be caused by financial problems, problems at work or problems with your immediate relationships. Any stress that lasts for weeks or even a month is considered to be chronic stress.

When you face chronic stress, your body stays on alert even if there is no danger. This reaction of your body can lead to various other health problems such as: 

  • Diabetes
  • High blood sugar level
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Skin problems

If you already have one of the above listed health problems, chronic stress can make it worse. Therefore stress management is crucial for you to lead a healthy life. For managing stress, we recommend that you follow these recommendations- 

1.Have a fitness routine
Exercising is an essential factor in stress management. Regular physical exercise like brisk walking or jogging will help you relieve stress and it will also make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. 

2. Relaxation techniques
Deep breathing, tai chi, yoga are all examples of relaxation techniques. These relaxation techniques will help you calm yourself. Incense sticks and even aroma candles can help you release stress. 

3. Consume a healthy diet
It is important that you consume a balanced diet and do not skip your meals. A good diet will help you in keeping a good mood which will in turn help you in keeping your stress levels under control. 

4. Relax your muscles!
When you are stressed, your muscles get tense.Therefore, you should relax your muscles with a good night’s sleep, stretching, or a hot shower. 

These strategies will help you in managing your stress levels. Leading a healthy lifestyle and keeping yourself in a positive mood are the keys to avoiding high stress levels.

Along with your stress levels, you should also keep your sugar levels in check. Keep monitoring your sugar levels on a regular basis to maintain your vitals in the right way. 

 

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