Stress can be positive or negative. Positive stress pushes you to do your best. It gives an extra boost that can improve your performance. However, our bodies weren’t meant to be in a constant state of stress. When stress is chronic or interferes with your life, it is negative stress. You might be surprised to learn how much stress affects your health. However, if stress has caused you to abuse drugs or alcohol or has contributed to mental health issues, reach out for help from Serenity Light Recovery today.
What Is Stress?
Everyone experiences stress. Difficult situations like a deadline at work, uncomfortable social situations, or financial challenges may cause your heart rate to speed up or your palms to sweat. Stress activates the body’s fight or flight response. This primitive system prepares your body to act in the face of danger. It was once essential for survival. Your heart rate rises, blood pressure goes up, and your muscles tighten.
The problem with stress today is that the sources of stress are always present. We are no longer running from animals. We are paying bills, working, checking our social media, and doing many other activities that can be stressful. The body is in a constant state of fight or flight, which is why stress and health are so interconnected.
Stress and Health
You might have a general idea that stress is bad for your physical health, but many people don’t know about specific effects. Stress can cause:
- Sleep difficulties
- Digestive issues
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Stress also lowers your immune system functions, which can make you more susceptible to diseases.
The link between stress and health goes beyond the physical. It affects your mental health as well. Feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, and being overwhelmed are ways stress can impact your mental health.
Stress management can help you cope with the stress in your life. It’s important to note that physical health concerns should be evaluated by a doctor. Many conditions and diseases can mimic the signs of stress, and stress can contribute to physical conditions.
Stress is often linked to work. In this case, you may need to cut back on your workload. Stress caused by overwork actually results in lower productivity, so it’s important to find a healthy balance between work and your personal life. Making time for hobbies and quality time for family and friends can also help you manage stress.
The link between stress and health works both ways. Increased stress will impact your health, but improving your health can lower your stress levels. Exercise is known to reduce stress. Physical activity has benefits for the mind and body, so it should be a part of your stress management plan. A healthy diet is also an important component. Stress is often associated with unhealthy eating habits. Make sure that you are eating healthy proportions and incorporating a variety of foods in your diet each day.
When to Seek Mental Health Treatment
You may find that you can use stress management techniques on your own to reduce the symptoms of stress. However, many people find that they need mental health treatment to cope with stress. If you don’t feel capable of handling stress on your own, don’t hesitate to seek mental health treatment.
Signs that you need mental health treatment include:
- Excessive anxiety
- Depression that interferes with daily activities
- Using drugs or alcohol for stress management
- Significant changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or having angry outbursts
- Significant changes in sleeping or eating habits
Help at Serenity Light Recovery
If you are using drugs or alcohol to cope with stress in Serenity Light Recovery, located in Angleton, Texas, can help. Our dual diagnosis program provides mental health treatment and addiction treatment. We also offer counseling and behavioral therapy as part of our addiction programs. You don’t have to deal with it on your own. Contact us today at 855.658.6109.