8 Consequences of Stress

High levels of stress in certain situations can be effective and even life-saving, but when stress takes over your life (and who isn’t feeling more stressed these days!), it can exact a heavy toll on your mental and physical health.

At Family Wellness Acupuncture, our team of certified acupuncturists is all too familiar with the negative impact of stress, and our goal is to bring a measure of serenity and wellness back into your life.

Here’s a look at eight of the more common consequences of stress and how we can tackle the problem.

1. A matter of the heart

Your body responds to stress by initiating a flight-or-fight response wherein a release of hormones causes your heart rate to go up, your muscles to tense, and your brain to become more alert. All of these responses are extremely helpful in getting you out of a stressful situation, but when you’re coping with ongoing levels of high stress, these physical responses can wear your body down. More specifically, cardiovascular issues like hypertension and heart disease can develop.

2. Loss of energy

As we mentioned, part of your stress response is muscle tension, which can help you run away from, or face, a perceived danger or problem. If you’re struggling with ongoing stress, however, this constant state of tension can lead to fatigue.

3. Breaking down your defenses

Chronic stress can weaken your immune system, which has to fight harder to protect you from foreign invaders. This point is especially pertinent today as the world faces a viral pandemic.

4. Stomach upset

Another common side effect of high levels of stress is gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Your gut is extremely sensitive, and changes in your body tend to play out in your GI system, including issues with stomach upset and diarrhea.

5. The road to an anxiety disorder

High levels of unresolved stress can transform into a clinical anxiety disorder fairly easily. In fact, anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the US, many of whom cite ongoing stress as a major contributor.

6. Beyond the blues

If you’re caught in a vicious cycle of stress, the effects can wear you down emotionally, which can lead to depression.

7. Substance abuse

To find an outlet from stress, some people turn to drugs or alcohol. Though drinking and drug use may provide a temporary reprieve from the stress, when the effects wear off, the stress is still there. This may prompt people to increase their alcohol and drug use, which can lead to serious problems with dependence and addiction.

8. Loss of libido

Your sex drive is influenced by a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional factors. If stress has taken center stage in your life, you may experience a loss of interest in sex.

Say goodbye to stress

Whether you’re experiencing any of the problems above or you’re just tired of coping with stress, the good news is that we can help. Acupuncture is one of the best techniques for restoring balance and flow in your body, which can reduce your physiological stress response.

To take control of your stress through acupuncture, please contact our office in Irvine, California, to set up an appointment. 

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