How Stress Can Affect Your Body
by John Brasington
The western world is in the grip of a stress epidemic. People are working longer and longer hours, leaving less time to spend with family and friends. It’s no wonder many of us are having to take time off from work because of the impact of stress. This affliction isn’t just a mental state; stress can also have a major impact on your body. From how to get rid of chapped lips to how to get better sleep, in this article, we’ll explore the impacts of stress and what you can do about it.
Stress and Skin
Sometimes you can see the impact stress is having on the body very easily: it manifests itself in bad skin. Not everyone will suffer from this when stressed, but for many of us – exams, family trouble or money worries can make us break out in a rash or exacerbate an existing skin problem like eczema or dermatitis. This can be frustrating as it adds to the problems you already have, creating a vicious cycle – but don’t worry too much, as the affects of dry, flaky skin can be easily ameliorated.
Essentially, it’s all about moisturizing regularly, drinking more water to ensure you are hydrated, and avoiding things that will dry your skin out further like sunburn or excessive central heating. These factors can also affect your lips, so if you’re wondering how to get rid of chapped lips, apply a good quality lip balm or salve as often as possible. Combined with more general treatments for dry skin, this should set you right. Remember though; always seek help from a health professional if the problem is ongoing or part of a recognized medical issue.
Another major effect of stress is sleeping problems. When we have a lot on our minds, many of us will stay awake, tossing and turning, worrying about the different issues we’re facing during the day. Like dry skin, this can become problematic when it ends up compounding the factors that are making us stressed in the first place – something to which anyone who’s tried to solve a problem on very little sleep can attest! The way to deal with this issue is to think about ‘sleep hygiene.’ This is a range of good sleeping habits that can help alleviate insomnia. These include getting into a regular sleep pattern, not eating close to bedtime, and avoiding caffeine. There are lots of other suggestions on how to improve sleep hygiene, so have a read up on the subject online and see if it helps.
Finally, one really harmful way stress impacts the body is through the unhealthy habits many of us take up in response. Whether you are a chronic over-eater, someone who smokes a lot or tends to over consume alcohol, when stressed, these habits tend to get worse. Not only does this do damage in the long term, it also makes you feel worse right after that extra slice of cake or cigarette, compounding your already existing stress. To try and break this cycle, work out any triggers for your bad habits and find a way to avoid them. Do you eat snacks whenever they are in the house? Then don’t keep them at home. Do you smoke when socializing with friends? Try going to places where people don’t smoke like the cinema rather than a bar.
However stress impacts you, try to be aware of the toll it can take on your body and find small positive steps you can take to make yourself feel better. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to feel more relaxed when you’ve sorted the symptoms of stress, like how to get rid of chapped lips and how to fall asleep without fretting. None of us are calm all the time, so just follow these tips and you’re sure to feel a little better soon!
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