#1. It encourages unhealthy habits
Long-term stress is nothing more than a new habit that enters your life and disturbs your healthy lifestyle choices. Indeed, creating a positive lifestyle is the art of making the right decisions to suit your situation as best as possible. For instance, if you’re naturally an early riser and you have plenty of time before going to the office in the morning, it makes sense to introduce a fitness routine during that time. It’s an easy decision to make, considering the situation. Now, consider how your day-to-day life would be if you were constantly under stress. Stress creates a sense of fatigue, which means that even if you manage to have a restful night – which may not be the case — you’re unlikely to wake up feeling full of energy for a workout. Instead, you may be tempted to reward yourself with a sweet treat. Indeed, under stress, the body is more vulnerable to sugar cravings, and, as they give you a brief rush of positivity, they can be difficult to avoid. Your healthy lifestyle is more than a matter of motivation. When stress becomes part of the big picture, it affects your choices and needs.
#2. It disrupts your digestive tract
Your emotions affect your stomach. You’ve probably felt a knot in your stomach before an important exam when you were a student. Similarly, when you’re with your crush, you can distinctly feel the butterflies in your stomach. When you’re going through a lot of stress, it can also affect your digestion. Some people complain of abdominal cramps when they feel anxious. Others can struggle with stress-induced diarrhoea, for instance. It’s never easy to stop reduce your anxiety, but you’ll find it more manageable if you can target the physical issue first – finding relief with medicines such as Gastro-stop. Do make sure to get your digestive system back on track by consumption plenty of water, natural fibres and probiotics that can help to recover your gut flora.
#3. It makes you look older
Can stress give you wrinkles? Dermatologists agree that too much stress can directly reduce the effect of the collagen in your skin. Indeed, the stress hormone, cortisol can break down your natural collagen, making your skin appear less firm and elastic. Stress also depletes the melanocyte stem cells in your hair, which are responsible for your hair colour. The stress hormones produced by the body force the stem cells to leave the hair follicles. As a result, you turn grey or white.
#4. It ruins your skincare routine
You need to skin care routine to keep your complexion looking fresh and bright. It’s not uncommon to spend a lot of time trying to find the best products for your type of skin. But when stress comes in the way, it can dramatically transform your skin and increase its sensitivity. The soothing night serum you use to nourish your skin can cause a rash now! Additionally, you become more prone to acne outbreaks, even though you left the horror of puberty a long time ago!
#5. It can weaken your heart
Stress increases your blood pressure and heartbeat, which, in the long term, can encourage the development of cardiovascular diseases. According to the Heart Foundation, 50% of heart attack survivors are not able to reduce the stress in their current lives, and over 75% claim that reducing stress is challenging enough. It takes a lot more than healthy choices in the kitchen to keep your heart healthy. As stress has become the number one killer in the workplace, it’s essential to take relaxing seriously.
#6. It is genuinely depressing
Stress is a disruption of your routine and therefore, healthy lifestyle choices. Skipping your typical feel-good strategies – whether it’s going to the gym or enjoying a healthy spinach and avocado smoothie – can make you feel bad about yourself, which inevitably increases your stress levels and lowers your mood. The more stressed out you are, the more likely you are to feel down and more emotional about your inability to stick to the routine you’ve chosen for yourself. Without a routine, you lose your self-regulation patterns; you don’t eat or sleep at consistent times – or at all. And without noticing, you become more vulnerable to depressive behaviour.
#7. It can disrupt your chances of pregnancy
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time without success, you might want to pay close attention to your stress levels. Indeed, according to a recent study, stress can affect your chances of conceiving. Chronic stress can even temporarily stop ovulation. While not everyone responds to stress in the same way, managing your anxiety can boost your pregnancy success.
Stress is a silent enemy that creeps into your life and destroys your health if you’re not careful. Unfortunately, we can’t eliminate stress. But what you can do is learn to look after your mental health as best as you can. It is, after all, the key to a happy and healthy lifestyle.