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11 Dangers of Stress and Anxiety

11 Dangers of Stress and Anxiety

Excess stress and anxiety are two of the top issues facing people today.

Numerous health issues can be attributed to excess stress and anxiety such as:

1. Difficulty Concentrating

If you are constantly stressed and your mind is preoccupied with obsessive and anxious thoughts then you will be unable to devote your full attention to the task at hand.

2. Fatigue

Since stress and anxiety put your body on high alert they can leave you feeling tired and fatigued during the day.

3. Low Libido

Being preoccupied with anxious thoughts will make it hard to relax and feel sexual desire.

4. Irritability

Nonstop worrying may make you feel irritable and get you upset at every little thing that happens further increasing your stress level.

5. Headaches

If you are frequently stressed and regularly get headaches, they could be related according to a study.1

6. Breathing Issues

Intense anxiety can cause rapid and shallow breathing or hyperventilation which if severe enough can make you feel out of breath due to being unable to get enough oxygen from exhaling too much.

7. Cardiovascular Problems

Persistent stress and anxiety can raise your blood pressure and cause heart palpitations which may negatively impact your heart and cardiovascular health long term. Chronic stress can also expose the body to persistently elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can elevate cholesterol, raise blood pressure and lead to heart disease.2

8. Weight Gain

Many people eat when stressed as a way to cope. This is called emotional eating and can lead to weight gain since you are eating more than you normally would.

9. Skin and Hair Problems

Severe stress can cause skin rashes and often take the form of hives which are raised red colored spots. Although most people associate hives with an allergic reaction, they can also result from an emotional trigger like stress.

Long term stress can also lead to hair loss and in some cases it may be permanent.

10. Gastrointestinal Issues

Stress can interfere with your digestive tract and cause inflammation. Chronic stress can exacerbate disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).3

11. Depression

Constantly feeling stressed and anxious isn’t good for your mental well being. Over time it can make you feel helpless and unable to deal with events in your life and as a result it can contribute to becoming depressed.

12. Decreased Immune Function

Stress can also decrease the effectiveness of your immune system through the action of cortisol keeping the body in “fight or flight” mode.4

What You Can Do

There are a variety of lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your stress and anxiety today including remaining positive, self reflection, breathing exercises, walking and more.

As mentioned above, cortisol is a stress hormone that can negatively impact your health if you remain stressed out for too long.

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