Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness

chronic stress


The negative impact of chronic stress

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Stress is not always bad, it was created as a way to protect us and survive, we talked about stress some weeks ago so to keep it short and simple when you are in a very stressful situation you may feel your muscles tense, and your heartbeat increases. Stress releases cortisol in the body, some people know cortisol as the stress hormone. When you are under stress your body prioritize safety so it shots down the immune system to conserve energy, blood pressure raises, insulin resistance increases, the digestive and immune system stop working, increase inflammation. When you are in a stressful situation your body uses all the energy it has to keep you safe.

All this is good in short term but when this becomes chronic it leads to severe health problems, physical and mental. The huge problem is that we live under stress every single day. From everyday traffic, to our teachers and classmates or boss and coworkers to doing stuff you don´t like your stress levels are high so your body is not interested on keeping you healthy, it´s interested on survival.

Chronic insulin resistance can lead to diabetes, problems with the digestive system lead to gut issues that are the cause of other bigger problems including your brain, increased and chronic inflammation increase the risk of chronic diseases, high blood pressure leads to heart diseases. Some of these responses can also have an impact on your brain and can lead to serious problems like Parkinson and Alzheimer.

So many health experts are talking about stress and how a huge percentage of doctor’s visits are caused by stress. Chronic stress is causing a lot of health issues. We only need to think about how stress affects a lot of systems, hormones and functions in our body so it´s not hard to realize that it is the cause of health problems.

Since chronic stress has an impact on almost all the systems and hormones on our body, we need to consider that this creates a negative cycle. When you are highly stressed or worried it is harder for you to fall asleep and you tend to wake up at night, this poor sleep also affects negatively all the hormones and systems on your body leading to so many health problems and you can see it right the next day, you feel tired, you lack energy, you skip exercise, it is harder to eat healthy foods.

When this happen, your body is out of balance, it´s out of sync so it´s not working and functioning properly. This is why you need to focus on the 5 principles of fitness and it is why we´re sharing everything we know so that you can develop healthy habits so that your body is in sync and in balance.

Avoiding chronic is stress is key but, it´s actually impossible for must of us so what you can do is use tools that help you reduce it. Mindful breathing and mindful meditation are great tools and we talked about them last week. Living in the present, not believing every thought that comes to your mind are also strategies you can develop to help you keep stress low. Most of us work on a job doing something we hate, something we don´t like and this is one of the causes of chronic stress so doing something you love every single day lowers stress and improves your mood. It can be as simple as singing your favorite song, or dancing, reading one chapter of your favorite book, playing an instrument, practicing a sport, drawing, etc.

Also reducing the time you spend on social media and watching news will lower stress throughout the day, there´s no need to watch news all day long or to watch them in the morning, after and at night. With just one time and no more than 5 minutes is all you need to be up to date. With social media you don´t need to check it every 5 minutes, you are not losing anything so schedule a time to check it and you don´t need more than 30 minutes.

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Too much stress is unhealthy. Here´s why!


Chronic stress is bad, is making you sick. This type of life that is considered normal is the one causing high levels of chronic stress that is leading to health problems.

We´ve all been in stressful situations and some of us every day, as we saw in the last post there are different types of stress or different levels, many of us consider all types of stress bad but we actually need some of it.

We all know that stress is bad for us and it have a negative impact on our health but not all stress is bad, we need some of it to grow, to get stronger but we need to know how to identify when stress is good and when it´s bad so that we can respond accordingly.

Bad stress or the type of stress that can have a negative impact on your body and health comes from doing something you don´t like and spending time with people you don´t feel comfortable which is what happens to most of us on a daily basis whether we´re at school or job.

High levels of stress for long periods of time which is chronic stress is the type of stress that is bad for you. If you wake up late in the morning, you are stuck in traffic, you get late to school or your job, your classmates are only finding ways to make fun of you, your teachers don´t seem to care about how you feel, your boss don´t like your work, your coworkers spend most time blaming and criticizing so the entire day you are dealing with negativity it becomes cumulative this is why stress is so bad, you get to a point where your body can´t deal with that much stress for long periods of time and you get sick.

If you add to your daily stress that when you wake up every morning you get stressed by worrying about how your classmates are going to make fun of you, bully you or make you feel bad, how you teachers doesn´t care about how you feel, and how hard you worked on your project. Thinking of all the bills you need to pay, how many days you got left before the next paycheck, hope that your boss don´t fire you and you don´t even like what you do then it make sense that your health is not as best as it could.

The points I made in the last paragraphs are some of the situations that keep our levels of stress high for long periods of time and we´ve got use to them, that is bad stress that type of stress is the one that have a negative impact on our lives and our health.

You won´t be able to eliminate stress completely from your life but you need to learn how to cope with it, some steps you can take to reduce it are:

1. Make sure you wake up early each morning and have time to do everything you need to do before going to school or work. Set the alarm clock 10 or 15 minutes earlier, leave everything you need ready the night before,

2. Try to get out of the house earlier to avoid traffic, and if something happens you have some roof to avoid getting late,

3. Don´t take any comments from anyone personal,

4. When you feel stressed during the day take 5 or 6 deeps breathes and focus on inhale and exhale,

5. Take some minutes every night before going to bed to meditate and take all the negative stuff from your mind.

Actually the best step you can take to lower stress is avoid negative people and negative environments, avoid situations that you know are going to stress you but, for most of us this is impossible so the 5 steps will help. If you have the possibility to get another job where you can do what you love that´s great, the best thing that could happen to us is loving our job, loving what we do and working in a place where the relationship with our team and coworkers help us grow and learn.

Since we´re living very stressful lives and for some of us is hard to completely change our lives from one day to another we need to find ways to lower it and understand that not all stress is bad, many of us confuse pressure with stress and many of us want to avoid completely all types of stress and this is wrong, some stress is beneficial and pressure is not that bad if we don´t let it turn into stress.

In many cases how we react to a situation makes it worse, if we take everything too seriously and we always think about the worst case scenario we´re increase stress for not real reason so one thing you can do today is stop taking everything too seriously, there are things or stuff that happen on a daily basis that won´t have an impact on the long run, if someone cut you off on traffic and you get angry it will only increase your stress so instead of reacting just move on, that person may have an emergency or he/she is just being rude and that´s how he/she is so don´t let that action affect you.

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