Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness

The relationship between stress and health


We all know someone who has been diagnosed with a chronic or immune disease, we all know someone who got sick after going through a hard time, in fact you may had gone through this a couple of times.

If you´ve been following me on social media and reading some of the posts you may know by now that for me, stress plays a huge role on maintaining optimal health. It´s been said that many of the visits to the doctor are caused by stress and we can agree with that.

We´re living very stressful times, must of us live with high levels of chronic stress and think this is how we´re supposed to live because that´s what we´ve seen our entire lives. We see our parents, uncles, aunts, etc; struggling financially worrying about how are they going to make it until the next pay check, how are they going to pay the bills, how are they going to buy some stuff that´s really needed. We see them depressed, anxious and worried because they know they can lose their job at any time, they complain about their boss and some coworkers. When we start school, high school or college we also start experiencing some stress, if there´s a class or teacher we don´t like we get anxious and going to class every day makes the entire day, week and month a terrible experience, if we´re bullied things get worse. And to make it all worse, the teachers and parents don´t seem to care.

If we add to this that most of us spend long hours in traffic to get to school or our job and back home and we know that if we don´t arrive on time they are going to discount the day from the next pay check or maybe we will lose the exam the levels of stress increase.

We spend most of our day worrying, anxious, with stress and this leads to diseases. It´s not normal to live with high levels of chronic stress, we get to a point where our body can´t handle all that stress and it starts to give up, this is when we start noticing that there´s something going wrong with our health, we start feeling bad and we start paying attention to the symptoms. When we get to this point things have been going wrong for a long time.

When we are stressed our body turns off some systems and functions in our body to make sure we can stay safe, it takes all the energy  and focus to make sure we are aware of everything going on and that we can fight or run to protect ourselves, but during this time all those systems and functions that are turn off make it easier for us to get sick, our body is not able to fight viruses, it´s like if some defense mechanisms are not working. This is why we get sick after we´ve gone through very tough situations.

We do need some stress, but we need it for short periods of time but when it´s for too long then our body keeps trying to maintain all the energy and focus in that awareness state and ready to run even when we´re sitting on the couch and not being chased by a tiger and for all this long time our body is not working efficiently. The systems that are supposed to protect us from viruses and toxins are not working.

Some experts have related stress as one of the causes of cancer, and even when stress may not be the one causing it directly it do has a negative impact on our body making it easier for the disease to advance more rapidly and this happens not only with cancer, because all systems and hormones on our body and not working in harmony. When the hormones and systems of our body get out of balance that´s when the problems begin and the more time we maintain this imbalance the more problems it will cause.

This is why making sure that you have a strategy or tool you can follow for a couple of minutes at every moment you need it, meditation and breathing are great tools you can use to lower stress, meditating for a couple of minutes in the morning and at night helps you clear your mind and get into a calm and relaxed state. When you´re in a stressful situation breathing exercises are great to help you lower stress and remain calm in that moment.

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