Picture this scenario: You’re a working mother of two beautiful kids, your job and your boss can get very demanding. It’s Friday, the kids need help with their school projects, your boss gave you a lot of paperwork to complete over the weekend. And the cherry on the icing; you have to prepare a little meal for your husband’s bosses, they’re coming over for dinner.
You don’t exactly know where to start from but you know you have to do everything somehow. You started, but halfway through, your head starts to clang. Your palms are sweaty, your back aches and your muscles feel sore, you’re getting gassy, and your vision keeps getting blurry. That is stress, and it has started taking its toll on your body.
People believe stress cannot kill, or that it is not so dangerous. They’ll say “once I pop a couple of pills, it’ll get better.” News flash: stress does kill. Slowly, it’ll weaken your defense system, stimulate buried symptoms, and even help you spiral into mental issues, such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
So, the sooner you understand that stress is an integral part of life, the earlier you can determine how to reduce or cope with it. Stress left unchecked will affect the whole body, that includes your skin, nails, internal organs, and even your hair.
How Does Stress Affect The Skin?
Have you ever noticed that you seem to get a rash or acne breakouts more whenever you’re stressed? Here’s why: Stress initiates the response of chemical activities in the body that makes the skin more sensitive. When you’re stressed, the body tends to produce more hormones like cortisol. Which activates the production and secretion of oil. The more oil your sebaceous gland secretes, the more skin problems you have. So, stress can do the following to the skin:
- Aggravate Skin Problems: When you have a slight skin issue, stress can help you make it more pronounced. Stress can aggravate eczema, rosacea, and acne. It can cause a hive outbreak, skin rashes, and trigger fever blisters.
- Delayed Healing: Stress can slow skin healing down; cuts, blisters, and open sores. This happens when there’s an overproduction of adrenaline in the body.
- Change Skin Appearance: Thanks to stress, the skin can quickly become wrinkly and saggy. That’s why manual workers tend to age faster than their more relaxed age mates. Also, you will notice a bag under the eyes, unless you’re a fan of concealers.
Effects Of Stress On The Body
Stress gives both short and long term effects on the body. The short term effects include:
- Headaches: Stress produces migraines, tension headaches, and sinus headache.
- Bowel Dysfunction: Stress can cause an unstable stomach, which in turn leads to diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
- Muscle Cramps: You will feel a dull or sharp ache in the muscles and around your joints.
- Flu and Tinnitus: Stress can make one prone to frequent cold infections, and experience a constant ringing in the ear.
- Sweating and Xerostomia: Stress causes excess sweating and the onset of mouth dryness.
The long term effects include:
Cardiovascular Diseases: Due to the buildup of stress in the body, one can develop high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart diseases, and stroke.
- Sexual Dysfunction: Stress can lead to impotence, premature ejaculation, loss of sexual desire, and menstrual problems.
- Gastrointestinal Problems: Can cause gastritis, stomach ulcer, and GERD.
- Eating Disorders: One can become obese from this, develop bulimia and anorexia.
- Hair and Nail Problems: One can develop cuticle problems and permanent hair loss.
So, yes, stress is a part of life, but you have to know how to handle it. Prevent stress overload by resting more, exercising, and being surrounded by loved ones. If you or a close party is becoming too stressed, see a doctor. A doctor can recommend a suitable psychologist or counsellor to help you deal with it all.