Why is stress management important:
Why is stress management important? If you’re not taking action to reduce stress, you could be harming your body.
Stress causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, lowers your immune system’s ability to fight off infections, and can even increase your susceptibility to chronic conditions, including cancer. To find out more about the benefits of stress reduction, keep reading below.
1. Decrease in blood pressure
Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious health problem affecting over 100 million Americans. One component of hypertension is excessive arterial stress, where your heart needs to work harder to pump blood through your circulatory system.
Cortisol, a stress hormone that rises during stressful situations, can also cause blood pressure to increase. However, becoming more mindful of your thoughts can help lower your stress levels, which will lower cortisol and lower your blood pressure.
Stress reduction can help lower blood pressure by improving cardiac output and lowering levels of norepinephrine, a stress hormone. With better control over heart rate and blood pressure, you’ll feel less stressed and experience fewer risks associated with hypertension.
2. Improves digestion
Stress can sometimes lead to indigestion and other digestion issues. This is because when stressed, your body goes into a fight-or-flight mode. This causes a deviation of blood and energy supply from your digestive system.
Moreover, your gut and brain are closely related, and anything that affects the brain affects the gut and vice versa. Stress has been associated with stomach ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Relaxation techniques have been shown to improve digestive function, which could positively affect your health.
3. Less muscle tension
Research has shown that stress and muscle tension are closely related. A recent study suggests that people who experience more muscle tension may also feel greater stress levels. Muscle tension can make you prone to injury and pain, and wreak havoc on your sleep quality. When you’re tense, it’s often difficult to turn off your brains at night—this creates an overall sense of anxiety in addition to insomnia or even nightmares.
4. Less back pain
When you’re stressed, your back is more likely to hurt. In one study, researchers found that people with high-stress levels had a 56 percent higher risk of back pain than their relaxed counterparts. It’s not clear why stress has such an impact on your lower back, but researchers have noted links between psychological distress and abnormal spinal function.
Besides, other studies have shown that your muscles can tense up when you’re stressed out and cause even more pressure on your spine. Meditation and other methods of stress reduction can allow you to let go of negative thoughts and relax, preventing back pain from being exacerbated.
5. Better sleep
Research has shown that stress reduction can help you get a better night’s sleep. That’s because chronic stress can make it hard to fall asleep, and when you do get shut-eye, it may not be restful. As a result, your body could be fatigued during the day, which could mean more work for you and less work for your body to repair itself. Ultimately, less rest means more tension and anxiety—and potentially poor performance at work or school.
So, to relieve some stress from your life and improve your health in general, consider taking time each day to meditate (even if just 10 minutes), take a walk outside with no cell phone nearby, or simply reflect on what you’re grateful for. The trick is to find whatever works best for you.
6. More energy during the day
Stress has a way of draining us as we rush from one thing to another. It’s also been linked to several health problems and even early death in some cases. While stress cannot always be avoided, there are ways to manage it and reduce its impact on your life. If you want more energy during your day, consider these stress-reduction tips.
- Take breaks throughout your day to do something relaxing
- Eat well
- Don’t smoke
- Try mindful meditation
- Get enough sleep.
7. Improves memory
We all know what it’s like to be so busy that we forget things or even lose our car keys. Recent research shows that stress can negatively impact memory and other cognitive functions in healthy adults as well as in people with Alzheimer’s. By learning techniques for stress reduction, you can significantly improve your mental clarity and ability to recall information at will. In addition, reduced stress leads to improved focus and concentration, which helps you complete daily tasks more quickly and efficiently.
8. Supports weight loss
When you’re stressed, your body may produce higher levels of cortisol. This hormone can cause you to crave unhealthy food and gain weight around your midsection. A study published in Psychological Science found that when people practiced stress reduction techniques (such as meditation, and breathing exercises), they showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels. These findings suggest that reducing stress may help reduce belly fat and improve overall health.
9. Helps with anxiety and depression
When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your body gets flooded with hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which trigger all kinds of fight-or-flight reactions. This is great for escaping an actual danger, but left unchecked; they can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression. In one study published in the Clinical Psychology Review, researchers found that meditation helped curb stress-induced mood disorders by reducing cortisol levels. Plus, a 2015 study found that individuals who practiced mindful meditation experienced decreased anxiety and depression compared to a control group.
Final thoughts on the benefits of stress management:
Stress can take a toll on your health, both mentally and physically. It’s essential to not only identify stressors in your life but also reduce the amount of stress you experience overall so that you can live healthier and happier.
Some benefits to expect include low blood pressure, improved digestive health, improved memory, weight loss, improved symptoms of anxiety and depression, better sleep, improved memory, and increased energy levels during the day.
Some effective ways to ease stress and promote these benefits include meditation, conscious thinking, taking a walk in nature as well as engaging in breathing exercises.
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