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How to Avoid Stress Related Illnesses?

Updated on November 29, 2014

Though stress is very common in every society, effective stress management is not so common among the people. Nobody seems to give much importance to take treatment for stress, as in the case of a physical disorder. When you are affected with some illness, you will immediately seek medical assistance and also you will get sympathy and support from the family members and friends. But at the same time, most of the people are not even willing to share their feelings when they are suffering from stress, so they do not get support or help from others for its management.

Suppression of stress feelings without sharing it to anybody will make matters worse and will badly affect the productive output of your daily activities. By suppression, stress will become chronic and it will lead to many other physical problems. Lack of knowledge about the negative effects of not managing stress, is a major problem in our society.

Several studies have conducted to learn about the relation between stress and various diseases. For a normal healthy person, chronic stress can cause serious health problems and the condition will become worse, if you already have some diseases earlier. Stress has a tendency to increase heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, gastrointestinal problems and depression.

What Causes Stress?

Business Man with Stress
Business Man with Stress | Source
Stress Increases Heart Problems
Stress Increases Heart Problems | Source

Common Stress Related Illnesses

You should have understood that when you are stressed, normal body health will deteriorate. Natural tendency of your body to fight against the disease will be decreased, resulting in the increase of various discomforts. Common stress related illnesses and their relation to stress are as follows:

  • Cardiac Problems: Stress can increase heart rate and blood circulation. It causes the release of cholesterol and triglycerides into the blood, making matters worse for heart patients. Acute stress can lead to serious heart problems including heart attack. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, which are common habits with the stressed people, are also indirectly affecting the heart health.
  • Overweight/Obesity: Stress boosts the level of cortisol hormone in the body, which increases the fat deposits around the abdomen. So stress is not helpful for those who are interested to keep their body weight in control.
  • Diabetes: Stress directly increases the glucose levels of type 2 diabetic patients. More consumption of alcohol and eating more foods that is commonly associated with the stressed people will increase the risk for diabetic patients.
  • Alzheimer’s disease: Stress will increase some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that progression of Alzheimer’s disease will be reduced for patients who are taking effective steps for stress relief.
  • Asthma: Asthma problem will be increased by stress. Some studies show that parent’s chronic stress can become an increased risk for the development of the asthma in their children. Smoking habit of the mother, which is common with stressed people, will develop asthmatic traits in the offspring during the pregnancy itself.
  • Gastrointestinal Problems: Stress may cause gastro esophageal reflux disease, bowel syndrome etc. Stress will not cause ulcers in stomach, but it will intensify the ulcers that you are already having.
  • Depression: Stress will become a direct cause for the development depression. If you have stress and not adopting any effective stress management techniques, you will have increased risk for the development of depression.

Stress Causes Headache
Stress Causes Headache | Source

Effective Stress Management Techniques

To manage your stress effectively, first of all you must identify the reason of your stress. The stress may be short-term in nature such as the emotional difficulties occurring at the time of facing an audience, participating in an interview etc. This type of stress will not last long and also not harmful to the body.

But long-term stress that is caused by some special situation or events such as suffering from a major disease, family conflicts/death in the family, problems in relation with your work etc. will become chronic and will lead to major physical problems.

Drafting the details of your problem into a paper by yourself will help you to understand about the problems and help you to measure the stress level. Stress management techniques should be initiated by the sufferer itself to get better results. Some activities that will help to get stress relief are given below:

Sharing will Reduce Stress
Sharing will Reduce Stress | Source

Stress Management Motivation

  • Acting out Method: It is a technique of sharing your feelings with others. Share your feelings with your family members or friends and that will help you to get some relaxation.
  • Body Relaxation: Practice breathing exercises and muscle relaxation exercises. Yoga and meditation are two useful methods to get peaceful mind. Body massaging is very much helpful to get body relaxation.
  • Cultivate a Hobby: If you do not have any hobby, practice some hobbies like gardening or learning music. Engaging in your favorite hobby will give calmness to your mind.
  • Be Active: Activities that are enjoyable to you will take away your stress considerably. Be an active participant in some social groups or be engaged in some creative works in which you can find enjoyment as per your talent.
  • Exercise: Doing regular exercise is one of the best ways to get relief from stress. Early morning walking or jogging will produce wonderful results in your stress management efforts.
  • Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is very important for the body to recover itself. Find all the possible ways to get enough peaceful sleep everyday, to get relief from stress.

Different States of Mind
Different States of Mind | Source

In the present modern life, the two major causes for stress are the strained relationships in the family and the difficulties in relation with the job. Family relations are become very delicate now and the present jobs are very demanding. For those who are not capable to cope with these situations successfully, this conflicting situation can lead to stress.

Time management is something you should give more importance in life. In this busy life, tension occurs mainly because of the mismanagement of time. Change your out look and manage your time efficiently for family and work. Usual complaint in our society is that time is not enough for anything; time is not enough to study if you are a student, not able to find enough time to spend with the family if you are a businessman, not getting enough time to complete the tasks if you are an employ etc. But you have to find time for all these responsibilities by doing better time management; otherwise this will become the cause for your stress.

Stress and Relaxation
Stress and Relaxation | Source

Tips for Immediate Stress Relief

Long term stress relief techniques will cure your stress problem. But during the treatment itself, you can get some immediate stress relief by practicing procedures given below:

  • Breathe deeply for a few minutes to get serenity to your mind.
  • Think about the positive support you are getting from family and friends to reduce your stress.
  • Concentrate on the present activity; do not get worried about the past problems or about the future obstacles. Giving full concentration on what you are doing at present (reading, playing or eating) will give more relaxation.

General Tips for Stress Relief

Stress management activities will surely find success by the sincere efforts by the patient. Gradual reduction of stress will give you peace of mind and also help you to escape from the various stress related illnesses. Make sufficient changes in your activities and in your way of thinking by focusing on the following points:

  • Be positive and think or look only for the good part of the people you are interacting or with the activities you are participating.
  • Your activities should be well-organized in advance to avoid confusion.
  • Be frank to share your grief with others and if required, get professional help.
  • When doing something, focus on the important point in that activity and set priorities.


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    • Tom Marshal profile image

      Tom Marshal 3 years ago from India

      Thank you Mr. Anderson, for sharing your experience.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Stress can certainly take its toll when it becomes cumulative in nature. I know for myself, I have issues with asthma, allergies, and anxiety when my stress levels get too high. I have to be real careful with what I take on to keep my stress at a manageable level. Deep breathing, exercise, and writing help me the most.