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Why Stress Can Hurt Our Health

Updated on February 16, 2015

Stress, simply put, is the body’s response to high level of pressure; be it caused by pleasant or unpleasant experiences in one’s life. When we feel that there is too much and we cannot cope with all the pressure, we describe ourselves as ‘stressed’.

We all have stressful circumstances going on around us in our everyday lives, a hectic lifestyle, and demands in the workplace, a family or personal crisis, a job promotion, moving to a new house, etc. However, it’s the negative stress that takes a toll on our lives. When we let what’s happening around overpower us that causes us to feel stressed.

So what about it, you may ask. Studies have shown our health is very much affected when we feel stressed. Our bodies release unhealthy chemicals into the blood that cause our immune system to weaken which manifest in various physical and emotional health conditions.

Do you feel stressed and have headaches, neck and back aches, stomach upset, high blood pressure or tense muscles? Then, your body could already be bearing the brunt of the overload that you are experiencing. The same is true when you have sleeping difficulties or feel burned out without an obvious valid reason to feel so, among many other problems that may come out.

When we are stressed, we also tend to feel depressed, restless, helpless, angry, insecure, anxious, or tense. Others have more pronounced emotions such as becoming forgetful, gets easily irritated and is impatient.

It all depends on how we perceive a situation and the resources we have to cope with it. What one person perceives as stressful may not be that for another. When we assess the situation to be beyond our coping capability, it becomes very stressful to us.

We have different levels and ways of coping with stress. But turning to alcohol drinking or abusive drug use; becoming a workaholic or not get anything done, means you are not coping with stress effectively.

There are, actually, many healthy ways to handle stress. More popular methods of stress management are self-help, medication or alternative therapy. You can go see a counselor or psychiatrist for personal development or therapy sessions. Medications may also be prescribed to help you manage your symptoms.

Reading self-help books to learn healthier coping strategies is a good start. Positive self-talk is also a big help into turning your negative thoughts into positive. Doing this helps you relax and control stress. Keep a list of simple things you enjoy that you can easily engage in as a short breather, when you’re having a tough day. Exercising, getting enough sleep and eating a well-balanced diet are time-tested techniques that can also make you feel better overall.

If you find difficulty coping with stress in your life, I recommend EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping. EFT is a powerful alternative treatment that quickly reduces, and usually, permanently removes, emotional blocks that prevent you from having a healthy mind and body. Many studies have shown that EFT effectively addresses root causes of stress triggers.

EFT can easily be done alone or together with an EFT practitioner. It is done by tapping with your own fingers on acupuncture points while thinking of, and not speaking out loud, the particular problem bothering you, and voicing positive affirmations.

Check out which method works best for you!


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    • profile image

      Sara Bern 

      3 years ago

      Cool that you are interested, Denise!

      APA, American Psychololgy Assosiation has approved of EFT as an evidence baseed practice for a number of ailments, primarily emotional.

      some doctors have started to introduce it in their practice, but to many it is an unknown method. In UK, some of the primary care have started to use EFT. I have had many clients coming from the regular health care, doctors and nurses are equally amazed.

      See more on my EFT page: Under the tab Research and info, you see what APA says about EFT.

      From Dr Church I got these data recently about EFT usage impact on various issues:

      Pain: Average reduction -68%

      Depression: Average reduction -74%

      Anxiety: Average reduction -42%

      Phobias: Average reduction -68%

      PTSD: Average reduction -51%

      Cravings (e.g. for Food, Chocolate, Alcohol, Cigarettes): Average reduction -83%

      Cortisol: Average reduction -24%

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This EFT sounds interesting. What type of doctor does this kind of thing? Is it considered an alternative health practice or do regular doctors do this? Could you include a website that explains it in your response?

    • sarabern profile imageAUTHOR

      Sara Bern 

      3 years ago from Sweden, Stockholm

      Hi DreamerMeg. Yes, moderate amounts of stress can be good for us. When we feel in control and get a sense of accomplishment despite the pressure, then it's good stress. It becomes a positive force that can motivate us to do better in our tasks and even boosts memory. Good stress stimulates us and it is not something that we need to eliminate from our lives.

      It is when we have too much stress over a prolonged period of time, and when we cannot cope with it efficiently, that it becomes detrimental.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Some level of stress is important. If we have NO stress at all, that is just as stressful. But that's not a problem most people face.


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