Stress isn’t just occasional for a lot of people. When it strikes often, it can have a risk of becoming chronic stress. It’s not just an unpleasant mental state, either. It involves hormonal and physical changes that can have rippling effects across your entire life. Here, we’re going to look at the ways stress can severely impact a man.
Let’s start from the outwards going in. Yes, even aspects of your appearance can be drastically affected by stress. For one, many sufferers will also have an inkling that zits can be caused by stress. This makes saunas and steam rooms fight not only stress but one of its more unfortunate effects at the same time. Stress also has an effect on hair, causing more breakages and hair-loss. It can even cause some of the worst conditions regarding a person’s hair, including alopecia and areata. This usually applies to the more extreme cases of stress.
Changes to your diet
How you eat and how your body deals with food is also liable to undergo some major changes in a stressed body. The stress hormone, cortisol, has some useful functions. One of the less useful ones is the amount of cravings it can give to stressed people. Hence why stress eating is such a prevalent term. But it also makes your body retain more fat. This has to do with the fact that your body senses danger and goes into something of a ‘survival mode’. Meaning it tells itself that it requires more energy to survive.
Stress doesn’t only mental ripples on your love-life. Certainly, you can become a lot more irritable and less active if stress is weighing heavily on you. But even if you want to indulge, it can put some pretty major roadblocks in your way. Stress is one of the leading mental causes of erectile dysfunction, for one. It’s a good idea to always try treat the causes at the root, but there are plenty of options for erectile dysfunction treatment online as well. Just in case you want that boost to keep you going while you deal with the underlying issues.
In the night
Your ability to perform isn’t the only night-time activity that can be disrupted by stress. Hyperarousal is another common concern. No, this doesn’t have anything to do with the last point, but with sleep. Sleep and stress are very much linked. A good sleeping pattern is one of the strongest tools for lessening the production of cortisol and fighting stress. But chronic stress is also one of the most common mental causes of insomnia. One of the ways to fight insomnia is to set yourself a bedtime and waking time regardless. This schedule can establish a body clock that can convince your body to go to sleep.
Fight or flight
Stress causes cortisol and adrenaline to pump. This is a primary factor in what many call the ‘fight or flight’ response. It’s part of human’s natural makeup to have these hormones pumped through them when they’re in danger. However, stress can cause this response to turn on even in situations that aren’t as dangerous. Worrying about a job review coming up or how you handle debt should not be a reason, for instance. This response can even lead to panic attacks and the development of anxiety as a by-product.
Does it ever seem like people who are stressed also seem to be suffering physical stress as well? Back pain is one of the more common physical effects and have a very real cause. Stress causes the muscles to have a tense state instead of their natural relaxed position. This can lead to back pain. One of the ways you can consider fighting it is by trying to relax your posture. If you’re at work, use ergonomic chairs that support your back. This can, in turn, help your back relax and leave it less at risk of pain.
The same tension can also have an effect on your head. Particularly, it can make you more prone to headaches and make those headaches worse. Migraines are particularly severe headaches. They can even be debilitating and bring with them nausea and dizziness. They have many different triggers, including heat, hunger and dehydration. The biggest mental cause of migraines is stress. Migraines can strike not only during stressful moments but even after them. The next time you have a migraine, look at whether you’re feeling stressed or have just come down from a stressful situation. You might have found your cause.
Headaches and migraines aren’t the only effect stress can have on your head. A certain amount of tension can be good for giving you focus and drive. However, serious stress has the opposite effect. It can make you feel less motivated to do anything and make you too high strung to make effective decisions. One of the most worrying long-term effects is that stress can seriously affect your memory. Cortisol can cause short-term memory lapses, particularly as we grow older. Just one more reason it’s important to take relaxing moments to keep the brain engaged. Socialising, brain training and reading are all good tools for doing so.
The heart of the matter
One of the less surprising effects, but an important one, is the risk to your heart. Through your blood pressure and heart rate, you can be put at a lot more risk. Heart disease and heart attacks often have stress playing a factor behind them. It’s important to tackle stress, but also other elements of heart health. Inactivity, a poor diet and smoking are all habits that should be cut out. Otherwise, stress may be putting your whole life at risk.
Dealing with stress involves living as healthy a lifestyle you can. Eat well, exercise and get a good night’s sleep. If you’re worried that’s not applicable to you or that you’re suffering chronic stress, you need to seek help. Too much of your life is in jeopardy not to.