7 Reasons to Reduce Stress
We all hear a lot about the importance of reducing stress in our lives. But do we really know why?
Stress is a normal part of human experience, and how we perceive stress makes a huge difference. Researchers know that the ways we encounter, interpret, and respond to stress have both short-term and long-term consequences for our health and well-being.
This is a good thing, because it means that the potential negative outcomes of stress are somewhat under our control.
7 Reasons to Reduce Stress
Understanding some of these negative outcomes is important, if only to motivate you to reduce stress and relax more. Over the past few decades, research has revealed a number of potential outcomes of stress.
Here are 7 important reasons to reduce stress today:
1. Immune Functioning – First and foremost, researchers are pretty clear of the impact of stress on your immune system. Higher levels of stress lead to increased cortisol, a hormone that is released to prepare your body’s defenses. Over time, high levels of cortisol can wear on your body, especially your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to sickness and disease.
2. Memory – Stress also appears to interfere with memory, both short-term and long-term. Studies show that when you’re stressed, you can’t retain information as effectively. Chronic stress has even been linked to dementia in old age.
3. Aging – Given the link to memory, it’s not surprising that stress has been shown to accelerate the aging process. In particular, stress seems to speed up cellular aging, limiting the lifespan of individual cells (which can only replicate so many times). This results in visible signs of aging over time.
4. Drug Sensitivity – If you’re on medication of any kind, you need to think more about the stress in your life. Recent research has demonstrated changes in the uptake of various drugs and medications due to stress. This can not only mess up why you’re on the drug in the first place but also wreak havoc on your hormones and affect your sleep.
5. Depression – Daily stress has horrible outcomes for psychological functioning. In particular, stress leads to higher levels of anxiety, anger, and depression on a daily basis. Get your stress under control, and you’ll be happier for it.
6. Energy – If high levels of stress are leading to depression, it’s not difficult to imagine that stress might also affect your energy. And the research has supported this, showing that people who react more to stress or cope ineffectively are more fatigued and have more sleep problems.
7. Weight Gain – The last potential outcome of stress I want to touch on is weight gain. If you’re having trouble losing weight, stress may be part of the problem. Clinical studies have shown that stress leads to higher levels of belly fat in particular. And belly fat is one of the biggest predictors of heart disease!
Easy Ways to Reduce Stress
Although the effects of stress are far-reaching, there are some simple steps you can take to handle stress better and reduce its impact.
First, exercise regularly. Exercise and fitness have major calming effects and can help you cool off after a stressful day. I also recommend supplementing daily with Twinlab Stress B-Complex, as B vitamins are known for playing a critical role in stress reduction. If you’re looking for more complete vitamin and mineral support, try Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Powder – it’s packed full of stress-reducing ingredients to help you manage your day.
For more stress reduction tips, check out my article on Stress and Anxiety Relief.
Have any questions or feedback about these 7 Reasons to Reduce Stress? Please leave a comment below…