How Chronic Stress Impacts Your Mind and Body

Any discussion about wellness has to start at stress management. Chronic stress is the root cause of many mental and physical health problems.

In a previous post I talked about my motivation for this blog. The purpose is to inspire men to become healthier in midlife. I share my experiences with fitness, diet, mental health, mindfulness and co-parenting. The goal of all these experiences is to reduce chronic stress.

Chronic stress changes your brain. It can affect its size, structure, and how it functions.

Stress begins with the Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal axis (HPA axis.) This axis is a series of interactions between endocrine glands in the brain and on the kidney. The following video explains the science behind this axis:

When your brain detects a stressful situation, your HPA axis is instantly activated and releases a hormone called cortisol. This primes your body for instant action. High levels of cortisol over long periods of time will wreak havoc on your brain. The following TED video does an excellent job of explaining this:

Chronic stress can also cause major damage to our body. The following gives us a look at what goes on inside our body when we are chronically stressed:

Managing stress is so important to our health. I have personally benefited from meditation, breathing techniques and physical activities.

Please share the healthy ways that you deal with stress!

6 thoughts

  1. Yes stress is a silent killer! Hard to ignore over time! Some of the ways I deal with stress are:
    – talk to my husband or friends and just get things off my chest
    – spend time at the gym even just to stretch, or go in the pool, etc
    – distract myself: baking, cooking, wander around the mall, just get out for a change of scenery!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone definitely has their own way of dealing with stress. Personally I use video games as a big de-stresser. It helps take my mind off of the realities of work, personal life and just trying to get by. I will also say that having conversations with my mom is also a big tool. We use each other as reminders to not let life get the best of you when the going gets tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. a lot of the time to deal with stress i just tell myself to take it all one step at a time and that ultimately, stress won’t do anything so try not to! Easier said then done though which is why I have the gym and my mom too!

    Like

  4. Great article. I use meditation or relaxation CDs. One I like is Sleep naturally. If I have too much going on in my head before bed, this is always good to calm that down to help with sleep.

    Like

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