So in continuation of Why Stress Awareness we should talk about Chronic Stress. There are negative consequences on our bodies when we have chronic stress.
If stress is chronic, and our cortisol level remains elevated, it can cause a lot of negative health impacts.
Here are some health implications of stress and elevated cortisol level:
- Nutrient deficiencies due to decrease in nutrient absorption and increase in excretion of certain minerals
- Increased chances of cardiovascular disease by increasing LDL, triglycerides, high blood pressure and aggregation of blood platelet
- Reduced good gut flora, which can lower immunity and cause digestive issues
- Reduced metabolism and increased fat storage, leading to weight gain
- Decreased healing ability
- Increased oxidative stress which increases premature aging
You may be suffering from chronic stress if you notice the following:
- Digestive complaints such as sudden onset of cramps, diarrhea and nausea
- The feeling of suffocation and shortness of breath
- Rapid heart beat
- Physical weakness
- Behavior changes and challenges
- Unexplained anxiety, tears, inappropriate nervous laughter
- Inability to communicate and focus
- You may also use these measures to cover the feeling of burn out: use of stimulants such as coffee to "wake up", use of alcohol or sleeping pills to wind down, midnight snacking, overworking, oversleeping, or signs of depression.
- Many of these we don't recognize or associate with stress because they become chronic and not acute.
Who is masking their symptoms of chronic stress by being a frequent customer of Starbucks? I know that a go to for me is definetely coffee. I have to catch myself and remember to breathe. Sometimes you just really want to have that cup, but most of the time you are reaching for a "fix."
Try a quick breathing exercise, count to 10, have a big drink of water and then evaluate the need for the coffee. This is the same for chocolate, sweets, or any pick me up you go for.