Many people believe that stress only affects your mental health. Since it’s a mental state, it surely must only change your other mental states. However, that’s not true. As we’ve known for years now, your mental health and physical health are closely tied to one another.
What changes in one can affect the other directly, and stress can have a significant impact on your physical health, particularly when it comes to your immune system. Stress comes with a lot of adverse physical effects, and it can even contribute to compromising your immune system.
One of the worst effects that it has is reducing the number of white blood cells in your body overall. When you get stressed out, your body produces some hormones more rapidly, and some of the hormones released by stress can impair the production of white blood cells. This means that when an infection does start to occur, your body is poorly equipped to deal with it, and you have a lower chance of fighting it off quickly. Stress can also lead to many diseases on its own, particularly heart problems.
If you’re stressed out constantly over a long period of time, you’ll have raised blood pressure for awhile, which can cause many complications and is very serious. By decreasing your heart health, you end up being more prone to things like heart disease, or strokes which can easily be fatal.
There are also a number of digestive problems that can come as a result of stress. This will come as a surprise to some people, as you really wouldn’t expect your digestive tract to be affected by something mental like stress, but it does. Stress can cause your digestive tract to not perform its job properly, and in many cases can lead to stomach ulcers, which can be quite painful, and can leave you open to other illnesses.
In order to reduce the risk of you getting sick, you can’t just focus on your physical health. While your physical health is very important, your mental health also plays a role. Practice a variety of stress relieving techniques and keep yourself feeling good mentally, because all of the vitamins and proper dieting in the world can be undone if you’re constantly under stress. The only way to truly cover your immune system on all bases is to ensure that you’re healthy physically and emotionally.
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