Modern society seems to expect an individual to plow through long workdays, poor sleep, imperfect health, constant online presence and 24-hour communicability, as well as relationships, kids and social obligations. How can our minds and bodies survive this recipe on a long-term basis, without suffering?
Why do we feel compelled, as modern citizens of globalized Western civilization, to carry on, ignoring the wear and tear we are causing our bodies? Are we living up to our families’ expectations? Do we feel that his lifestyle will make us more attractive to potential partners?
Could we perhaps achieve a better way of life and state of mind, and still get the things we want, by facing our weaknesses, slowing down and changing our bad habits?
The end result, unfortunately, of ignoring our health and pushing our bodies to the brink, will be deteriorated health.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic explain: stress on the human body causes adrenaline to be released – masking the bodily “pain” involved – and cortisol, a hormone, to increase sugar levels in the bloodstream and slow down nonessential bodily functions (digestive and reproductive systems, for example). In the end, the body’s healthy, regular functioning is disrupted until further notice. Stress has already been proven to contribute to an array of medical conditions.
Mental health is also affected by chronic stress. There are a few challenges when it comes to detecting the symptoms involved, which can often be vague and varied.
Adrenal fatigue is one of the conditions associated with chronic overexertion. The body’s adrenal glands control its response to stress, cushioning the effects of difficult conditions on bodily systems. When stress continues indefinitely and the adrenal system is tired, the immune system collapses, the brain has a difficult time regulating moods, and weight increases because of carbohydrate and salt cravings.
Inflammation of organ tissue is a natural response to injury or infection in the human body. Exaggerated levels of stress can also induce inflammation on a low level, throughout the body. So while this condition is not acute, its delicacy is its greatest weapon, because it is hard to notice and diagnose until bigger problems arise. Over time, this condition, can contribute to all sorts of diseases, including cancer and arthritis.
Anyone whose body is worn out by ongoing daily pressure should start changing the way they live. Do not wait until a frightening diagnosis – prevention is the best cure. Start taking small steps to reduce the stress on your body and mind: lessen your workload, eat better, practice therapeutic meditation, or see a specialist.