Stress is a common experience that everyone faces at some point in life; at least no one can say they haven’t faced stressful situations before. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including work pressures, financial problems, interpersonal relationships, health problems etc. Stress is a normal part of life, but when it prolongs, it can seriously affect your health in many ways, which include the following:

Cardiovascular Disease: Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. How? When you are stressed, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can raise your blood pressure. If this happens frequently, it can damage your arteries and lead to cardiovascular disease.

Digestive Problems: Stress can also affect the digestive system and the way your body absorbs the food you eat. How? It can cause acid reflux, stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that affect the functioning of your digestive system, leading to digestive problems like indigestion, constipation diarrhea etc.

Weakened Immune System: Chronic stress weakens the immune system, making it more susceptible to disease and infection. When stress is uncontrolled, the body releases certain hormones, which suppress your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections.

Mental Health Problems: Long-term stress can lead to a variety of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and burnout. When you’re stressed, your body releases hormones that affect your brain chemistry, leading to mood swings and psychological problems.

Skin Problems: Stress can cause skin problems like acne, hives, and psoriasis.

Weight Gain: Stress can cause weight gain by increasing cortisol levels and reducing the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates.

Reproductive Problems: Stress can interfere with the reproductive system, causing problems like irregular menstrual cycles and low libido.

Sleep Disorders: Stress can also affect sleep, leading to sleep disorders such as insomnia. Stress can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get a good night’s sleep, which can lead to sleep problems that add to the stress.


Effective stress management is important to avoid the risks of the above- mentioned conditions. Here are some helpful ways to reduce stress and improve your mental health.

Exercise: Regular exercise helps reduce stress by releasing endorphins, which improve mood. Movement also reduces muscle tension and promotes relaxation.

Meditation: Meditation and mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress by promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Take out at least 15minutes each day to relax and meditate.

Healthy Diet: A healthy, balanced diet can help reduce stress by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help reduce stress. This also helps in boosting the immune system.

Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important to reduce stress. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night and create a regular sleep routine to get restful sleep.

Social Support: Having a support system from family and friends can help reduce stress by providing emotional support and a sense of belonging.

Finally, the most important management for stress is identifying potential stressors and triggers, and making efforts to avoid them on time before they cause stress.


Contributed by NR. Modesta Obianuju Onwuha, RN, RM, RPHN, BSN.


To learn more, please click here: http://www.prompthomehealth.org


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