6 Negative Effects Of Chronic Stress on Your Health – And 4 Natural Ways to Help Yourself Relax

September 14, 2023

Unlike other forms of stress, such as acute or episodic, which are temporary and often related to specific events, chronic stress is constant and can persist over a long period.

This prolonged exposure to stress can negatively affect health. It can potentially lead to various physical ailments or mental disorders. However, by learning tried and tested natural relaxation techniques, sufferers of chronic stress can significantly improve their symptoms.

So, here are six negative effects of chronic stress and four natural ways to help you relax.

Negative Effects of Chronic Stress

1. The Impact on Mental Health

Chronic stress can take a severe toll on your mental wellbeing. If you continually find yourself in a state of stress, it can trigger anxiety and depression, disrupt sleep patterns, and even contribute to memory and attention issues.

2. The Effect on Your Cardiovascular System

Continual exposure to stress hormones can lead to an increased heart rate and high blood pressure. As a result, there is an escalation in the risk of developing conditions such as hypertension or heart disease. These are serious issues that should not be overlooked. 

3. Digestive System Complications

Chronic stress can be a genuine problem for the digestive system, too. It has been observed that chronic stress can aggravate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders. And, more subtly, it can contribute to unhealthy eating behaviors like overeating or poor nutrition choices. 

4. The Impact on the Immune System 

One lesser-known side effect of chronic stress is its potential negative impact on the immune system. Stress tends to suppress our immunity over time making us more vulnerable to infections and illnesses from viruses like the common cold and flu. It can also slow wound healing and can worsen symptoms of existing autoimmune diseases.

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5. The Negative Effects on the Respiratory System

Chronic stress can affect your respiratory system too, making it harder for you to breathe, especially if you already have a breathing problem like asthma or emphysema. In stressful situations, your body responds by quickening your breath. That might be fine for a short while, but when prolonged, it could exacerbate existing respiratory issues. 

6. Muscular System Complications

Chronic stress can take a toll on your muscular system as well. Your body’s response to stress often involves tensing up muscles. In a long-term context, under chronic stress conditions, the result might be regular body discomfort or even disorders like chronic back pain or tension headaches.

Natural Ways to Help Relaxation

Now you know some of the potential negative effects that chronic stress can have on your mental and physical health, you will want to take active steps to put more relaxation in your life.

Thankfully, there are many natural ways to help yourself relax, which could prevent the onset of chronic stress or help relieve the symptoms of chronic stress. Here are four you should consider.

1. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises can help to activate your body’s relaxation responses. In turn, that can lead to a reduced heart rate and lower blood pressure. All it takes is a few minutes of focused, slow inhale-exhale patterns to notice your stress decreasing. 

2. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that trains your mind to focus on the present moment without judgment. By concentrating on your senses and your breath, you can quiet the mind and ease stress symptoms. 

3. Take CBD 

Another powerful way to combat stress naturally is by trying cannabidiol, more widely known as CBD. It is a non-psychoactive compound extracted from the hemp plant that has been gaining traction for its soothing and calming properties.

High-quality cannabidiol products, like Hometown Hero CBD products, could help you to unwind and relax. By interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD potentially promotes a sense of calm and well-being to help you manage your stress levels more efficiently. 

4. Laugh! 

Laughter is often the best remedy. It can be a great way to combat chronic stress. Watching comedies or joking with friends could kick start the production of endorphins, which will help you feel happier and more at ease.

This content is part of the HWM Partnership.

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