Why Mental Health Is Important to Physical Health
The year 2020 has been a stressful year to say the least. Many of us have been confronted with battles we never expected, and the toll it has taken on our bodies has been unprecedented as well. The truth is that stress can cause both weight gain and weight loss, but it should never be used as a weight loss method because stress is hard on our bodies in many ways.
Stress itself is your body’s physical reaction to a harmful situation. Sometimes, the harmful situation can be in line with reality, and other times, it is simply our minds playing tricks on us. No matter whether our stress would be considered justified by an outsider, the impact on our bodies is the same. That is why it is so important to learn stress management techniques.
If you allow stress to escalate, it creates a “fight-or-flight” response, in which your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, blood pressure increases, and muscles tense up. It is not our intention to stress you out even more with this information. Rather, we believe it is important to be informed about the impact of stress on your body so you will be motivated to manage your stress levels. Managing stress levels will help you control weight regulation and other necessary bodily functions. These are some of the areas of your body that stress can impact:
- Muscles and joints
Stress can lead to pain and soreness in your muscles as well as painful spasms. For those with arthritis, it can cause flare-ups and fibromyalgia.
- Heart and lungs
Stress can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to increase, which can have a variety of negative consequences on your body. For example, the stress hormone cortisol can worsen the state of heart and lung conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and asthma.
If you have ever felt so stressed that you began to feel nauseous, you have experienced the effects of stress on your gut. The reason you felt this way is because stress affects digestion and it affects the nutrients your intestines are able to absorb. Your intestines have a tight barrier that works to protect your body from food-related bacteria. Stress can cause the intestinal barrier to weaken and make the gut prone to bacteria and sickness.
- Skin and hair
Even the best skin and hair products on the market cannot combat the impact that stress has on these areas of your body. People who suffer with skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis can experience flare-ups due to the effects of stress on the body.
- Immune system
This is one of the most noticeable impacts of stress on the body. When we are stressed, our immune system’s natural ability to fight antigens is impacted, making us more vulnerable to illness and infections.
- Weight regulation
Because of the effects that stress has on other bodily processes, stress can cause both weight loss and weight gain. This can make it more difficult for you to take control of your own weight loss journey. Stress affects the production of stress hormones and the GI system, which can cause changes in your appetite and metabolism.
For some people, these appetite changes will affect the stomach and digestive tract and cause them to lose their appetite. Other people might experience weight gain from an increase of stress because of the fact that the body releases cortisol during times of stress, which can increase feelings of hunger. If you already crave foods that are high in sugar and fat, extra stress can make you crave it even more, which can lead to weight gain as well.
For more weight loss tips and to learn how you can take control of your body’s weight regulation, call Soza Weight Loss at (504) 475-9817 or contact us online.