Tis' the season...for stress! With travel, shopping, spending, and cold weather, it's the perfect time to feel stressed. Stress has many health implications and is very important to address. Some people have a hard time identifying stress, so here is a quick list to steer you in the right direction. If you experience one or more of these, there's a good chance you are living under stress.
1. PERSISTENT COLD
Stress diminishes your body's response to fight illness. Carnegie Mellon University reported participants who were stressed were twice as likely to get sick when exposed to a cold virus. Staying hydrated and keeping up on a healthy diet of vitamins and minerals is the best way to boost your immune system.
2. HIVES OUTBREAK
Your body releases a chemical called histamine when it is under chronic stress. Histamine is responsible for the outbreak of hives. Your skin can also become extra sensitive to things such as lotions, soaps, etc.
3. CLOUDY BRAIN
Stress also release the hormone cortisol. Cortisol can contribute to memory loss, depression, and anxiety. Lack of ability to concentrate is also a sign of stress. Practice meditation, or deep breathing exercises to calm yourself.
With stress and pressure comes tighter muscles. Muscles can pull on the head and joints of the neck causing tension headaches. Stretching and massage can help alleviate this.
Once again, cortisol is to blame. Cortisol promotes oil production from glands in the skin clogging pores. Topical creams can help clear out bacteria in the pores, while natural methods such as washing your face with green tea or pure aloe can also help.
6. HAIR LOSS
Stress makes your hair follicles stop functioning properly, and then months later the hairs fall out. Hair loss is a sign that you've been stressed for quite some time. Your body can actually start attacking the hair follicles. Be patient and as stress decreases the hair production should resume.
7. WEIGHT CHANGES
Again cortisol isn't doing us any favours here. Our metabolism shifts and doesn't breakdown fats, carbs, and proteins properly leading to weight loss or gain. Stress also forces us to over or under eat.