Stress Takes a Serious Toll

By Melissa Williams

Stress is harmful for your health, but did you know that long-term periods of stress can cause everything from weight gain to heart problems? Here are a few health issues associated with stress, and what you can do about it:

  1. Weakened immunity.
    As soon as the stress lets up, you suddenly find yourself with a cold or the flu. Not much of a surprise. Stress weakens the body, including the immune system, making you more susceptible to everything little germ floating in the air. Worse, when you're stressed it is more likely that simple little cold turns into something much less manageable, like bronchitis or pneumonia.

    ** Take a wellness herbal tonic during stressful times and be sure to add more darky leafy greens and vitamin C to your daily diet.

  2. Inflammation.
    Inflammation has been on the minds of many doctors over the last decade and recent research shows that constant stress causes the body to have low-level inflammation. This inflammation can be attributed to heart disease, arthritis, asthma, and even cancer.

    ** Try to keep inflammation in check by keeping your diet low in sugars, which can increase inflammation. Take your fish pills!

  3. Wrinkles!!
    Yes, chronic stress can cause the body to lose moisture. Stress also tends to cause us to make faces that enhance Crows' Feet!

    ** Check in during the day and notice what kind of face you're presenting to the world. Try a smile and a little under eye crème when you're stressed.

  4. Weight gain.
    Lack of sleep and stress go hand-in-hand in increasing your odds of weight gain. Whether that's because of a bad diet or something more, stress isn't good for your waist line.

    ** Choose healthy foods. When you know you'll be working late, pack some extra healthy options into your work bag, including some carrots and hummus, tuna, string cheese, or a piece of fruit. Try to avoid salty takeout which will only make your body work harder to process what you've eaten.

  5. Sexuality & Fertility issues.
    Being stressed does nothing for your libido. And stress can also be a problem for women trying to conceive.

    ** Take a date night and have a chat fest. Get whatever is on your chest, off, and spend the rest of the evening enjoying each other's company.
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