As much as you may try to ignore it, you cannot separate your wellness from your emotions. Every feeling you have affects some part of your body, and stress can wreak havoc on your physical health even if you’re doing everything else “right.”
The classic definition of stress is “any real or imagined threat, and your body’s response to it.” Celebrations and tragedies alike can cause a stress response in your body.
All of your feelings, positive or negative, create physiological changes. Your skin, heart rate, digestion, joints, muscle energy levels, the hair on your head, and countless cells and systems you don’t even know about change with every emotion.
Stress plays a major role in your immune system, and can impact your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance. It can even “break” your heart, and is increasingly being viewed as a cardiovascular risk marker.
Women are more vulnerable to feeling sadness and anxiety than men, according to research, and feel the pressures of stress more than their male peers, both at work and at home.
You cannot eliminate stress entirely, but you can work to provide your body with tools to compensate for the bioelectrical short-circuiting that can cause serious disruption in many of your body’s important systems.
By using techniques such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), you can reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life. Exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and meditation are also important “release valves” that can help you manage your stress.