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Stress: The Insidious Bad Habit

By Stepy Kamei

When it comes to living a truly healthy lifestyle, it's all about starting up good habits and getting rid of the bad ones. This doesn't have to be as overwhelming as it seems. Still, many people find it difficult to begin planning a healthier everyday routine. However, if trying to live a healthier lifestyle is causing you to stress out, you've already started going back in your progress! That's because stress is actually detrimental to a person's overall health and wellness. In fact, studies have shown that higher levels of stress and anxiety in the body can actually have measurable and problematic negative impacts on a person's physical well-being. Read on to learn more about why stress is so bad for you -- and what you can be doing to treat it, and even prevent it, so you can get back to living a healthier lifestyle.

How Does Stress Impact the Body?

If you think stress and anxiety is all in your head, you need to think again. If you're having trouble understanding why your stress can actually harm your body, take a moment to think about the ways in which your body reacts to feelings of stress. You may clench your teeth or your fists. Your muscles probably tense up, especially in your shoulders. Your stomach may even start to hurt. These are all very real physical symptoms brought about by feelings of anxiety. It shouldn't be surprising then that this can be damaging to your physical health.

Physical Ailments Associated With Stress

Unfortunately, stress can impact many aspects of your body. Studies have shown that there is a definite link between rates of stress and increased likelihood of developing conditions such as headaches, digestive issues, fatigue, poor sleep, weight gain, and even heart disease.

Stress Is a Bad Habit You Can Leave Behind

If you're ready to tackle stress, it can help to think of it as a bad habit that needs to be cut loose from your life. It's tempting, and even easy, to let your thoughts run wild and panic at the slightest hint of a stressful situation. If you come up with a few helpful coping mechanisms, you can get through stressful situations in a much healthier way.

Sometimes all it takes is the most simple of tasks to leave stress behind. You can go for a short walk outside to clear your head and calm your mind before returning to an anxiety-inducing task. Or, you can take a few minutes to practice a simple guided meditation. Many people also find relief by having a creative outlet. So, consider getting a sketchbook, picking up an instrument, or just writing down your thoughts in order to dissipate stress.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mukilteo, Wash. 

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