How Anxiety Can Affect Health

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It’s common to think of health as a crap shoot. Certain ailments, like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer, occur because of their family’s history. What they fail to consider in are the psychological factors.

Stress and anxiety are real problems that people struggle with everyday. Roughly 75% to 95% of illnesses diagnosed by doctors are stress related. These stress related illnesses are reported by medical billing services to cost average Americans millions of dollars per year. Action needs to be taken now to reverse the negative effects it’s having on our health and wallets.

Overcoming stress and anxiety goes beyond smiling all the time and telling jokes. To understand how to beat stress, let’s focus on the major health areas it can affect.

Fat Build-up

What makes dieting and exercise effective is the person’s attitude. They set goals for themselves and fight off urges to quit their efforts. These urges are often linked to cortisol, a stress hormone linked to the growth of belly fat.

Cortisol goads this process by triggering the food receptors in your brain. Come up with healthier snacking alternatives or distract yourself by going for doing a physical activity.

Heart Health

People equate the human heart with a car engine for a reason. It keeps blood flowing and regulates your oxygen supply. The link between stress and heart disease is more than myth.

Exposure to chronic stress can increase the risk of heart attack, hypertension, or stroke. Ways to combat these problems are to increase your relaxation, limit caffeine and alcohol, and adopt a positive mindset.

Brain Function

It only makes sense that negative emotions could erode the quality of the human brain. How well we think and behave is highly dependent on the environment.

A study in 2016 uncovered how climate can effect brain function. The study followed two groups of students during a summer heat wave. Group A lived in a newer, air-conditioned dorm and Group B were housed in an older, non-air-conditioned dorm. B showed fared the worst on cognitive tests than A. The study suggests drinking six glasses of water per day to avoid overheating.

Hair Loss

Science may have proven stress induced gray hairs an old wives tale, but hair loss is another story.

Compulsive scalp picking and hair pulling are signs of a nervous disorder called trichotillomania. Come up with productive diversions away from your scalp. Listen to music or break out that fidget spinner.

The Common Cold

Everyone says the two constants in life are death and taxes, but the common cold could be the third. Colds and other illnesses are linked to a deficiency in Immunoglobulin A, an antibody produced by mucus glands to fight infections.

Wilkes University psychology professor, Carl Charnetski, researched how IgA is affected by mood. Charnetski argues IgA deficiencies can be tied to stressful, life altering events in a person’s life. Saliva tests of individuals who engage in pleasurable activities showed stronger immune systems than those who were stressed or depressed.

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