A certain amount of stress is certainly useful in that it can motivate you to perform. However, prolonged periods of stress, or too much of it, can have a variety of serious impacts on your health.  Although it may not cause the conditions we’ll talk about in this article, it will certainly make them worse.

Here are a few of the negative impacts severe and/or prolonged stress can have:

  • If you have a heart or lung condition, including high blood pressure, asthma, or heart disease, the excess levels of cortisol in your body (which is known as the ‘stress hormone’) can make those conditions markedly worse.
  • Stress can lead to hair loss, give you hives, make your skin itch, and if you have psoriasis, rosacea, or eczema, elevated levels of cortisol in your body will make all of those conditions worse.
  • Few areas of your body are more susceptible to the negative impacts of stress than your digestive tract. People who suffer from chronic stress are much more likely to suffer from gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation, and are more likely to develop more serious conditions like acid reflux, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and get ulcers.
  • In addition to that, because many people carry their tension in their neck and shoulders, chronic stress sufferers are much more likely to have migraines or tension headaches on a regular basis.

As you can see then, stress is no laughing matter.  It not only makes any existing conditions you may have worse, but it will wear you down over time. This results in weakening your immune system and making your more prone to illness and infection. That is double punishment because when you get sick, you’ll also have a harder time fighting it off.

The bottom line then, is that the more you can do to reduce or alleviate stress, the healthier and happier you’ll be.