Chronic stress can affect your overall physical health if left untreated.
Stress is not always a bad thing. In certain circumstances, stress can help you be more productive and meet important deadlines. In small amounts, stress can actually be a helpful tool to keep you on track, or motivate you to achieve something.
Stress becomes a problem however, when it is experienced over a prolonged amount of time, under chronic conditions.
Chronic stress can lead to all sorts of health problems including heart disease. Symptoms of chronic stress are:
The fight or flight response associated with chronic stress releases cortisol into your blood. Over time, an excess of cortisol can lead to health problems like high blood pressure, inflammation, reduced blood flow to the heart, and heart disease.
READ MORE: Understanding Stress: Acute Versus Chronic
If you suffer from chronic stress, you can try natural approaches, like regular exercise, regulated sleep schedules, meditation, therapy, and regular social activity. If that doesn’t work, consult your doctor and consider anti-anxiety medication. No matter how you decide to deal with it, chronic stress is something you should be proactive about so it doesn’t lead to worse problems down the line.