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The Impact of Stress on Your Body and How to Deal with It

The Impact of Stress on Your Body and How to Deal with It
December 29, 2023


According to a recent survey, 89% of India's population is suffering from stress. While the global average isn't much lower at 86%, what makes this problem in India worthy of our attention is the fact that 75% of people are unwilling to talk to professionals or seek help to cope with it. To understand why this is important, let's first look at what stress really is and how it affects our bodies.

What Is Stress?

‘Stress’ comes from the Latin word stringere, which literally means ‘to draw tight’. It’s defined as the physiological, psychological, and behavioural response of an individual when they perceive an imbalance between the demands placed on them and their ability to meet those demands. Over a period of time, this can lead to ill health.

The Effect

Different people react to stress in different ways. However, there are a few common effects that they may or may not notice when exposed to prolonged stress, such as:

1. Heart Problems

When feeling stressed, your body responds by increasing your heart rate and releasing a hormone called cortisol. Over time, this can lead to the weakening of your heart’s left ventricle, which can cause a disease called cardiomyopathy. This could multiply your chances of suffering from a heart attack, stroke, and hypertension.

2. Tension Headaches

The muscles in your body tense up when you are exposed to stress. If they stay tense for an extended period of time, it could lead to tension headaches and even migraines, which can make it difficult to function.

3. Breathing Issues

Stress makes you breathe faster and harder. This may lead to hyperventilation and even cause panic attacks. It may also trigger asthma symptoms.

4. Diabetes & Thyroid Issues

Your body reacts to stress by pumping adrenaline and cortisol into your blood stream. Your liver also starts producing more sugar to give your blood added energy. Sometimes, our bodies may be unable to reabsorb the extra sugar, and this could lead to type 2 diabetes. An overexposure to cortisol could also cause thyroid problems.

5. Infertility

It is believed that stress accounts for 30% of infertility. This is because constant stress can cause spasms in a woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus, and can even lead to erectile dysfunction in men.

Dealing with Stress

Every individual deals with stress in different ways. If you're looking for a few methods to help you cope with this issue on a daily basis, this guide will prove helpful.

1. Understand the Triggers

The first step of dealing with stress involves recognising the cause. This varies from one person to another. Some might find work heavily exhausting, while others might find it draining to spend time with large groups of people.

2. Find a Calming Strategy

Take a moment to reflect on what you usually do to calm yourself down. If it's an unhealthy indulgence like having a smoke or turning to alcohol, you might have to unlearn your strategy and try something new, like meditation.

3. Think About Self-Care

Most often, the stress we experience is due to an excessive amount of stimulus continuously bombarding our senses. We don't take enough time to stop, look after ourselves, and see if we're ready to deal with everything going on around us. It is important to schedule time for yourself every day to check in with how you are feeling.

4. Take Financial Measures

For a lot of people, the very real effects of stress can lead to hospital visits and even minor procedures. Given the growing costs of healthcare, being forced to pay for all the treatments could result in even more stress. With a good health insurance plan by your side, you don't have to worry about finding the finances to help you deal with stressful medical bills. Eventually, being insured can help minimise your long-term stress.

Of course, there are several events and activities that serve as a source of stress in our day-to-day lives. However, a visit to a doctor or a hospital should never be one of them. With a comprehensive healthcare plan, you can reduce the burden of this problem by making time for regular health check-ups, and rest assured knowing that your finances will not be affected even if something were to happen that lands you in the hospital. So, if you're ready to take a step towards managing your stress and sleeping easy at night, click here and get the insurance cover you need.



Related Articles:

ARN: ED/12/19/17049

Francis Rodrigues Francis Rodrigues

Francis Rodrigues has a decade long experience in the insurance sector, and as SVP, E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, HDFC Life, manages the online sales channel, as well as digital and performance marketing. He has had hands-on experience in setting up sales channels and functional teams from scratch over a career spanning 2 decades.

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Author Profile Written By:
Vishal Subharwal Vishal Subharwal

Vishal Subharwal heads the Strategy, Marketing, E-Commerce, Digital Business & Sustainability initiatives at HDFC Life. He is responsible for crafting and ensuring successful implementation of the overall organisation strategy.

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