Stress is one of those things that tends to span across all age groups, all races, all professions, and all walks of life. No matter who you are, chances are you experience stress with a frequency that you wish were different. Given that it’s so common, you might be tempted to believe that it’s no big deal; just an unfortunate part of your daily existence. The truth is, however, that stress can have frightening and serious side effects if left unchecked. Below are some facts about stress that you might not know, as well as some ways to keep it from causing you some real problems.
YOU MAY NOT KNOW THAT:
- Stress can cause hair loss and/or a decrease in hair production. After experiencing a stressful situation, hair loss can last for up to three months!
- Females tend to process emotional stress more effectively. Because of this, males are more likely to experience stress-related maladies such as aggression, high blood pressure, or abuse of food, alcohol, or drugs.
- Stress can lead to early signs of aging, such as extra wrinkles or fine lines in your face, or excessive wear and damage to teeth caused by daytime or nighttime jaw clenching or grinding of teeth. (Bonus fact: stress can also bring you back to your teenage years, but not in a good way. Have ongoing stress and you might find yourself with a face full of teenage acne.)
- The stress hormone cortisol can lead to a greater amount of midsection fat, AND can cause individual fat cells to enlarge. YIKES!
So now that we’ve properly scared you (yes, possibly adding to your overall stress level), we have some good news. There are a few ways to help effectively manage your stress, and keep it from becoming a major health risk.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Come see us! It turns out that when you make and keep regular sessions with your trainer, you’re fighting stress and all of its nasty ramifications. Exercise boosts endorphins, can raise self-esteem, and can relax you.
- Take a breather. Even if you’re not able to quit your stressful job outright, you CAN make sure that you take full advantage of paid vacations, long weekends, and even lunch breaks. Working through lunch and opting to simply cash out your vacation time doesn’t make you a super hero, it just makes you tired, overworked, and possibly burnt out. Even a small break from the daily grind can help you to feel renewed passion, or at least tolerance, for your job.
- Fake it ‘til you make it. Although it might feel strange at first, try to seek out reasons to laugh and smile. When it comes to stress, people tend to hold emotions in the face. So simply by smiling and laughing you might relieve a little stress and tension.
Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, we wanted to take the opportunity to call attention to the dangers of untamed stress, and some ways to keep it in check. If you’re feeling especially tense, be sure to talk to your trainer about this, as he or she is sure to recommend a few exercises sure to make you sweaty, happy, and less stressed. As always, we’re here to help you to be your best, healthiest, and happiest.