Stress has been shown to have negative impacts on health. Depression and emotional issues are a form of psychological stress, which can directly affect our bodies. Stress interferes with normal hormonal functions, but can also increase blood pressure, increase blood sugars, interfere with sleep and have many other detrimental effects. Chronic anxiety can lead to abnormal levels of cortisol and activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which work together to regulate our bodies’ response to stress.
Research has suggested that the blood vessels in the brain can be affected by either acute stress or by long-term, chronic levels of stress. People who have higher levels of anxiety also tend to have higher rates of smoking and do not exercise as much, so there are other contributing factors at play.
All in all, our lives tend to be stressful in today’s world! The most important thing we can do is to eat well, exercise, know our risk factors and be very proactive about our own personal health. It is also extremely important to understand yourself and your own life stressors and take steps to manage situations carefully before they can cause more serious problems.