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Stress and health

Occasional stress is a part of every life, and can help you focus and take action. But chronic stress can lead to disease and disorder. Learn more about chronic stress, including ways to address it naturally.

by Andrew Weil, MD. University of Arizona, USA.

Chronic overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system is often the consequence of our reaction to daily challenges. The result is similar to chronic inflammation, in that stress can contribute to diseases and disorders including:

Cardiac arrhythmias
Hypertension
Immune suppression
Gastrointestinal ailments
Anxiety
Sleep disorders
Defensiveness
Isolation
Sexual dysfunction

Regular physical activity, such as a daily brisk walk, is undoubtedly the best way to help maintain balance of the nervous system and overall health. You also can help manage unhealthy stress with mind-body therapies such as breath work, meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, heart rate variability training and visualization. Yoga and tai chi, as well as bodywork such as massage can also help. Getting quality sleep is essential as well. Find a stress-relieving activity that works for you, and make it a priority to practice it regularly.

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