SANTIVIA BLOG

Chronic stress is a major contributor to disease

Definition of chronic stress

Chronic stress is a prolonged and constant feeling of stress that can negatively affect your health if it goes untreated. It can be caused by the everyday pressures of family and work or by traumatic situations.

Chronic stress comes from negative emotions  - fear, anger, bitterness, worry, anxiety, resentment, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, guilt, shame and insecurity.

The mind continuously dwells on these negative thoughts giving rise to chronic stress. 

How does chronic stress affect your body?

The stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are released.

Adrenaline immediately speeds up your heart rate, increases blood pressure and gives you a burst of energy to take flight.

Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, shuts down body functions which are considered non-essential to a “fight or flight” situation.

Hence digestion, reproduction, immune function and brain functions are dampened down. Instead, energy is directed to your muscles so that you can either fight or run away.

Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It upsets your digestive and reproductive systems, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, causes chronic inflammation and weight gain and speeds up the ageing process.

Stress weakens the immune system

The stress hormone, cortisol weakens the immune system by reducing the immune cell, lymphocytes.  A stressed person is more likely to succumb to infections. Lack of sleep and poor quality sleep often accompany stress, thus compounding immune dysfunction.

Opportunistic viruses in the body from previous infections, such as the herpes virus, can pop up when stressed and cold sores develop.

Chronic stress reduces the response to vaccination. With impending Covid-19 vaccinations, this can be an issue.

What are the signs and symptoms of chronic stress?

Stressed people are often nervous, anxious and depressed. Difficulty in concentration and disorganised thoughts, extreme irritability are often exhibited. Digestive disorders, changes in appetite, sleep disorders, frequent infections and illnesses are often the bane of chronic stress sufferers. 

How to help eliminate chronic stress from your life?

Sometimes you may need to seek medical help to treat chronic stress. But there is also a lot that you can do to reduce the stress in your life.

  1. Tune out negativity, for example, avoid listening to all the problems in the world on the news.
  2. Get away from negative people who upset your peace of mind.
  3. Spend your time with positive people who make you feel good about yourself and lift your spirits.
  4. Confront your stressors and list them with possible solutions. 
  5. Seek outside help to solve the problems causing your stress.
  6. Be mindful of your negative thoughts, such as unforgiveness and replace them with hopeful thoughts daily, until it becomes ingrained.
  7. Practise gratitude and compassion to others such that you focus on being a blessing to others, instead of not ruminating on your problems.
  8. Exercise regularly to increase endorphins which boost mood and reduce stress. Besides more strenuous exercise, yoga and tai chi are excellent calming choices.  
  9. Practise meditation and mindfulness rather than worrying about the future or getting stuck in the past.
  10. Spending time outdoors in nature improves feelings of wellbeing. 
  11. Listen to relaxing music.
  12. Indulge in a relaxing massage.
  13. Eat a healthy diet (stress affects your gut bacteria and can cause leaky gut).
  14. Get plenty of sleep.
  15. Have a good laugh by watching funny movies or hanging out with your most comic friends.
  16. Engage in deep breathing exercises when you feel anxiety overwhelm you.

Increase your serving of Santivia Immune when stressed

As chronic stress depresses your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illness, take additional steps to strengthen your immune system. Double the serving size of Santivia Immune to 2 capsules daily for adults. 

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