Stress is inevitable in life. Everyone experiences it all the time. It’s the body’s native response to obstacles and threatening situations. Sometimes, it can also indicate motivation. These responses can keep you alert and adaptable to circumstances. However, it can become prolonged, which increases the rate of exposure to mental health challenges. When stress causes disturbance to your daily life, it becomes chronic and spells danger. It can have a profound impact on your mental health.
According to studies conducted, stress makes up for about 75% of all doctor’s vist in the United States, affecting their subsequent work performance and mental well-being. If untreated, the person will risk exposure to more mental health challenges. Plus, their general quality of life will be reduced. This blog explains the link between stress and mental health and how stress impacts mental well-being.
Stress is the body’s natural reaction to external demands and responsibilities. It triggers a wide range of physical, emotional, and psychological responses, such as the increased release of cortisol and heartbeat. Although these responses can be positive, like helping us address threats and dangerous situations, they can take a toll on our well-being if experienced consistently and long-lasting.
These long-lasting responses can cause physical symptoms and emotional strain and disrupt our cognitive abilities. They can maximize the risk of anxiety and depression, cause emotional burnout, tension, headaches, and muscle pains, and impair concentration. Experiencing long-term stress without effective management can have a more profound effect, which may require extensive care.
The Relationship Between Stress and Mental Health: How Stress Impacts Mental Well-being
An excellent way to answer, “How can stress impact mental well-being?” is to understand the relationship between stress and mental health. Stress and mental health are interwoven, but the connection is complicated and bidirectional. Stress can worsen depression, sleep, and anxiety. On the other hand, those with an existing mental health problem may be prone to stress.
For stress to occur, the body must perceive a stressor. The stressor triggers the secretion of serotonin and adrenaline, quickly accompanied by the stress hormone (cortisol). The release of these hormones affects certain brain areas responsible for emotions and memory.
However, heightened levels of cortisol and these hormones can wear you down mentally over time. Medical experts reveal that individuals with chronic stress experience some changes in the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. Over time, mental health disorders develop as a result of these changes. Chronic stress potentially impairs cognitive functioning and decision-making, causes behavioral changes, affects mood, and reduces libido. Understanding the effects of chronic stress can help find coping and stress management strategies.
Many health conditions arise from chronic or prolonged stress as a contributing factor. For example, stress can trigger anxiety disorders and bipolar. To others, stress can exacerbate the condition. For example, people with PTSD might have heightened stress levels, further complicating the disorder. Identifying these links is fundamental to early intervention and treatment.
Reducing Stress Impact on Mental Health
Though stress can be challenging to manage, many things are within your power to minimize the severity. You can learn effective management strategies to reduce the impact on your mental health. Mindfulness, yoga, and regular exercises can help you handle stress more efficiently. Research reveals that 20 minutes of outdoor activity can lower stress levels.
Also, deep breathing techniques, self-care, adequate sleep, and a balanced diet can help. Sometimes, avoiding multitasking and prioritizing tasks can help you overcome feeling overwhelmed, which also helps to cope with stress. Consult a professional counselor or therapist when the above mentioned solutions prove ineffective. They can provide valuable insight on how to deal with your prolonged stress.
Regarding resilience, it’s essential to reinforce the mind and body to curb the effect of chronic stress on mental well-being. You can strengthen resilience by joining a healthy support network and building social connections. By reinforcing resilience, you can handle life’s stressors and thrive even in challenging situations.
Satori Health Can Help You Reduce the Impact of Stress on Mental Health
The effect of chronic stress on mental well-being can be profound. Prolonged stress impacts mental well-being, exacerbating mental health disorders and causing physical health problems. Acknowledging the relationship between stress and mental health is vital to identifying ways to cope with stress effectively.
Satori Health can offer you the professional support and guidance needed to mitigate chronic stress on your well-being. We provide the resources and tools to help you maintain your mental well-being, even in adverse situations. Call us today on the numbers to learn how we can help you deal with chronic stress.