How does stress effect your body?

How Does Stress Affect Your Body?

How does stress affect your body?

Does stress affect your body? Over the past decade, being in the health and fitness industry has motivated me to dig deeper into what God says about our health and taking care of our body.

You may have heard that we should treat our body like a temple. If the Holy Spirit is living within us, and this is the one body that God has given us, then we should honor God and make sure that we’re at our best.

That way we will have the stamina and energy to fulfill what He’s called us to do.

If we are called to be at our best, it may seem obvious that we should eat well, rest enough, and move our bodies often.

Have you guys ever considered how stress affects your body?

Does stress effect your body?

Do the effects of stress on your body hold you back?

We’re only on this earth once; we only get one chance, this is it. We’re like a vapor in the wind.

Are you unintentionally shortening the amount of time that you’re here?

Now don’t get me wrong, the stress response is not always bad. When you are in an emergency situation, your central nervous system immediately activates a fight or flight response .

Your heart beats faster, your circulation improves, you become more alert, your senses heighten. Your liver even activates glucose to flood your bloodstream, giving you a jolt of energy.

The outcome making you feel as though you have supernatural powers; you suddenly find that you have more strength and endurance to get through whatever emergency situation you might be in.

So there is an obvious reason why our body has this physiological reaction to stress.

How does chronic stress affect your body?

The problems begin when we live in chronic stress, when our body is experiencing that emergency response day in and day out.

Because physiologically speaking, your body doesn’t know the difference between a bear trying to eat you and a now imminent work deadline that has been procrastinated.

That’s our focus today, I want to bring attention to what all of those (seemingly harmless) unnecessary stresses can do to your body.

So what are the effects of prolonged stress exposure? Here is a quick list:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Heartburn
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid-Breathing
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Increased Risk of Heart Attack
  • High Blood Sugar (Remember, I told you about your liver pumping out glucose.)
  • Heart Palpitations
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Stomachaches
  • Indigestion
  • Tense Muscles
  • Aches and Pains

Now, I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly sound like the description of peak performance to me. Living a life of chronic stress can literally shorten your life.

Stress does affect the body. It can be detrimental to your life and what God wants you to do.

Does stress effect the body?

God is very clear about how we should care for ourselves. Here are several verses that speak directly to that:

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.” 3 John 1:2

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22

“Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24

There is so much repetition in the Bible about what is going to create peace in our lives and what is going to generate stress, agony or discouragement.

How has stress affected my body?

There are so many negative effects of stress and I have personally experienced several of them: heart palpitations, adult acne, stomach issues, insomnia, even developing depression at one point.

I had to walk through a tough season in my life, so I couldn’t necessarily avoid those hard things. But now, on the other side of that storm, having gotten out of what felt like a pit, I can see how there were things that I was holding onto.

I was trying to control everything and God was telling me to release my hands, because so much of it really is not that big of a deal

We are working with some professionals to accomplish some big goals this year with the kids, and one day during a family therapy time the therapist told me to just let the little things go.

How does stress effect your body?

Like if it’s just annoying, you don’t really have to address it. Just let annoying things be annoying things, you don’t have to micromanage everything.

And I thought, you know what, that’s fine. I don’t have to stress out about everything, I don’t have to have this unrealistic expectation of perfection. For example, yesterday, my boys decided that they were going to become entrepreneurs.

They have set up a table with homemade signs and have been finding old toys that they are trying to sell. So they are out shouting at the top of their lungs about a yard sale.

I have been out there trying monitor it, but also trying to give them the freedom to be creative and do their thing in a safe way. I’m an introvert and that’s a little uncomfortable for me, that’s a little outside of my comfort zone.

But my kids don’t know that and I want to keep it that way. Instead of letting it get to me, I am just letting it be.

That’s a small example of why you just have to let go of it. Don’t be stressed out about it, don’t let it ruin your day.

You have to take a deep breath and keep the main thing in focus and not get so wound up about things that don’t matter.

Things like pettiness, annoying things, or dirty laundry and dishes, they don’t matter that much and they just aren’t worth the stress.

For the past several weeks we have been talking about avoiding stress, choosing joy, and being mindful of how that affects our testimony. But for today specifically, if you want a healthier life, if you want to get rid of these ailments that are being caused by stress, the Bible is where you can find peace.

Let go of that unnecessary stress, its bad for your health and for your body. I have felt the repercussions of stress on my body and it’s just not worth it.

Can we prevent it? I don’t know. But we can train our bodies to not choose stress. We can learn to not choose to be wound up by unnecessary things. We can make it a point to choose more joy, choose the slow option, take the rush out of life. Choose to trust. Trust God with everything.

That includes our finances, our position, our future, our goals, our bandwidth.

Lately I have been praying that God will increase my capacity, because I feel like the tasks He has laid out before me are too much for me to do with excellence.

So if there is something that He wants to take off the table, then let it be. But if not, then increase my capacity because I want to do everything with excellence. And not by my standard, but by His standard.

Sometimes God is not trying to call me to be on the A-team; sometimes God is like, “Laura, you are on the bench, I just need for you to serve people and love people.” And that’s ok.

I hope that this was helpful, I hope that this was a reminder to focus on what matters. Do not generate more health problems in your life because you are in constant fight or flight.

If you don’t know how to get better, talk to someone, maybe even a professional. Humble yourself, seek help, admit that you are not ok, that’s the first step. You have to be willing to admit that you are not ok.

One of my biggest regrets, as a mother, was not seeking professional help sooner, because I was in denial that I was in a bad place.

Don’t let that be your story.

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