Clients at Recovery Ranch in Tennessee sometimes ask, “Is stress affecting my health?” The answer depends on the type of stress and how your body reacts to it. Certain stressors, such as childhood trauma and PTSD may link directly to your substance use disorder. Other forms of stress can improve your health in small quantities.
Is Stress Affecting My Health?
Have you ever driven down an unknown road and have a semi-truck cut you off? That is a stressful situation. Adrenaline floods your body and you may scream a few expletives as cold sweat bathes your brow. Your body has gone into flight-or-fight mode against the perceived danger.
Here’s what happens inside your body:
- Heartbeat increases
- Breathing becomes fast and shallow
- Senses of vision and hearing become sharper
- Muscles tense up, ready to fight or run
Your body can survive and thrive on daily stress — but at some point, it takes a physical and psychological toll. If you are struggling with stress, seek help from a mental health treatment program.
Dangers of Constant Stress
Is stress affecting my health? The answer depends on how much stress you face and how often. If you cannot recover from one triggering event to another, your body and brain stay in a constant state of alert.
Constant stress can lead to the following symptoms:
- Digestive problems
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
Stress can also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as turning to drugs and alcohol as a crutch to escape a stressful situation. Fortunately, an effective substance abuse treatment program can teach you how to avoid triggers that make you want to drink or abuse drugs.
Factors that Lead to Chronic Stress
Is stress affecting my health on a day-to-day basis? Chronic stress lasts longer than four months and can dramatically impact your health and wellness.
Examples of chronic stress include the following:
- Natural disaster
- Ongoing illness
- Childhood trauma
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Caregiving for an ill family member
- Ongoing financial crisis
In our life skills training program, you learn to focus on the future and create a life plan that includes positive ways of dealing with stress.
Blame it On the Cortisol
Is stress affecting my health and increasing my weight? Cortisol is released when your body goes into fight or flight mode. Too much cortisol impacts not only your weight but your sleeping patterns too. Elevated cortisol at night may cause insomnia. Your body performs essential healing and repair functions at night, so losing sleep is detrimental to your health in numerous ways.
When you experience fight or flight mode, your body triggers cortisol, which signals cravings for carbohydrates to boost your energy reserves. Unfortunately, it also causes weight gain. The answer to the question once again is affirmative — stress impacts your health in many ways.
Link Between Stress and Addiction
Is stress affecting my health by triggering addiction? The more stress you experience, according to Psychology Today, the greater the chance of addiction.
Those who experience high levels of stress may give in more easily to cravings to smoke, overeat, drink alcohol, or abuse drugs. Our relapse prevention program teaches you how to cope with stress without reverting to self-destructive behavior.
Substance Abuse Treatment in Tennessee
During our rehab admissions process, we take the time to get to know your specific challenges. If you constantly feel stressed, we can suggest traditional and holistic therapy programs to boost your confidence in how to deal with frustration and stress on your own. Contact Recovery Ranch in Tennessee at 1.844.876.7680 to learn more about our services or to begin the enrollment process.