Everyone experiences stress–the good and the bad.
Good stress looks like exercising our muscles or preparing for a test. Bad stress can come through the loss of a job, home, or loved one. Low doses of short-term stress are natural and effective. Excessive, negative stress can lead to weight gain, chronic illness, and fatigue.
What is causing stress?
The world is experiencing the aftereffects of COVID-19. People lost loved ones, jobs, and homes. Much of the stress people face today concerns health and financial insecurity. These stressors create fear and anxiety, leading to energy imbalances and nutritional deficiencies.  The long-term effects of excessive stress are still impacting people today.
What are the effects of stress?
A 2021 survey by The Harris Poll found that 42% of US adults reported an undesired weight gain average of 29 pounds.  People went to grocery stores less often and ordered delivery during the pandemic. Higher stress led to overeating, increased weight gain, and higher obesity rates.
Along with weight gain, stress is mostly to blame for fatigue. Feeling tired happens sometimes, but fatigue is more than feeling tired. It affects a person’s entire life. Getting enough sleep is hard to do while stressed. Without sleep, exhaustion sets in, lowering mental clarity and physical motivation.
Stress zaps a person’s motivation to have fun or exercise. A lack of motivation and movement is a recipe for diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. Stress-induced weight gain and fatigue can develop into serious illnesses.
How to stress less
Excessive stress negatively affects every physical and mental system in the body.  Managing stress is crucial to whole-body health. Ways to manage stress include:
● Emotional health: therapy, meditation, and relaxation
● Energy balance: vitamins and minerals
● Nutritional balance: a healthy balanced diet
● Physical health: exercise and participate in fun activities
● Relationships: set and maintain healthy boundaries
● Rest and recharge: get sound, restful sleep
Stress management significantly reduces weight gain, chronic illness, and fatigue. Less stress promotes a happier and healthier lifestyle. Stress less and have a healthy and happy life.
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