|Stress is your brain's response to a stressor such as an environmental condition.|
It is also your body's way of reacting to a challenge.
There are some surprising places where stress likes to hide in your body. From your feet to your face and even your hair. Let's look at this list of where stress hides, then we'll talk about how to get the stress out.
In Your stomach. This is a very common storage area. According to physicians, stress hormones alter the way your body processes fat, causing you to gain weight...even if you don’t increase your eating. Stress can also give you indigestion due to an increase in stomach acid, plus you are at increased risk of heartburn and ulcers.
In Your brain. Feeling a little forgetful? A new study found that chronic stress floods your brain with the hormone named cortisol, which may trigger memory loss and depression.
In Your hair. Your hair follicles keep a record of cortisol levels in your body, much like trees keep a record of their growth in their rings. A strand of hair can grow for many years, researchers found that they can predict your risk of a heart attack by measuring the cortisol in your hair.
In Your neck. Stress can actually cause lasting physical harm and damage to the soft tissues and nerve endings in and around your neck and shoulders.
In Your body's overall health. The hormone cortisol, again can effect your health because it acts to suppress the body's immune system.
So, except for those rare instances when a true emergency arises, or you need to perform, your body's response to stress is damaging and counterproductive.
So then, how can we combat the negative effects of stress? By getting at least an hour of exercise daily may help. Meditation, which a study found can counteract the cellular damage caused by stress by releasing endorphins. But here's something. Try to work with your stress. Take on a new challenge – like a new activity or take a course to learn something new. A study found that people who took on a new challenge while moderately stressed generally did better than those who had no stress.
Realize that stress, long term, is bad for us. Short term, it can be just the stimulus we need to achieve great things. Everything happens for a reason, does it not?
More on management of stress.
[A few years ago Japanese scientists explained how listening to sad, depressing music can actually trigger positive emotions. They explained that sadness prompted by art is not the same kind of sadness that results from being directly involved in a tragic event. Indeed, the sadness prompted by art can actually feel quite nice.]