There are dozens of aspects of daily living that cause stress, whether it develops in your place of work or in the comfort of your own home. Stress may be unavoidable sometimes, but that doesn't mean we should let it run its course without trying to find ways to cope. When stress levels are sky high, your emotional health isn't the only thing that's impacted. Your entire well-being – mental, physical and social – is at risk of falling apart.
"Emotionally healthy people experience positive feelings about themselves and as a result, they experience healthy relationships and are able to keep life's problems in perspective," Rev. Malkmus wrote in his book 'The Hallelujah Diet: Experience the Optimal Health You Were Meant to Have.' "There is no doubt that living a happy and productive life is dependent upon good mental health."
Let's take a closer look at the importance of maintaining stress levels and how emotional imbalance impacts overall well-being.
How Does Stress Impact Physical Health?
Muscles tense up as a reaction to stress, and when they're stiff for a long time, your chance of developing chronic, stress-related musculoskeletal conditions increases, according to the American Physiological Association. Some common conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
Acute stress, or an emotional response brought on by an unexpected tragic event, can lead to hyperventilation or panic attacks – two issues that negatively impact the respiratory system.
Additionally, chronic stress can lead to heart conditions, as the rapid increase and decrease of blood pressure and heart rate can heighten one's risk for developing hypertension, heart attack or stroke.
How Does Stress Impact Mental Health?
Stress has an impact on your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Unfortunately, if stress levels become unmanageable, you may develop a mental disorder like depression or anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Sadly, "health experts" often turn to medications to alleviate mental conditions.
"Emotional depression is one of the most rapidly growing problems in our society today," Rev. Malkmus wrote. "And how is our society dealing with it? Doctors are treating it with drugs. My friends, those drugs only complicate the problem rather than solve it."
How Does Stress Impact Social Health?
Because high stress levels impact mental health, they can also affect social health. Feelings of depression may make you feel self-focused and forget the importance of social interaction. By spending time with the ones you love, you can receive social support when you need it most.
How Can You Reduce Stress-Related Symptoms?
To reduce stress levels, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommended getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and accepting the things you can't control. Additionally, following a healthy diet can alleviate stress.
As stated earlier, stress-related symptoms are often brought on by uncontrollable factors – but there's something you may have neglected to recognize. You know a wholesome diet promotes overall well-being, but have you ever considered how harmful a poor diet is for your stress levels?
"You see, the brain, which is a defenseless organ, is dependent on the quality of its fuel; it can't story energy, it survives only a few minutes without oxygen, and it quickly decays under unfavorable conditions," wrote Rev. Malkmus. "Removing all meat products, sugar, caffeine and dairy from the diet may be the key to lasting emotional balance."
To keep stress levels at bay, it's time to drop the SAD diet and follow the Hallelujah Diet. By fueling your body with a plant-based regimen, you'll find emotional balance and overall well-being.