A little bit of stress is a normal part of life and most people encounter stress in their work, relationships, and other daily activities. A small amount of stress can actually be good to boost innovation and push us to improve, but large amounts of chronic stress can take a toll on your health. It has been found that chronic stress can lead to serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and depression.
How Does Stress Impact Health?When chronic stress is present, the body’s immune function is weakened. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation in April 2012 showed that stress indirectly promotes cancer because it weakens the anti-tumor defense of the immune system. Additionally, it has been found that certain stress hormones can have a direct impact on the growth of tumors. For example, adrenaline can support tumor growth and increase the likelihood that the tumor will spread. It is interesting to note the impact of stress on cancer, especially since stress levels tend to increase even more when a person has been diagnosed with cancer. Social support is associated with increased patient survival, likely because the social support is beneficial to reduce stress levels.
Reduce Stress Levels to Improve Your HealthThere is plenty of scientific evidence which shows how stress levels have a connection with the development of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have this statement on their website: “Intensive and prolonged stress can lead to a variety of short- and long-term negative health effects. It can disrupt early brain development and compromise functioning of the nervous and immune systems. In addition, childhood stress can lead to health problems later in life including alcoholism, depression, eating disorders, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.” It has also been found that stress might impact important processes that affect the development of cancer: alterations in cell growth and reproduction, and poor repair of damaged DNA. As you can see, it is necessary to control your stress levels if you want to reduce your risk of serious health problems. Chronic stress can be dangerous and potentially lead to cancer if the stress is left unchecked. Here are a few tips to help you reduce your stress levels:
- Spend time in the Word of God and maintain an active spiritual life
- Manage your calendar to avoid over-booking your schedule
- Exercise regularly, which stimulates stress-reducing hormones in the body
- Take time to relax and participate in an activity that you enjoy, such as listening to calming music, reading a book, or taking a warm bath
- Get outside and enjoy the sunshine for at least a few minutes each day