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5 negative effects of stress on mental health

You have perhaps heard all about how bad stress is for your mind and body. We have discussed this in detail about what happens if body remains in chronic stress in our blog titled ‘What you need to know about cortisol- the stress hormone?’ Apart from physical symptoms chronic stress can also produce mood problems such as anxiety or sadness. It can even lead to behavioral problems such as outbursts of anger or overeating.

What you might not know is that stress can also have a serious impact on your brain. During stress, your brain goes through a series of reactions designed to mobilize and protect itself from potential threats. Sometimes stress can help sharpen the mind and improve the ability to remember details about what is happening.

Let’s take a closer look at 5 negative effects of stress on mental health.

  1. Depression/mood 

Sustained or chronic stress, in particular, leads to elevated hormones such as cortisol, the "stress hormone," (read more here) and reduced serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, which has been linked to depression. When these chemical messengers are working normally, they regulate biological processes like sleep, appetite, energy, and permit expression of normal moods and emotions.

When the stress response fails to shut off and reset after a difficult situation has passed, it can lead to depression in susceptible people.

  1. Anxiety disorders 

Being stressed out for a long period of time might increase anxiety, a new study shows. The study, published in Behavioral Neuroscience, lays some of the blame on stress hormones. The body naturally produces cortisol throughout the day, with levels spiking immediately after we wake up and gradually decreasing throughout the day. This added cortisol regulated by the HPA is the reason why you often feel hyper-alert during stressful situations, but this can cause you to “crash” once the stress subsides.( Read more here)

But if stress stays high instead of easing up, those hormones could cause anxiety.  

  1. Insomnia 

Stressful times and events can cause temporary insomnia. And major or long-lasting stress can lead to chronic insomnia. Tension in your body can make it difficult to sleep. While people often don't even realize when they're stressed about something, their bodies are feeling the stress, and are tensed up as a result.  

The Hypothalamic and Pituitary Axis (HPA) is directly linked to how you sleep. HPA activity shuts down when you first fall asleep, but the axis will commence hormone secretion during the final stages of your sleep cycle that align with circadian rhythms and help you wake up. But if stress stays high instead of easing up, those hormones could cause insomnia.

  1. Memory loss 

Stress can cause acute and chronic changes in certain brain areas which can cause long-term damage. Over-secretion of stress hormones most frequently impairs long-term delayed recall memory, but can enhance short-term, immediate recall memory. This improvement is particularly relative in emotional memory. 

  1. Lack of Concentration

There are many influencing factors that can shorten the attention span or even cancel it out completely. These include, for example, your mood, your physical constitution, your environment, your sleep quality and ultimately your diet. Stress also plays an essential role when it comes to one's own ability to concentrate. Chronic stress usually leads to inability to focus and concentrate. 

To avoid these negative effects of stress on mental health one should follow the relaxation techniques and other measures which help in balancing the cortisol levels.(Read more here)

Refine Naturals™ Stress product unique multiple ingredient formula helps fight stress and promotes relaxation. At Refine Naturals™, we realize that not all natural health supplements are created equal. We have concentrated our expertise in choosing quality and evidence based medicinal as well as non-medicinal ingredients. We keep our labels and marketing practices compliant to advertising standards, so as to never mislead consumers in their decision making.

At Refine Naturals™, we believe “You Deserve Better than FINE!”