The Effects of Stress on Our Health

Long-term or chronic stress can harm our mental and physical health.  When we are experiencing stress, the body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which if they persist at high levels can lead to adverse reactions including suppression of the digestive system and immune systems, elevation of blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and disruption in the processes of the brain that control mood, perception, and cognition.

Over time, these negative changes in our body may increase the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and other health problems.  Furthermore, continued stress makes it more difficult to recover from these conditions.

Reducing or managing stress levels by learning to cope healthily can greatly improve your health and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Here are a few stress management techniques you can try:

  • Learn to identify stressors or triggers, and reduce or eliminate them
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, deep breathing exercises, or meditation
  • Get the recommended amount of sleep
  • Practice good time management
  • Avoid harmful ways to cope with stress such as binge eating, drinking excessively, using illicit drugs, or smoking tobacco
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Connect with others

Practicing stress-reduction techniques is not a one-size-fits-all approach. If high levels of stress persist and you continue to feel overwhelmed, you may need additional support from a trained professional. A licensed therapist or mental health counselor can evaluate your mental and emotional health, and suggest a plan of treatment that can help you.

To schedule an appointment with a licensed mental health provider at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5575

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.