Everybody knows stress is bad, if for no other reason, because it is subjectively unpleasant.
No one wants to feel stressed out. It’s one of the least pleasant feelings we can experience.
However, we somehow find ourselves in a society that celebrates stress.
People brag about their extremely brief nights of sleep, their exceptionally overwhelming workloads, and their general feelings of exhaustion.
We’ve somehow gotten to a point where we associate success with insane levels of stress.
But the reality is, stress isn’t helping you attain success or live a better life. In fact, stress is actively harming your mental health, your physical health, and your ability to get the most out of your work.
Don’t believe us? Here are three major issues stress is causing in your life.
Stress Slows Your Productivity
People tend to associate stress with better work and more productivity, but this isn’t the case.
Stress actually causes you to be less productive.
For one, stress leaves you feeling exhausted. This exhaustion makes doing everything from brushing your teeth to working your job much harder than it would be otherwise.
As a result, it takes you far longer to get things done. You wind up losing out on productivity by being overly stressed.
Additionally, stress leaves you with racing thoughts. You wind up trying to juggle so many various responsibilities that you can’t focus.
Not only does this further reduce your productivity, but it also keeps you from bringing your best to your work.
Stress Causes Depression
While many people associate stress with anxiety, stress can also quickly lead to depression.
When you’re overly stressed out, you wind up placing serious demands on your nervous system. You’re almost always in an adrenaline-fueled state as your body tries to handle the demands you place on it.
Over time, this depletes you. You can’t stay in fight or flight mode indefinitely.
When you get too deep into a stress state, you eventually lose your motivation and excitement. You end up feeling depressed because you don’t have any energy to engage with things the things that bring you joy.
Stress Contributes to Heart Disease
The toll you place on your nervous system when you’re stressed isn’t just exhausting. It can also directly harm your physical well-being.
When you’re stressed, your heart rate increases to pump more blood to your limbs. Over time, this can lead to heart disease, as the constant stimulation can exhaust your heart and exacerbate any preexisting issues you may have.
This can lead to heart attacks down the road. In this sense, stress is literally taking years of your life.
How to Reduce Stress
As you can see, keeping your stress levels in check is crucial.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to maintain a healthier work-life balance. Say no to things when there’s too much on your plate, and when you get home, let yourself relax.
Also make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep helps reduce the amount of stress hormones circulating in your body.
And if you need more help managing your stress, check out these stress management tips.