• Stay Healthy by Learning to Relax

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    It often seems that there are not enough hours in a day to get everything done. Projects at work or in school, or keeping home and hearth in order can take an unnecessary toll and cause stress.

    Experts at Berkley have found that some stress can be beneficial. According to Daniela Kaufer, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California in Berkeley, some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioral and cognitive performance. In a study she conducted with UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby she found that acute stress – short-lived and not chronic – primes the brain for improved performance. “Intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,” she explains.

    Chronic or prolonged stress, on the other hand, can cause a host of health problems. Sometimes, the stress can be so much a part of daily life that the person does not even know that his bodily functions are already being affected. Here are some of the symptoms of chronic stress that can raise red flags:

    • Low energy

    • Headaches

    • Stomach problems including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea

    • Aches, pains, and tense muscles

    • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat

    • Insomnia

    • Frequent colds and other respiratory infections

    • Loss of sexual desire

    • Menstrual problems in women

    • Nervousness and shaking

    • Tinnitus or ringing in the ear

    • Hands and feet that are cold or sweaty

    • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing

    • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

    The first step to controlling stress is to know its symptoms. It may be a cycle that is difficult to detect. However, as most people are so used to being stressed, they often don’t know how stressful their life is until they reach the breaking point.

    When left unchecked, chronic stress can lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. It can also cause cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack, and stroke.

    Stress eating can be a factor for obesity or extreme weight loss. This can likewise lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. It can also manifest in the hair and skin, with acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss

    Experts advise de-stressing as a way to avoid all these health problems and to help ensure that the body is always at top performance. There are some easy steps to relieve stress, such as getting physically active, to pump up endorphin levels and other neural chemicals to facilitate a feeling of wellbeing. Eating a balanced diet also helps, because eating the right food can lift the mood.

    Meditation exercises and conditioning the mind to stop worrying in order to get enough sleep is another good way to combat stress. The summer season also calls for a vacation, where one can leave all the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience something new.

    Healthway Medical understands the link between a balanced lifestyle and good health. Its medical professionals are committed to offering holistic health services which also includes stress management. If you feel that you are getting sick because of stress, consult your doctor to discuss the symptoms and check-up to see if your health might be at risk. To find out more about Healthway Medical, call the Customer Care Hotline (02) 751 4929 or visit the Healthway Medical website at www.healthway.com.ph

    About Healthway Medical

    As the most trusted and preferred network of mall-based clinics in the Philippines, Healthway Medical has revolutionized the way healthcare is being provided to its patients for nearly two decades. The company offers unparalleled customer-centric experience on top of optimum primary and multidisciplinary care from its reputable and experienced doctors, allowing its seven clinics at the Alabang Town Center, Shangri-La Plaza, Market! Market!, Festival Mall, 8 Adriatico Manila, SM The Block and Greenbelt 5 to earn a remarkable standing in the country in terms of preventive healthcare.

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