The thing is, the body perceives emotional and physical stress essentially via the same pathways. So whether you are ruminating constantly over work or a relationship, the physiological insult is similar to a state of illness.
Increased heart rate, cold and clammy skin, goose bumps… but it also effects the gut and endocrine (hormonal) system. Ultimately this can cause the liver to become overwhelmed and have to look for alternative sources by which to excrete the byproducts of metabolism (which is the liver’s mainstay function). One such way this occurs is via the skin – increasing the activity of the sebaceous and sweat glands, utilising water and depleting tissue hydration, redistributing blood, as well as mobilising simple sugar from the body’s stores.
Essentially this hyperkinetic state is the perfect setting for Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that causes acne) to thrive!
Not just on the skin, but on the heart, liver, gut, kidneys and mind. Stress is a whole-of-body experience that when prolonged can have health-altering, detrimental effects. Look up takutsubo cardiomyopathy if you don’t believe me…
So if ever there was an excuse to take a moment, stop to breathe and appreciate the wonder of life, now is as good as ever and as you go forth and I climb down from my soap box, remember is the stress worth it? Will it be worth the insult to my health when I review it in 1 day, 1 week, 1 month? Some stresses and stressors are legitimately worth your energy, however I ask you to choose your stress, and choose very wisely. Do not just give in to an unconscious process, take a minute to analyse the initial reaction and make the decision as to whether to proceed with that state or put it down and take in the view.