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Stress Less this New Year

January is a time to reflect on the changes we want to make in the upcoming year. One resolution anyone can benefit from would be making a goal to stress less. Stress can affect many aspects of physical and mental health, whether you realize it or not. Common symptoms of stress include:

Hair Loss
It’s normal for strands of hair to fall out over time and get replaced by new ones. When you’re under physical or emotional stress, the shedding of hair can speed up to the point where half to three-quarters of your hair can fall out.

Forgetfulness
We all have our moments of not being able to find our car keys. Research shows that the more stress we are under, the more often these mental lapses happen. Take a step back and consider whether any stress in your life may be playing a role in memory loss.

Dental Health
During the day and even while sleeping, people under stress may clench or grind their teeth. This action can wear down and damage teeth, causing joint problems leading to severe jaw and neck pain.

Skin Problems
One of the effects of stress is skin that’s more sensitive to irritants. Stress can worsen pre-existing conditions including rosacea, psoriasis and acne, as well as dehydrate the skin, permitting allergens, bacteria and pollutants to irritate it.

Substance Abuse
For individuals struggling with alcohol or drugs, stress can disrupt efforts to remain substance-free. Even for people who have abstained for a long time, stress can play a significant role in contributing to a relapse.

Sexual Problems
The effects of stress can extend to the bedroom. Cortisol is one of the hormones produced by stress. If elevated levels of Cortisol are being produced for a prolonged period of time, they suppress our sexual desire.

Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Your monthly flow is showing up early, late or not at all. When stressed,
your brain sends out signals that can alter or disrupt ovulation.

Inability to Concentrate
Being under pressure can affect how well our brains work. The good news? A month after the stressful period is over, your mental skills should return to normal.

Reduced Immunity
Excessive stress and anxiety can lead to an increased chance of getting sick. Keep daily stress under control as much as possible to offset the effects of past stress and encourage good health in the present.

Insomnia
While insomnia can stem from a variety of sources, one to consider is stress. Stress can cause a number of sleep-related issues including trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and poor-quality sleep.

Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Stress relief can lead to improvements in your overall well-being. Try to get relief through regular exercise, enjoyable hobbies and spending time with loved ones. Take control of your symptoms and ring in the New Year with less stress.