Stress is a feeling most everyone is familiar with. While it may sometimes serve a helpful purpose, such as pushing us beyond preconceived physical and mental boundaries, it is most commonly associated with negative factors.
These include causes such as pressure or unhappiness at work, and other elements of life such as money, divorce, or the death of a loved one. If such stress can’t be managed properly and persists on a long-term basis, it can lead to more serious health problems—including the following seven.
1. Heart Problems
Although scientists have long suspected that stress contributes to an increased risk of heart attacks and heart disease, only recently has it become clear exactly how they are linked.
In a study out of Harvard Medical School, researchers discovered that in blood samples from people enduring high levels of stress there was “a surplus of disease-fighting white blood cells,” which has been found to cause hardening of the arteries. Additionally, WebMD says stress can “directly increase heart rate and blood flow, and causes the release of cholesterol and triglycerides into the bloodstream.”