11Does stress do me any harm? Yes. But not always. Let’s explain: stress can be seen as “normal” and even healthy is some situations. Some stress & nerves ahead of a job interview, for example, can keep us alert and on our toes, which is a good thing. Stress can stimulate and even drive us to do better, achieve more, etc. This is not all bad. The problem is that stress so often exceeds our coping capacity and becomes damaging, both physically and mentally. So for most of us, most of the time, stress is a very real problem. Stress can cause, or worsen:

  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Concentration ability
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches (tension headaches)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Abdominal fat storage (an important risk factor for diabetes)
  • Weakened immunity and more frequent illnesses
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Mood changes and depression
  • Accelerated ageing

So all in all, it is a very real problem and not something to take lightly. Lifestyle changes can help – and there are many good self-help approaches – but always consider seeking professional help if and when stress gets too much.