What happens to your body when you live without stress for a week

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No matter how resilient we think we are, stress is something that can easily take its toll over time. From feeling under pressure at work to juggling too much at home, there are plenty of reasons why you might regularly struggle to switch off at the end of a long day.

In the UK, a HSE study found that more than half a million people suffer from work-related stress, while a Bupa Health Clinic assessment reports that 59% of people admit they feel stress or strain across the course of a month – equating to almost 28,000 people potentially putting their health at risk.


“Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat,” says Dr Kim Glass a GP from Bupa Health Clinics. “It causes physical changes that help us to face these challenges – but too much stress can be damaging to our health.

“It can negatively impact sleep, diet, heart health, mental health and more – all of which are essential to living a healthier, happier life.”

The complexities and demands of modern life mean that learning to let go is easier said than done – but for those who regularly live with stress, there are plenty of good reasons to address the situation.

Here, Dr Glass explains the full extent to which living stress-free for seven days can have a positive impact on your health, both physically and mentally.

1. Better sleep

Stress can contribute to insomnia (Thinkstock/PA)

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare on a Sunday evening. Tossing, turning and staring at the ceiling for hours, struggling to drift off peacefully because all you can think about is tomorrow’s to-do list.

“Most people who experience bouts of stress find either getting to sleep or sleeping through the night difficult,” says Dr Glass. “This is because stress causes hyperarousal, which can upset the balance between sleep and wakefulness.”

As a result, Glass explains that you’re often left feeling unrefreshed, grouchy and exhausted during the day. Not only is this unpleasant to deal with, it can be dangerous to your health over time, as consistent poor sleep can put you at risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

“If you’re heading to bed stress-free, you’re much more likely to fall into a deeper, uninterrupted sleep, meaning you will wake up refreshed, energised and ready to attack the day ahead,” says Glass.

2. Improved diet

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hiii halloween 🍂 not a favorite of mine so i won’t be doing too much, but wishing those who are a safe and happy day! i had the best time with my mama yesterday. we caught up over dinner (she brought food from my FAVORITE indian spot back home) and it just felt good to hug her ☺️ plus she brought me all the foods, including this veggie wrap for a quick lunch during the week. is there anything better than moms? actually? 🤷🏻‍♀️ ▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️ @deansmarket veggie wrap on a spinach tortilla . . #healthyfood #healthy #foodie #cleaneats #foodblogger #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #wellness #fitness #healthyinspo #healthylife #avocado #healthylunch #healthymeals #plantpower #thenewhealth #whatveganseat #veggies #veggiewrap #rainbow

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