Stress: More Harmful Than You Can Comprehend

Muslim Matters

  • 10Oct
  • Aysha Qamar




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Stress: More Harmful Than You Can Comprehend

by Noor H. Salem

Stress: something you can undoubtedly relate to in some shape or form. Whether it’s being an on-the-go soccer mom or the pile of tasks only growing on your desk at work- you face stress on different levels each and every day. Perhaps, that stress is coming from something more severe, like the death of a loved one, relationship loss, financial stress, or emotional stress.

While stress isn’t malevolent in and of itself, as it allows us to protect ourselves or to perform, just like almost anything eventually too much stress could start to get destructive.

Forthrightly, it may sound absurd to blame it, but it’s a given fact that stress is one of the root causes of the majority of diseases and health conditions you may experience. Whether it’s insomnia, weight gain, irritability, feeling fatigue, lack of sexual desire, unwarranted mood swings, excessive cravings, loss of appetite, or even more serious conditions such as heart disease- stress may be the very seed that sprouted this plant to begin with! While some turn to prescription drugs to relieve themselves of stress, they are not aware of the repercussions on their physical and mental health.

Chronic stress takes a major adverse effect on your body’s overall well-being, as a poor maintained diet, lack of exercise, and deficiency of proper and good quality sleep do. While your body is designed to handle stress, chronic and ongoing stress is when issues start rolling in. Being in a state of fear causes your stress levels to immediately increase, as our bodies carry the “fight or flight” instinct. In this given state, adrenaline, glucose, and the main stress hormone: cortisol, are sent into your bloodstream. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Your digestion system, the functioning of your immune system, your reproduction and growth system, are all suppressed and put on hold. This state is supposedly our body’s normal reaction during a “flight” mode. However, if you are under extreme stress daily and your body is not taking a break from releasing hormones to balance itself out and reach equilibrium, you will regrettably begin to deal with health issues as your body is constantly in that mode. The health repercussions may not show up overnight and they might not show up for a while. Chronic stress however, has been proven and linked to heart disease, weight gain and obesity, inflammation in the joints and other organs, digestive health issues, diabetes, mental health issues, and cancer. It’s disturbing to even imagine something that you may think is so irrelevant, can in fact be so detrimental to your health.


  • Affects your ability to concentrate
  • Increases your risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Damages blood vessel lining
  • Increases your blood pressure
  • Has devastating effects on your memory
  • Increases inflammation in your body and joints
  • suppresses your immune system
  • Quickens your aging process
  • Contributes to weight-gain and inability to lose weight
  • Leads to digestive disorders
  • Worsens ulcers
  • Increases your unhealthy cravings
  • Can lead to depression
  • Affects your relationships
  • Can increase joint pain due to inflammation
  • Reduces your sexual desire
  • Can cause eczema
  • Can lead to causing gum disease

What can you do to reduce your bodily stress levels without needing to turn to prescription drugs as your treatment method? Thankfully, there are many holistic measures you can take and with effort and patience you will begin to see remarkable results. Adjusting your body to reach for holistic remedies and medicine instead of prescription drugs can save you from a myriad of undesirable health effects on your brain, and your physical health overall. These holistic remedies will aid you to relieve stress, and if measures are taken properly, you will begin to see a transformation rapidly. Best of all, these holistic remedies don’t come with a package of long-term consequences, as the usage of prescription drugs do. Prescription medication usually aids in curing one ailment, but may rob your body of a major vitamin or mineral, and with time leads to another health issue. On pill after another, and you are slowly determining your health from within. When you reach for whole food and natural herbs as medicine, you don’t worry about side effects. I share many of these remarkable remedies in my book, Sunnah Superfoods. They wind up bringing your body other benefits, too, that may not even be a part of your goal at the time being.

Try to implement some of these remedies gradually and watch as both your physical and mental health renovate.

  • Avoiding caffeinated beverages (coffee or tea)
  • Decreasing if not eliminating sugar and sweeteners from your diet
  • Taking Epsom salt baths (search for one with lavender essential oil for a plus)
  • Exercising, daily if possible
  • Getting enough hours of sleep at night
  • Being organized! Use a planner, make to do lists, and plan ahead
  • Use the barakah of the morning hours, as the Prophet (pbuh) promised
  • Taking a power nap during the day (preferably during the afternoon)
  • Sitting in nature, at the lake or beach, or taking a calm walk outdoors
  • Using essential oils such as lavender
  • Decreasing the amount of processed foods from your diet
  • Consuming healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocadoes, salmon, and nuts
  • Drinking non-caffeinated herbal teas: chamomile, mint, sage, ginger, or rosemary


 Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.

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