Stress is a killer. There are many deadly health conditions exacerbated by stress. The silent killer known as hypertension has no significant symptoms, and is made worse by frequent episodes of anxiety. When addressing the effects of stress on hypertension, the Mayo Clinic put it this way:

If those temporary spikes occur frequently, such as every day, they can cause damage to your blood vessels, heart and kidneys, as can chronic high blood pressure. In addition, when you have anxiety you’re more likely to resort to other unhealthy habits that can increase your blood pressure, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Overeating

Anxiety is a health issue that is imminently treatable. It often goes untreated due to shame or denial. But neither shame nor denial is a very good reason to die. Dealing with your anxiety before it wears out your veins is just one of the ways you can save your life by facing your issues head-on. Here are a few others:

Avoid Self-medication

If hypertension is the silent killer, self-medication is rather more noisy. Everyday, women’s rehab centers see an influx of those who self-medicated to an unhealthy level. The thing about drugs and alcohol is that there are no healthy levels. There are only levels that are less destructive than others..

It is a common retreat for those suffering from high levels of stress. Those who find themselves with an addiction problem can easily die without treatment. Fortunately, treatment centers abound that specialize in women’s issues. These facilities have saved countless lives.

The challenge of self-medication is that the symptoms are difficult to distinguish from everyday life. By the time it is clear there is a problem, it is usually too late to deal with it on your own. Professional assistance is required. Your friends and family are your best early warning alert. Getting timely treatment is often the difference between life and death.

Moving on with Your Life

Unresolved relationship issues are among the biggest causes of chronic stress faced by the average person. We all have experienced relationships that went south on us. Perhaps you have even had a marriage that ended in divorce. What you may not know is that divorce can affect your health.

It can take years to fully recover from a bad divorce, if ever. It is made even harder depending on the length of the marriage. There is good reason for this. Often, you don’t have the option to just move on and forget about the marriage. Sometimes there are shared assets involved such as houses and vehicles. It gets a lot more complicated when kids are involved.

Other types of relationship breakups can be equally devastating. But they are usually easier to resolve. In those cases, the best thing you can do for your health is to move on. Hanging on to the pain and stress of a broken relationship can be the trigger that causes the downward spiral into clinical depression and anxiety. And we know where that can lead.

So do yourself a favor: Add to the quality and quantity of your life by moving on when possible. Relationship closure is the healthiest thing you can do in such times.

Walk Away

One of the hardest things to do is walk away from an unhealthy situation. It doesn’t just have to be about romantic relationships. It can be any poison relationship that detracts rather than adds to your overall happiness.

That might include closing the door on toxic friendships. Those are often the friendships that lead to self-medication. It might also mean walking away from a job. No job is worth losing your sanity and health. Workplace suicide is on the rise. It is not a stretch to say that walking away from a toxic job or work environment can save your life.

Stress comes in all shapes and sizes. And it has different effects on different people. But we know that for a significant portion of the population, failure to deal with it can be fatal. So be sure to manage your blood pressure. Treat self medication issues such as addiction. Move on from bad relationship breakups. And walk away from whatever is holding you back. These simple expediencies can save your life.