Countless Americans know the grueling daily grind all too well—it’s all about work, work, work. But beyond enduring their demanding jobs, people all over the country experience a variety of other personal, family and societal issues that pile even more stress onto their plate, making life even more difficult. The dangers of which can be even greater than we realize.

Most of us recognize stress as an annoying blemish in our brains that latches on like a leech for weeks, or even months, at a time; it weighs us down and eclipses the positivity in our lives, making it difficult to push through daily responsibilities. But did you know that the dangers of stress go even deeper than that?

In this installment of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis, Integrative Family Medicine Practitioner at Summit Medical Group, Dr. Marianna Shimelfarb, MD, spoke with show host Joanna Gagis. She focused on the connection between mental and physical health, as well as the importance of managing stress in order to prevent it from damaging our overall physical health.

This video was made possible thanks to the Give Something Back Foundation.

Shimelfarb, an award-winning teacher (Preceptor of the Year Award at the NYU College of Nursing) as well as family physician who cares for people of all ages and genders, explained that stress can cause an immense amount of damage to the body—both mentally and physically. Even chronic colds can be the product of excessive stress.

“There have been studies that show that stress actually lowers our immune system response and increases inflammatory state in our bodies, therefore weakening the immune system and making us more prone to get infections or autoimmune diseases, or a variety of conditions,” said Shimelfarb.

She also spoke about how mothers and fathers often tend to put their families before themselves, but it is vital that parents set aside some “me time” to improve their mental and physical health. This personal time ultimately allows them to better care of their families.

To hear more about how stress affects everyday life and what you can do to improve your state-of-mind, check out this episode of Life & Living with Joanna Gagis.

For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.


Caucus Educational Corporation

  • Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Life & Living with Joanna Gagis / Caucus Educational Corporation
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