4 Ways Stress Affects the Body

October 17, 2017

 

Stress is a naturally occurring event that everyone experiences. The hypothalamus is what controls the nervous system and regulates symptoms of stress, such as body temperature, thirst, or hunger. When you are stressed, your body assumes the fight or flight mentality. This is a healthy reaction that innately helps humans cope with dangerous situations. 

 

Unfortunately, in today's world, people are stressed out far more often than the body is prepared to handle. This means that the levels of stress are elevated for long periods of time which negatively affects your body. 

 

How Stress Affects Your Body 

If you don't manage your stress levels, your body will definitely take a toll. Here is a list of some of the ways stress can physically affect your body:

  • Headache

  • Muscle tension or pain

  • Chest pain

  • Fatigue

  • Change in sex drive

  • Stomach upset

  • Sleep problems

     

How Stress Affects Your Mood 

In addition to physically affecting you, stress has a big impact on your mood. You may notice an increase in anxious feelings, lack of motivation, or feeling restless. Other symptoms of stress include feeling sad, angry, or depressed. 

 

How Stress Affects Your Behavior

If you start to notice a change in your behavior, play close attention to the differences. Here is a list of some ways you might behave if stress is a large factor in your life:

  • Overeating or undereating

  • Angry outbursts

  • Drug or alcohol abuse

  • Tobacco use

  • Social withdrawal

  • Exercising less often

     

How Stress Affects You Long Term

Chronic stress can impact your body long term. It has an impact on the musculoskeletal system and respiratory system. When your body is constantly stressed, your muscles are tense more often than they should be. Headaches and migraines are associated with chronic muscle tension which can result from stress. In addition, stress can lead to a change in your breathing which can result in a panic attack or hyperventilation. Stress can also affect your digestive system and immune system. 

 

With all that being said, it is important to mitigate stress and understand how you deal with stress best. One way to combat stress is to remain physically active and ensure that you get your daily workout in. If you have any more questions, please contact me today! 

 

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