How Stress Affects the Body

Stress Can't Always Be Avoided. However, with a few resources and effort, you can Take steps Toward Healthy Stress Management. 

Stress in small doses can be handled by the body. However, persistent and/or a large amount of stress can cause physical detriment. When muscles are in a constant state of stress, entire bodies tense up more frequently and uncontrollably. Stress-related disorders can then occur.

Statistically, the most stressed workers include enlisted military personnel, firefighters, airline pilots, and police officers. However, that does not mean that any other job is anywhere close to stress-free.

There is an association between tension headaches and chronic muscle tension in the shoulders, neck, and head. Pain can also trigger more chronic pain and/or issues throughout the entire body. In the brain, tension headaches, insomnia, and even depression are linked to stress. In the middle of the body, stress can trigger high blood pressure, high blood sugar, a racing heartbeat, and stomachaches. Additionally, too much stress can raise your chances of having a heart attack. There are many side effects to being stressed.

Additionally, some individuals are more prone to stress than others. Personal life, professional life, innate personality, and genetics can all influence how a person handles stressors. Certain groups are also targets for higher stress. Parents, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people who work in certain environments all have a greater chance of unhealthy levels of stress.

Stress is not all bad. It sometimes occurs as a useful reaction to danger. It becomes a hinderance when it begins to unhelpfully overcompensate. The above conditions may be caused by weakened immune systems connected to prolonged stress. Still, stress cannot always be avoided. Work and social lives can both trigger a lot of stress. So, what if there are too many stressors impacting someone’s life and there is no way to relinquish several of these effects? How does one combat often unavoidable stressors?

It is a well-known fact that eating healthy and getting adequate exercise is good for your body and mind. Did you know it has a significant impact on releasing built-up stress? Studies show that exercise will reduce stress and improve one’s mood, while a lack of physical activity may actually make things worse. There is also a link between what you eat and how you feel. If you ignore certain nutrients in your diet and develop a deficiency, your mood may take a hit. Vitamins can help with providing nutrients essential to your mental and physical well-being.

In connection to reducing your consumption of unhealthy foods, reducing your caffeine intake can have a great impact on your mood. While in moderation, coffee can be helpful to you, in abundance it becomes a hinderance. Stress is a contributing factor to more or less sleep. Caffeine can inhibit your ability to get adequate sleep.

Studies show that meditation is very helpful to those trying to relieve stress. Meditation helps us refrain our emotions and feelings of stress in a more useful light. Meditation focuses on refraining our thoughts surrounding stress rather than working to simply get rid of it all. It's impossible to relinquish all stress all the time. 

Social interaction and staying involved in friendships are great for stress reduction and management. Having a community and support system around you is an important part of day-to-day life. Even pets can help!

For more on ways to improve stress levels, visit here.

In the age of technology, being on electronics such as smartphones or computers for so long can make you more stressed. Cutting down time on these devices will help you feel better if you’re feeling stressed right now. Like caffeine, computers and phones can also keep you up late and wreck your sleep schedule.

Electronics can be very detrimental to sleep. Habitual mindless scrolling deep into the night can leave you getting significantly less sleep than you should- hours less, even. A few ways to prevent this from occurring include getting off electronics an hour before going to sleep, keeping your phone away from arm's reach at bedtime, and even turning your phone on "Do Not Disturb" mode if possible. 

Stress can be difficult to manage, but it is not impossible to treat. In a stressful world, maintaining hobbies and practices that will negate some of the daily stress in your life may make the difference between healthy stress levels and a burnout.