Thursday, September 21, 2023

How Does Stress Make You Feel

What Are The Symptoms Of Stress

How stress affects your body – Sharon Horesh Bergquist

Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and physical health. No part of the body is immune. But, because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Symptoms can be vague and may be the same as those caused by medical conditions. So it is important to discuss them with your doctor. You may experience any of the following symptoms of stress.

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself , lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy

Stress Causes Fatigue By Lowering Many Beneficial Hormones

Another reason why stress causes fatigue is that it lowers your levels of many important hormones.

To understand what is going on here, you first need to understand a hormone called pregnenolone. Pregnenolone is a precursor hormone that can be used to make both stress hormones and sex hormones.

Whether it makes more stress hormones or sex hormones is largely dependent on the signals it is getting from the environment.

Basically, the body is asking is the primary objective to procreate or to run for your life?

So there is a sort of trade-off here the more you place a demand on your body to make stress hormones , the less of the anti-aging, energy-enhancing hormones you make.

If the body is getting a lot of stress signal, the adrenals will steal the pregnenolone away from being used to make sex hormones like testosterone and progesterone in order to make stress hormones. Hence why this state of physiology is often referred to as pregnenolone steal syndrome.

This is a particularly bad situation for women because the majority of their testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands. . The adrenals are particularly affected by pregnenolone stealing due to stress. So it is often womens sex hormones that get hit the hardest by stress.

But even in men , chronic stress is still known to lower testosterone levels.

The basic idea is that pregnenolone, DHEA, testosterone, and progesterone are anti-stress hormones, as well as mood and energy enhancing hormones.

Are You Too Busy

If you’re feeling tired and stressed because you have too much going on, like lots of after-school activities, you might feel better if you drop something, even if it’s just for a semester or so. Sometimes lots of activities even if they’re all fun can make you feel stressed by keeping you busy all the time. On the other hand, if problems at home are bugging you, some after-school activities may actually help you relax and feel better.

Getting enough sleep and eating healthy food are two great ways to help handle stress.

You also can use relaxation exercises to get rid of stress. The easiest one to do is to inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Do this two to four times, but don’t take in too much air too quickly because it can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy.

You can do exercises like this anytime, without anyone noticing. You can even do breathing exercises in class if you’re nervous before a test.

Recommended Reading: What To Do When Stressed And Anxious

How Is Panic Disorder Diagnosed

Medical or mental health providers can diagnose panic disorder. Your provider may diagnose panic disorder when you have repeated panic attacks and you:

  • Persistently worry about having more panic attacks or their consequences.
  • Obsess about losing control during a panic attack.
  • Change your behaviors to avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack.

When To Talk To Your Doctor

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If you suffer from chronic stress, and its affecting your quality of life, seek medical help. You might not be able to identify the specific cause of your stress or you might have some sort of physical problem. It doesnt matter. See your doctor. Be honest about whats going on in your life that might be contributing to your stress. If your doctor is unable to determine a physical cause, they might recommend a counselor who could help.

Seek immediate help if you suffer from chest pain, severe headaches, or a rapid heartbeat. Youll also need to call 911 if you are having any thoughts about harming yourself or someone else.

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How To Overcome Stress Moving Forward

What you want to do is use the 6 powerful strategies on how to overcome stress and get your energy back, in this article to break that cycle and create positive upward spirals of low stress, low inflammation, positive mood, great sleep, resistance to infection, and big healthy mitochondria that are pumping out lots of energy.

Scientists Explain How Stress Can Make You Tired And Sick

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. William James

Stress can cause a plethora of health problems if you dont learn how to manage it. With so many stressors in our world today, many of us live in a constant alarmed state. We have to deal with countless stimuli and inputs from the outside world, and filtering through all of it can leave us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

To give you an idea on just how widespread the stress epidemic has become, here are some startling statistics about stress according to The American Institute of Stress:

Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress. 77%
Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress. 73%
Feel they are living with extreme stress. 33%
Feel their stress has increased over the past five years. 48%
Cited money and work as the leading cause of their stress. 76%
Reported lying awake at night due to stress. 48%

As you can see, many people deal with extreme stress that can affect every aspect of their life. When stress becomes debilitating, it can cause physical as well as mental health problems. In this article, well go over how exactly stress can impact the brain and body, and how you can learn to manage it.

Read Also: How Can I Get Rid Of Anxiety And Stress

What Is A Panic Attack

A panic attack causes sudden, brief feelings of fear and strong physical reactions in response to ordinary, nonthreatening situations. When youre having a panic attack, you may sweat a lot, have difficulty breathing and feel like your heart is racing. It may feel as if youre having a heart attack.

Panic disorder can develop when you worry too much about having another panic attack or change behaviors to avoid having a panic attack.

Anxiety Can Cause Feelings Of Illness

Handling Anxiety that Makes You Feel Sick to Your Stomach

The stress from anxiety can cause feelings of genuine sickness. These feelings are often very similar to the way physical illnesses make you feel. Your stomach can feel like it’s rumbling and you may even feel nauseated. Feeling sick may be a sign that you’ve fallen ill, but it can also be a sign of anxiety.

While feeling sick may be the only physical symptom of anxiety, there are often others including breathlessness, dizziness and fatigue.

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Stress And Your Health

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.

Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.

Heres How Stress Can Make You Sick And Tired:

Stress drains the body of its energy stores since stress is meant to warn us of an impending threat. Our fight-or-flight response exists to give us adrenaline to decide how to respond to that threat: either run or fight back. In the modern world, we have near-constant stressors which keep our bodies in a persistent state of alert. As a result, our bodies begin to wear down since we have a harder time transitioning to a relaxed state of mind.

Most people dont realize how interconnected our minds and bodies are, and that an imbalance in one can cause issues in both. Dr. Esther Sternberg, Professor of Medicine and Founding Research Director for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona at Tucson, has done extensive research on the links between the mind and body. Her research has included understanding the connection between the central nervous system and the immune system and studying how immune molecules made in the blood can affect brain functions that impact our emotions. In one of her best-selling books called The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, Sternberg examines how our emotions, particularly stress, can impact our physical health.

An excerpt from her book explains how the parts of our brain that control stress may also play a role in our likelihood of developing certain diseases:

She goes on to explain how the constant stimuli we come in contact with can affect our stress response:

Sternberg writes:

Also Check: How To Stop Stress Migraines

What Not To Say

Dont mention an issue you created. Avoid mentioning a time when you put yourself in a needlessly stressful situation. You don’t want to come across as someone who causes workplace stress.

Dont say that you were really stressed. You shouldnt focus too much on how stressed out you felt. While you should certainly admit that stress happens, try to emphasize how you dealt with the stress rather than how much it bothered you.

What Makes Us Stressed

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Many things that can lead to stress: bereavement, divorce or separation, losing a job or unexpected money problems. Work-related stress can also have a negative impact on your mental health. People affected by work-related stress lose an average of 24 days of work due to ill health.

Even positive life changes, such as moving to a bigger house, gaining a job promotion or going on holiday can be sources of stress. If you feel stressed in these situations you may struggle to understand why or be unwilling to share your feelings with others.

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Can Happy Events Cause Stress

Some of the situations listed above are often thought of as happy events for example, you might feel expected to be happy or excited about getting married or having a baby.

But because they can bring big changes or make unusual demands on you, they can still be very stressful. This can be particularly difficult to deal with, because you might feel there’s additional pressure on you to be positive.

“I’ve never been more stressed in my life than the 6 months leading up to my wedding… everyone kept asking me if I was happy and expecting me to be excited all the time, but I just couldn’t feel it. I ended up getting really ill.”

Say No To Any Extra Stress

Dont sacrifice your well-being for other peoples approval. Youre not helping yourself by accepting every task people pile on you.

Besides, people wont hate you if you say no to their requests. If they do, screw them! They arent the kind you want in your life, anyway.

So, say no to adding unnecessary tasks to your schedule. Reduce your workload if possible, especially if youre already overwhelmed.

Also Check: What Is Stress For Teens

Stress Causes Fatigue By Making You Depressed

One of the other big problems with chronic stress is that it can trigger depression. By disrupting your mood and making you depressed, it can sabotage your energy levels.

Mood and energy levels are very much intertwined. Think about it: How many times in your life can you remember feeling like you are bursting with energy but also feeling really sad? How many times can you remember feeling terribly depressed but feeling like your energy is amazing? Both of those scenarios are extraordinarily rare.

Usually, energy and mood work together in positive upward spirals or negative downward spirals. Better moods facilitate better energy, and better energy facilitates better moods. And vice versa.

So one of the big problems with chronic stress is that it wrecks your mood. And along with that, your energy. There are many ways that stress wrecks your mood:

  • CRH and dynorphin both are implicated in causing depressive episodes. ,,
  • Chronic HPA activation is also known to induce depression.
  • Chronic stress can cause neurotransmitter resistance and imbalances in the brain , and those neurotransmitter effects are linked with depression. ,
  • Chronic stress also decreases BDNF and impairs neurogenesis both of which are important in staving off depression.
  • Chronic stress causes certain important energy-regulating areas of the brain to atrophy .

Sleep Away The Stress

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Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summers day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.John Lubbock

Make sure you get plenty of sleep when youre under a lot of stress. Youll need it to recover mentally and physically. So, get some rest and youll wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world.

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Stress Causes Fatigue By Flushing Out Beneficial Minerals

Chronic stress and HPA activation will also impact on mineral retention by the kidneys. We end up getting rid of more potassium and magnesium and hanging on to more sodium. , This is especially problematic because most of us are already eat diets deficient in potassium and magnesium.

We need potassium to:

  • Regulate electrical activity of nerves and cells throughout the body
  • Regulate activity of the heart
  • Build proteins
  • Break down and use carbohydrates
  • Build muscle
  • Control the acid-base balance
  • Regulating electrical activity in the brain, heart, and muscles.
  • Detoxification

So it is easy to see why depleting these vital minerals can lead to all sorts of problems, including fatigue.

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Stressed Or Depressed Know The Difference

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, you are not alone it’s practically a fact of life on college campuses. A poll conducted by mtvU and the Associated Press in the spring of 2009 reported that 85% of students say they experience stress on a daily basis.

Stress is good if it motivates you but it’s bad if it wears you down. Many factors can contribute to the stress you experience, and this stress can cause changes in your body that affect your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.

Depression is more serious and long-lasting than stress, and requires a different kind of help. In a 2010 survey by the American College Health Association, 28% of college students reported feeling so depressed at some point they had trouble functioning, and 8% sought treatment for depression.

The good news is that depression is a highly treatable condition. However, it’s not something you can snap out of by yourself, so it’s important to get help. How do you tell the difference between stress and depression? Both can affect you in similar ways, but there are key differences. Symptoms of depression can be much more intense. They last at least two weeks. Depression causes powerful mood changes, such as painful sadness and despair. You may feel exhausted and unable to act.

Here are common signs of stress and depression. Which fits you best?

Back Neck And Shoulder Pain

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That achy feeling in your upper body that comes on when youre totally overwhelmed? Its a common, but definitely not fun, part of chronic stress.

Stress is a signal to your body that youre in danger . One of the ways your body responds is by tensing up your muscles, which can help protect them against injury.

The tension should ease up as you calm down. But if youre constantly in a state of overwhelm, your muscles stay tight and never get a chance to relax. And that can lead to pain and aches in your back, shoulders, and neck.

Also Check: What Are The Signs Of Stress And Anxiety

Strategies For Coping With The Physical Effects Of Stress

The key to coping with stress is making sure there are enough periods of relaxation to balance the effects of stress. When were faced with one stress period after another, with no time to relax in between, it can affect our physical and emotional well-being.

Try some of these stress reduction techniques:

  • Begin deep breathing, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. Deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation counter the production of adrenaline.
  • Practice grounding and self-soothing skills for overwhelming emotions.
  • Develop an action plan for coping with the effects of stress. What are stresses you can do something about? Set a specific goal to address this source of stress.
  • Exercise gives you a mild jolt of adrenaline, but then allows you to work off the extra energy it produces. Your body becomes more adept at processing the adrenaline thats in your bloodstream during times of stress.
  • Talk things out with a friend or therapist.
  • Stress Causes Fatigue By Inducing Leaky Gut

    Another way that stress causes fatigue us is the way it affects our gut. Theres much talk of leaky gut these days and all sorts of complex theories around what may cause it. And to be clear, much of that is valid. ,,

    But the science actually indicates that stress itself can directly cause increased gut permeability ! This causes a number of issues:

    Poor gut health is a recipe for poor energy levels. So this is yet another way that stress causes fatigue.

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