Tuesday, March 28, 2023

What Anxiety And Stress Does To Your Body

Let Us Help Manage & Treat Your Anxiety

How stress affects your body – Sharon Horesh Bergquist

Here at StoneRidge Centers, we combine brain science with compassionate care. We know just how taxing anxiety can be on your brain. But we also know that with treatment and support, you can learn to manage anxiety. We created our mental health treatment program for that very reason.

Anxiety doesnt have to take over your life. You dont have to live in fear of the world or constantly worry about potential dangers. We can customize our comprehensive program to meet your needs. Contact us today at 928-583-7799 for a free and confidential conversation about managing your anxiety in a healthy way.


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Laughing And Support Groups

While many believe that laughter is the best medicine, studies have already proven that laughing promotes many physical and mental health benefits. For instance, it can boost your immune system, can make your brain and muscles relax, can slow down the production of stress hormones, and can help the production of endorphins.

Plus, your support group may also provide their strategies in coping with such disturbing symptoms. Lastly, do not be afraid to talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what you are going through. They can provide or recommend therapy or medical intervention for your well-being.

Take Part In Daily Exercise

Next, you should take part in daily activities like jogging or cardio. Even though many people donât want to do this exhausting task, studies have shown that regular exercise makes one less anxious.

Moreover, exercise reduces cortisol levels, so you donât feel super stressed all the time. Plus, it gives you confidence and improves your mental health conditions.

It also helps to keep you fit. So, thatâs a bonus. However, if you want a supermodel-like figure, then do go on a diet. But donât go overboard. Remember to mix stuff like CBD honey to make food yummy.

Also Check: How To Be Resilient To Stress

Rapid Hot And Cold And Anxiety

Anxiety is linked to body temperature changes in multiple ways, and in some cases, it’s possible for a normal change in body temperature to trigger significant anxiety.

These hot and cold sensations can be frustrating, and when they occur when you’re trying to go to sleep or otherwise be comfortable, they can be very disruptive. There are many issues that lead to hot and cold sensations in the case of anxiety. These include:

  • Vasoconstriction The most common explanation for why anxiety leads to body temperature changes is your body’s fight or flight response. This is the mechanism that is designed to keep you safe from harm. Those with anxiety have a misfiring fight/flight response, and one of the consequences is vasoconstriction, where your blood vessels narrow. This may cause the body to heat up very quickly.
  • Sweating Sweating is also very common in those with anxiety. Sweating is one of the main reasons that people have cold shivers after their hot flashes and may struggle to warm up again. It’s the body’s response to vasoconstriction – your body knows it’s about to heat up, so it sweats to help you cool down.
  • Over-sensitivity Those that have anxiety may also be over sensitive to heat that is within normal ranges. You may find that when you’re already feeling uncomfortable and agitated, extra heat or cold in your environment may contribute to further agitation, and make you more likely to notice any temperature changes.

Anxiety And The Body: Physical Signs Symptoms And Treatments


How does it feel to have anxiety? When people talk about anxiety, you might immediately imagine someone who worries excessively. While this is part of the anxiety experience, the effects of anxiety can be seen and felt in the body, too.

Anxiety has a similar effect on the body as prolonged periods of stress. This can cause a range of physical symptoms, including nausea, sleep disturbances, sweating, and heart palpitations.

If you’re experiencing physical symptoms associated with anxiety, there are several treatments and at-home remedies available to help you calm your body and mind.

Keep reading to learn more about the impact of anxiety on the body and discover several anxiety treatments.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Stress Quickly

What Are Some Strategies For Stress Relief

You cant avoid stress, but you can stop it from becoming overwhelming by practicing some daily strategies:

  • Exercise when you feel symptoms of stress coming on. Even a short walk can boost your mood.
  • At the end of each day, take a moment to think about what youve accomplished not what you didnt get done.
  • Set goals for your day, week and month. Narrowing your view will help you feel more in control of the moment and long-term tasks.
  • Consider talking to a therapist or your healthcare provider about your worries.

Relieve Your Stress Instantly

“At times, tough days can blast your mind to the past or catapult you into the futurepick your poison,” says Jacob Kountz, a marriage and family therapist in Bakersfield, California. “Mindfulness is a technique that attempts to put the brakes on that process to slow things down. This can be achieved by taking a few minutes of your day to notice what’s going on in the present so you don’t have to time travel anymore.” So try it, and relieve your stress instantly with any of these 25 Proven Ways to Make Today a Better Day.

Read Also: What Is The Best Strategy For Managing Stress

How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety In The Body

There are different ways to get out of this stress and anxiety cycle. A simple and efficient variant is regular sport or yoga. If you have a fit body and enough energy, your nervous system balances itself and is more resistant to stress.

In the ancient yoga teachings, the autonomic nervous system is given a very high importance. It is strengthened by means of specific breathing exercises and the so-called prana body is strengthened by them. This creates a certain resistance to stress.

Another very effective solution is the vagus nerve smile. This exercise lasts 60 seconds and you have to put on and maintain an extreme smile yourself. Since the vagus nerve also passes by our jaw on its wanderings, when we smile a message is sent to our brain that it can now release happy hormones. With this exercise, fear and fight hormones are eaten by happiness hormones and a balance is created again!

Why don’t you try this exercise for 40 days or 3 minutes of Fire Breath daily and see how your well-being and stress resistance change. Have fun!

Stress Can Cause Headaches

What Does Stress Do To Your Body?

Tightened muscles from stress may also cause headaches. “It’s not just tragic events that can cause headaches. Most of the time, it’s the every day, low-grade stress that triggers pain,” according to experts at Northview Medical. These experts say that stress headaches may be caused by “demanding work environment, relationship issues, unemployment and financial problems, childhood trauma and abuse, anxiety disorders, lack of sleep, or travel and new routines.”

Recommended Reading: How To Overcome Stress And Anxiety

What Are Some Ways To Prevent Stress

Many daily strategies can help you keep stress at bay:

  • Try relaxation activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. Programs are available online, in smartphone apps, and at many gyms and community centers.
  • Take good care of your body each day. Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep help your body handle stress much better.
  • Stay positive and practice gratitude, acknowledging the good parts of your day or life.
  • Accept that you cant control everything. Find ways to let go of worry about situations you cannot change.
  • Learn to say no to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed.
  • Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member or neighbor can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesnt become overwhelming.

Is It Stress Or Anxiety

Life can be stressfulyou may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events , or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.

What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.

What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.

If that anxiety doesnt go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders.

So, how do you know when to seek help?

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Articles On Stress Management

You’re going to have some stress in your life — we all do, and it’s normal. One of the best things you can do for your health is manage that stress, even when you canât control the source of it.

Some stress can be good. It can be a challenge that keeps us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. But too much stress can make us sick. And it can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases, research shows.

If you’re constantly under stress, you can have physical symptoms, such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and problems with sex and sleep.

Stress can also lead to emotional problems, depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry.

It’s not just the stress itself that’s the problem. It’s how you respond to it.

For instance, if you smoke, use drugs, overeat, gamble, spend too much, or have risky sex, that’s going to cause more problems.

If you think that the way youâre handling life’s stress is taking a toll on your physical health, talk to your doctor so you can start making changes that will be good for your body and your mind.

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What Can You Do About It

How Stress Harm Your Health: Effects on Body and Behavior

Learning about the effects of stress on the body and how to manage stress will help you to feel happier and healthier in the long run. Coping with stress is about trying to solve the problems that are within your control and learning to accept the things you cant change. Weve come up with four questions to ask yourself the next time youre feeling stressed, to help you decide on your next move.

Recommended Reading: How To Relax And Sleep When Stressed

Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol

Caffeine is a great stimulant, and many nonprofessionals believe that it is good for fighting depression. For this, you need to be careful, as Caffeine being a stimulant may worsen anxiety.

On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant. While you may seem to notice that alcohol is helpful in making you fall asleep during the night, it does not automatically mean that you get quality sleep. Instead, it can harm you even more, as alcohol and depression have a reciprocal need and interaction.

For instance, alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms of depression, and depression makes a person attracted to alcohol use.

Stomach Pains And Diarrhea

Thanks to the brain-gut axis connection, diarrhea and stomach pain are common responses to stress hormones and blood rapidly moving away from the stomach to oxygenate the brain. Additionally, the release of stress hormones, like cortisol, can increase the secretion of stomach acid, which can lead to stomach pain, nausea, andâin extreme casesâstomach ulcers.

If you’re experiencing frequent, long-term gut problems, talk to your doctor about being assessed for IBS, as this condition can be exacerbated by anxiety. Additionally, if anxiety and gut symptoms are causing you trouble, you may also want to look into helpful management tools like at-home hypnotherapy for IBS.

Read Also: How Can I Go On Stress Leave From Work

Tips To Relieve Stress And Anxiety

Being always anxious can be unhealthy, while until now, the stigma about mental health is still present. Yet, did you know that stress and anxiety are one of the mental disorders having the highest prevalence in the US?

As sighted by NIMH, around 19.1% of U.S. adults are suffering from an anxiety disorder, and most of them are females, which is 23.4% more than their opposite gender. Meanwhile, around 31.1% of US adults were reported to experience some symptoms of anxiety in their lives. As for the latest edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-V, anxiety disorders come with different types, but they share the same hallmark, which is the excessive fear and anxiety and related behavioral disturbances.

Anxiety and fear are different concepts. For instance, DSM-V differentiates fear as emotional response to a real or perceived imminent threat from anxiety, as the anticipation of future threat. Such disturbances can impact different areas of your functioning such as your school, work, and even your overall personal and social life. Thus, you may need some anxiety relief.

Pay Attention To Sleep

What stress does to your body (it isnt always bad!)

Some people have a hard time going to sleep even at night, because of too much stress or worry. Sometimes, such worry or stress leads to sleep disorders. On the other hand, a sleep disorder may come first, and result in anxiety in the long run. Having said that, research has found out that sleep deprivation may contribute to the aggravations of anxiety.

Moreover, a lack of sleep also increases your risk of developing heart disease or heart failure. Some may also increase their risk of having high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and irregular heartbeat. These are just some of the reasons why you should pay attention to your sleep pattern.

On a much deeper view, disrupted sleep is almost present in other mental health issues like depression, affecting your daily living. For instance, it can negatively impact your work performance, academic performance, cognitive ability, and increases the risk of physical injury. Surely, these health problems that may arise in the future may create additional worries. Therefore, it is better to take care of your sleeping pattern as early as possible.

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Video: Basics Of Farm Stress

All of these outcomes and impacts of short-term stress have been known for decades. But, perhaps the more critical concern is the impact of chronic stress on our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. Stress hormones have a negative impact on the part of our brain that we need for:

  • Evaluating alternatives and making good business decisions
  • Having productive and thoughtful conversations with our family members, community members and others whose help we might need as we move forward during challenging times

These physical health, brain function, and decision making impairments often create a vicious cycle. When we find it difficult to make well-thought-through decisions and to move forward, sometimes this can lead to choices that might have less than desirable outcomes. A poorly contemplated decision can cause even more stress which further fuels this response. This cycle can lead to feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and other concerns, which then in turn may also be connected to depression and the risk of suicide. Fortunately, all these changes that occur under high stress can be managed and reversed, though it takes multiple tactics and strategies to tackle the issue holistically.

What Anxiety Does To Your Body: 7 Common Physical Symptoms

While conversations on anxiety tend to revolve around how a person feels mentally and emotionally, its important to consider the physical symptoms, too. For a lot of women struggling with anxiety, its not always clear how to make the connection between how they are feeling physically and their emotional state.

To begin to understand the physical symptoms of anxiety, its important to remember how anxiety triggers the physical fight or flight response. While a helpful tool when facing a real physical threat, your brain doesnt distinguish between that and anxiety, which is often caused by fear and worry. Because your brain is wired to respond to any perceived threat by kicking on your sympathetic nervous system, when you feel anxious a lot of involuntary responses start to happen, like increased breathing and a more rapid release of hormones into your bloodstream.

How your body physically responds to anxiety is unique, but there are seven common physical symptoms that you should be aware of. When you understand what your body does when its stressed, you can start to connect the dots between your anxiety and your physical body.

  • Racing heart. When your brain receives stress signals, it triggers your adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cortisol. As these hormones are released, your heart responds by speeding up your heartbeat, which explains your racing heart.
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    Sometimes Stress Isn’t So Bad

    Stress gets a bad rap for good reason. It can cause physical problems like skin rashes and high blood pressure. It can lead to mental health problems too, like anxiety and depression. But we feel stress for a reason, and sometimes it is good for you.

    The stress you feel before a big test or job interview can motivate you to succeed. It can even save your life stress from a dangerous situation can provoke a fight-or-flight reaction that raises your adrenaline and motivates you to act quickly. Sometimes stress gives you the quick pulse and alert mind you need to stay out of danger.

    Whether stress helps or harms your body depends on many factors. One is whether your stress is acute or chronic. You know acute stress when you feel it–the way your heart races right after a car crash, or the sudden jolt of energy you get when you see a snake or spider. Acute stress goes away soon after the stressful cause is gone. But chronic stress is another story. The muscle pain that sets in after months of demanding work, the constant nausea you may feel during a financial crisis, and the uncontrolled weight gain you experience during a long, unhappy relationship can all be signs of chronic stress.

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