Saturday, December 3, 2022

What Are The Side Effects Of Stress

The Most Common Emotional And Cognitive Symptoms Of Short

Medication for Anxiety: Benefits and Side Effects

When youre under a lot of stress, you may find that youre more emotional than usual or crankier. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Anxiety or nervousness in the American Psychological Associations 2017 Stress in America survey, 36 percent of people report that stress makes them feel more nervous or anxious.
  • Anger or irritability in the APA survey, 35 percent of people report this.
  • Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness

Take Care Of Yourself

When you are facing ongoing stress, it is particularly important to practice healthy self-care. Give yourself breaks to relax, follow a nutritious diet, get regular exercise, and find ways to protect your sleep.

Exercise, for example, has a wide range of positive health benefits, including reductions in perceived stress and anxiety. However, research also suggests that experiencing stress also makes it more difficult for people to stick to their usual physical activity routine.

If stress makes it difficult to stay motivated to exercise, look for ways to gradually make exercise a part of your routine. Set small goals, even if it’s 10 to 20 minutes of activity a day, and then gradually work your way up. You may find that over time, engaging in physical activity actually helps you better cope with your stress.

How Can Stress Affect Your Pregnancy

Feeling stressed is common during pregnancy because pregnancy is a time of many changes. Your family life, your body and your emotions are changing. You may welcome these changes, but they can add new stresses to your life.

High levels of stress that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. During pregnancy, stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby or a low-birthweight baby . Babies born too soon or too small are at increased risk for health problems.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Stress Incontinence

The Effects Of Chronic Stress

Your nervous system isnt very good at distinguishing between emotional and physical threats. If youre super stressed over an argument with a friend, a work deadline, or a mountain of bills, your body can react just as strongly as if youre facing a true life-or-death situation. And the more your emergency stress system is activated, the easier it becomes to trigger, making it harder to shut off.

If you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in todays demanding world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Heart disease
  • Affordable Online Therapy for Stress

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    Physical Effects Of Stress

    The Distressing Side Effects of Stress â And How to Manage It All

    When a person is stressed, a physical reaction is triggered. The bodys natural response to stress is a release of chemicals designed to protect. This infusion of stress hormones prepares a person to fight or flee the stressful circumstance. Stress responses are natural and help a person rise to a challenge by enhancing focus, alertness, and energy level.

    When you arent able to let go, relax and unwind, the effects of stress can be harmful. Chronic exposure to stress can lead to a variety of physical stress-related symptoms and illnesses.

    When a childs brain is exposed to heightened levels of stress, the developing brain itself can be altered and damaged by the stress hormones. This natural reaction of the body can result in a lifetime of emotional and behavioral problems. These are often associated with improper development of brain structures like the hippocampus, thalamus, and amygdala.

    Here, we explore the physical effects of stress in adults:

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    Emotional Effects Of Stress

    Either directly or indirectly, stress imposes unwanted emotional symptoms. The mental effects of stress can create new psychological symptoms, or they can make preexisting symptoms much worse.

    When people have high stress, they tend to funnel these feelings toward either sadness or worry. The emotional effects of stress will eventually grow into a full depressive or anxiety disorder unless the person seeks assistance and takes action.

    With depression, a person can experience intense sadness that continues for most of the day. Their mood may be low and easily triggered, so even a TV commercial could elicit a tearful response.

    With anxiety, the person will worry excessively about the people and situations in their life. In some cases, the worry will grow into extreme forms of anxiety, such as panic attacks or phobias.

    Anxiety and depression are linked to high stress, but people who experience regular stress can also feel many other mental health effects, like:

    • Anger and irritability: These people may develop anger problems or build resent towards self or others
    • Restlessness: High stress can make someone feel uncomfortable in their own skin or impatient
    • Poor focus: Mental health issues like depression, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder all involve poor attention, which can also result from stress

    The Physical Side Effects Of Stress Can Look Like This:

    • Chest pain

    And more.

    What to do to relieve those?

    For a start, thats when seeing a chiropractor can help. A specialist will help you not just treat the symptoms, but also get to the underlying stress and let out all the pressure youre keeping inside of you.

    Then, there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make, and they dont need to be big or drastic.

    Exercising is a proven method for stress relief. But choose something you enjoy. Could be jogging twice a week, hitting the gym a few times a week, stretching every morning and doing some quick exercises after that, or even taking up a new sport as a hobby.

    Your food matters too. While junk food can lead to lack of energy and even signs of depression, the opposite can cure your stress.

    Im talking about fruits and veggies whose vitamins and nutrients will raise your happiness levels and keep you in a good mood. Green tea is another natural remedy that heals anxiety due to its ingredient l-theanine. Make sure you consume it on a daily basis, though.

    Next, dont forget your proteins and healthy fats. Omega-3 is great for the heart, but also brings cortisol to its normal levels. Its benefits on anxiety and inflammation are science-backed too.

    What are the best sources of omega-3 amino acids? Well, make sure you add nuts, fish and seafood, flax seeds and meat from grass-fed animals to your menu.

    Now, lets see how to have a more peaceful life by releasing the stress from your mind.

    Also Check: How Do You Deal With Stress

    Stress Makes You More Vulnerable To Infection And Illness

    Stress appears to suppress the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections from viruses and bacteria. Studies have shown that people who are under chronic stress are more vulnerable to colds, and stress can trigger a break out of cold sores or the Epstein-Barr virus .

    People with long-term stress may be more at risk of developing an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. Flare-ups of asthma, eczema, inflammatory bowel diseases , psoriasis, and allergies are associated with stress. There is also some evidence to suggest that chronic stress may lead to insulinâdependent diabetes because stress causes the immune system to destroy insulin-producing cells.

    What Are The Consequences Of Long

    Are there side effects of [medication for posttraumatic stress disorder] that i should look out for?

    A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

    • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
    • Obesity and other eating disorders
    • Menstrual problems
    • Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
    • Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
    • Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon

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    Appetite Changes And Weight Gain

    Changes in appetite are common during times of stress.

    When you feel stressed out, you may find yourself with no appetite at all or overeating without noticing.

    One small 2006 study of 272 female college students found that 81 percent reported that they experienced changes in appetite when they were stressed out, with 62 percent stating they had an increase in appetite .

    Changes in appetite may also cause fluctuations in weight during stressful periods. For example, a study involving 1,355 people in the United States found that stress was associated with weight gain in adults already living with extra weight .

    A third study from 2017 found that individuals with higher cortisol and insulin levels and higher levels of chronic stress were more likely to gain weight in the future . However, the study was limited in the scope of research in that participants were predominantly white females.

    While these studies show an association between stress and changes in appetite or weight, more studies are needed to understand other possible factors are involved and how stress impacts different people.

    Job Loss And Unemployment Stress

    Losing a job is one of lifes most stressful experiences. Its normal to feel angry, hurt, or depressed, grieve for all that youve lost, or feel anxious about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change all at once, which can rock your sense of purpose and self-esteem. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to come out of this difficult period stronger, more resilient, and with a renewed sense of purpose.

    Read Also: What To Do When You Get Stressed

    Stress Can Change Your Exercise Routine Resulting In Pound Creepage

    Through Ivanir’s work with clients, she’s seen that stress can lead to weight gain because it can reduce the desire to exercise or engage in physical activity. “The benefits of exercise on health are innumerable the direct impact of exercise on weight management is known, but exercise can also improve mental health. Exercise can actually help lower stress and decrease anxiety, yet when people are stressed they may feel unmotivated to exercise, which can ultimately impact their weight,” she says. “Evolutionarily, cortisol spiked when we saw a bear or were faced with danger. The surge of cortisol allowed us to run and escape danger. These acute increases in cortisol weren’t harmful, however, today we are experiencing chronic stress due to modern-day life and work. This is the type of stress which leads to detrimental impacts on weight.”


    How Therapy Can Help


    As you can see, emotional strain affects more than just your mental state. The physical consequences of stress are just as severe and can greatly impact your quality of life or even lead to other health-related issues.

    A therapist can help you cope with the effects of stress in your life and identify ways to reduce the sources of stress of stress where possible. Sometimes this involves finding new solutions to old problems, looking at situations differently, or processing your emotions. In other cases, this might involve healing deeper anxieties and fears stemming from past trauma. Find out more about our stress management counseling services.

    If youre overwhelmed with stress and its starting to affect your physical health, feel free to contact us. Together, we can talk more about the underlying cause of that stress and work on ways to safely and effectively manage it.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with stress, help is available. Contact one of our Counselors. Our therapists can help you or your loved one cope and minimize the physical effects of stress.

    To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online. We offer therapy in Houston, TX or online counseling in Texas, Indiana and Alabama. We look forward to help you!

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    Read Also: How You Deal With Stress

    If You’re Already Overweight Stress Might Tip The Scale Even Further In The Wrong Direction

    “If an individual is overweight, they are more likely to stress eat which is defined as eating in the absence of physical hunger cues,” says , a nutritional consultant for MomLovesBest. “Individuals who are overweight also tend to crave high-sugar and high-fat foods as they are viewed as rewarding.”

    This all ties back to what we discussed before: chronic stress leading to unhealthy eating choices. “In my experience working with clients, I have noticed that unmanaged chronic stress most often precipitates mindless eating and therefore eating in the absence of physical hunger. Chronic, unmanaged stress often leads to poorer food choices, excessive calorie intake, and also a lack of physical activity,” says Wirtz, who as a result of this says she works with clients to implement stress management and mindful eating techniques to improve their health and help people lose weight.

    Echoing Wirtz’s sentiments, , and consultant to the Lose It! community adds that one line of thought posits that stress can cause people to choose foods that are higher in fat or sugar. “A 2009 study found that stress related to work, personal relationships, life constraints, and finances were associated with weight gain, especially if you are already starting out with a higher BMI,” she says. “This can mean that if you are already an emotional eater that life stressors can lead to increased emotional eating and increased weight gain.”

    Read More: What Feeling Stressed Every Day Does To Your Body

    Stress And Your Health

    Stress is a reaction to a change or a challenge. In the short term, stress can be helpful. It makes you more alert and gives you energy to get things done. But long-term stress can lead to serious health problems. Women are more likely than men to report symptoms of stress, including headaches and upset stomach. Women are also more likely to have mental health conditions that are made worse by stress, such as depression or anxiety.1

    Also Check: How To Relieve Stress Naturally

    Signs Of Prolonged Stress

    Long-term, prolonged stress can have a number of different effects on a person’s body and mind. Some signs of prolonged stress include:

    • Anxiety
    • Slow recovery from illness or infection
    • Trouble sleeping

    Such symptoms may vary in intensity. Many of these symptoms may become worse over time as the stress continues to take its toll.

    Ways Stress Messes With Your Body

    Side Effects of Stress & Anxiety

    The side effects of stress might be scarier than whatever you’re worried about.

    Stress really sucks. It sucks up your energy, your desire to get to the gym, and even your libido. And while some stress can help you kick butt when your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, daily stress can mess with your mind and body in serious ways. Check out these freaky symptoms of stress, and follow our pointers for how to mitigate these nasty side effects.

    Aside from the fact that your anxiety might be keeping you up at night, freaking out triggers your brain to release the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream. This helpful chemical quickens your heartbeat, gives your brain more oxygen, and releases extra energy to help your body deal with that stress. But frequent stress can cause your brain to limit the amount of cortisol it sends into your bloodstream, which can make you feel like youre dragging butt all day, every day. The good news is that about three hours a week of working out should keep those hormone levels in check. So what are you waiting for? Get moving!

    Those knots in your stomach could me more than just an uneasy feeling. Chronic stress can impact the hormones released by your thyroid glands, which regulate your metabolism among other things. If these hormones get off track, it can lead to constipation. When you’re feeling this symptom, head to the gym, drink lots of fluids, increase your fiber intake, or take a laxative if you need to.

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    Stress Is A Risk Factor For Cardiovascular Disease

    There is a link between stress and an increase in blood pressure

    Many people with high blood pressure have no obvious symptoms, although some may develop a headache. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can start to weaken the heart and damage the lining of the arteries surrounding the heart, leading to a build-up of fats and cholesterol and an eventual narrowing of the arteries.

    This increases your risk of stroke, heart failure and a heart attack. Heart palpitations are also commonly associated with stress.

    How Can You Reduce Stress During Pregnancy

    Here are some ways to help you reduce stress:

    • Know that the discomforts of pregnancy are only temporary. Ask your provider about how to handle these discomforts.
    • Stay healthy and fit. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise . Exercise can help reduce stress and also helps prevent common pregnancy discomforts.
    • Cut back on activities you dont need to do. For example, ask your partner to help with chores around the house.
    • Try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation. They can help you manage stress and prepare for labor and birth.
    • Take a childbirth education class so you know what to expect during pregnancy and when your baby arrives. Practice the breathing and relaxation methods you learn in your class.
    • If youre working, plan ahead to help you and your employer get ready for your time away from work. Use any time off you may have to get extra time to relax.

    The people around you may help with stress relief too. Here are some ways to reduce stress with the help of others:

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