How Does Stress Affect Your Body A Lot More Than You Realize:
1. Little energy
You might, first of all, find yourself too tired to do anything. Feeling overwhelmed over an extended time may deal blows to your motivation.
Stress might also cause tension headaches. You may suffer from it if you experience prolonged pressure. These headaches are either episodic or chronic.
3. Poor digestion
Furthermore, stress might cause you to skip meals. Yes, this is one effect of stress on your body. Doing this may upset your stomach and trigger bouts of nausea. Diarrhea is typical as well. This research points out that it causes digestive problems in rats.
4. Aches, pains, and tense muscles
Among the things stress does to your body is making you physically and mentally strung up. You will have painful, aching muscles. According to the American Psychological Association, stress causes muscles to tense up. If this happens for a prolonged time, they may cause stress-related disorders.
5. Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
A palpitating heartbeat is another symptom of stress. Excess pressure from work or home may cause what experts call Chest Pain Anxiety. Having excess worries can trigger physiological and psychological changes, what experts call the flight or fight response.
Over stimulating the stress hormone, cortisol, may cause chest pains. Indigestion may activate it as well. This study explored how panic attacks can trigger chest pains that resemble heart attacks.
7. Colds and infections
8. Loss of Libido
How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purpose it enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
- Counseling, to help you recognize and release stress.
Where Might I Spot The Physical Signs Of Stress
The immune systemStress initially inhibits the immune system the chemicals our body releases to deal with immediate threat arent designed to keep us healthy long-term. People affected by chronic stress can find their immune system affected, making them susceptible to colds, flu and other infections.
The liverOur liver gives us a boost of glucose when were stressed, enabling us to physically respond to stressors. Long-term, this constant release increases our risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and can make it hard for us to maintain a healthy weight.
DigestionOur guts are surprisingly sensitive organs, and respond to hormone imbalances, stress, and many physical and mental health conditions with pain, bloating, and sometimes changes in bowel habit.
Nervous systemChronic stress affects dopamine levels, which is one of the reasons long-term stress makes us more vulnerable to mental illness. It can particularly make us seek short-term rewards like sugary, fatty or salty foods, affecting our weight and overall health.
HeadachesThe release of stress hormones can cause changes in the blood vessels around the brain, causing tension headaches and migraines.
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Respiratory And Cardiovascular Systems
Stress hormones affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. During the stress response, you breathe faster in an effort to quickly distribute oxygen-rich blood to your body. If you already have a breathing problem like asthma or emphysema, stress can make it even harder to breathe.
Under stress, your heart also pumps faster. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict and divert more oxygen to your muscles so youll have more strength to take action. But this also raises your blood pressure.
How Stress Affects Your Body From Your Brain To Your Digestive System
Its one thing to feel occasional stress. But when youre constantly under pressure and have no way to cope, your risk of developing serious illness climbs. Heres what you need to know about the long-term effects of living a stressed-out life.
If youve ever felt stressed out , you already know that being under pressure can affect your body, either by causing a headache, muscle tightness, or flutters in your chest making you feel down in the dumps or leaving you ravenous for chocolate or robbed of all appetite.
But these stress symptoms are merely the signals of the deeper impact that chronic stress can have on every organ and system in your body, from your nervous and circulatory systems to your digestive and immune systems.
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Video: How Stress Affects Your Brain
When we encounter a stressor, our brain and body respond by triggering a series of chemical reactions that prepare us to engage with or run away from the stressor. Two hormones that we release are adrenaline, which prepares muscles for exertion, and cortisol, which regulates bodily functions. If a stressor is exceptionally frightening, it might cause us to freeze and become incapacitated . The stress response triggered by these two hormones causes our:
- Blood pressure to rise
- Digestive system to slow down
- Blood to clot more quickly
Thousands of years ago, people who stumbled upon a hungry saber-toothed tiger or other predator would be more likely to survive the encounter if they were able to spring up and sprint away swiftly. An increase in blood pressure and heart rate and a slowdown of digestive processes meant more energy could be directed toward escaping. If they couldnt run quickly enough, their odds of surviving a wound from the hungry tiger were better if their blood clotted rapidly.
Today, this physical response to stress, if unrelieved, can be damaging to our health. Unrelieved stress is a known risk factor in many of the leading causes of premature death among adults, including conditions and illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and a poorly functioning immune system . Chronic stress is also a potential risk factor for depression, addiction, and suicide .
Your Libido Will Probably Wane When You Are Stressed Out
Not exactly in the mood? Let’s talk about stress, baby! “During times of stress, we need to survive, not procreate,” clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark told Self. As the publication outlined, the fight-or-flight stress response “increases your body’s most important functions for survival … while diminishing non-essential functions, like sex.”
Long term, stress can lead to the overproduction of cortisol in our brains. This, too, can have a negative impact on your sex life. Women’s health expert, Dr. Jennifer Wider, explained to the magazine that, even if you can muster up the physical and mental energy to copulate, achieving orgasm can be more difficult because of acute or chronic stress.
Furthermore, having sex is generally not a mind-over-matter type of activity. “Your biggest sex organ is your brain,” sex therapist Rachel Needle told Self. “If you have a ‘busy mind’ and are distracted during sex, it’s going to be harder to focus on your arousal, the pleasurable sensations, or orgasm.” The good news for you and your partner? Clark explained that intimacy can have a stress-reducing effect so spending time with your other half, relaxing, and getting close could help unravel the sexless, stressful cycle.
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Immune And Reproductive Systems
Research has shown the negative effect stress can have on the immune system. In short bursts, the stress hormone cortisol can boost immunity by limiting inflammation, but over longer periods of time, too much cortisol can lead to more inflammation.
Stress can also affect the immune system because it can reduce the effectiveness of white blood cells, which fight off viruses and bacteria.
The release of stress hormones also impacts the reproductive system. Cortisol affects how much oestrogen and progesterone your body makes, which regulates your menstrual cycle. If you’re stressed and have increased levels of cortisol, it can lead to irregular periods.
It Could Make You Crave Fatty Sweet Foods
There may be something to that cliche about stress eating. Researchers at University College London found that feeling stressed changes what we eat. Those under pressure didn’t necessarily eat more, but they did reach for more sweet, fatty foods than usual.
Recommendation: If you’re feeling stressed, be more aware of what you’re eating and try to curb your consumption of junk foodno matter how much your brain is screaming that you need it. For food solutions, visit eatthis.com.
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You May Have Trouble Conceiving As A Result Of Stress
It is no surprise to hear that infertility causes stress. It can be devastating for someone who desperately wants to have a child be unable to. Could that stress and anxiety cause a couple to have even more problems conceiving, though?
While previous research has had a hard time definitively answering that question, a 2018 study published in Dialogues of Clinical Neuroscience found that women who addressed their emotional distress through “psychological interventions” had higher subsequent rates of pregnancy. What’s more, it was determined that “cognitive-behavioral group” therapy was the best approach to helping her mentally and physically.
Getting pregnant isn’t the only potential issue stressed out moms-to-be may have to face, though. Stress has long been considered a risk factor for miscarriage, as noted by Grow by WebMD. Obstetrician-Gynecologist Calvin J. Hobel, told the site, “We now know the effects of stress are very real and produce a specific physiologic reaction in the uterus. So you really need to reduce it whatever way you can.”
What To Look For
Stress balls can be made from a number of materials like foam, fabric, pliable plastic or latex, rubber or even metal. When choosing a stress ball, its important to consider the durability of a products materials and read reviews to make sure the ball youre considering is durable, especially if its the kind filled with water or foam.
Another consideration is size and strength. Stress balls come in various sizes and different levels of soft or hardness. Being able to test out a few balls can help you choose the right one for you.
Whats most important, Hunt says, is that you select something that speaks to you in some way, whether its the squishability of the ball itself or its shape or color.
Stress balls come in different styles, she says. So, having an item thats more tailored to your preferences can help with feeling a sense of control in how you express your distress.
We looked at a number of different products to determine which ones to recommend and include.
We evaluated various products based on the following criteria:
- value for the price point
- positive customer reviews
- size and strength of each product
We also considered different styles and materials of stress balls to provide a breadth of useful options.
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Six Things That Stress Does To The Body
The effects of stress on the body are uniquely harmful and debilitating. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, your immune, digestive, respiratory systems can take severe hits from stress other parts of your body are also vulnerable to the negative impacts of tension. Knowing what stress does to the body is not meant to frighten you, but rather to keep you in the loop. Awareness can play a critical role in the process of prevention.
Weakens the Immune System
Your immune system is vital to the health and wellness of your body. Unfortunately, one of the most damaging ways that stress takes its toll is by weakening your immune system. The toll of long-term, ongoing stress causes your immune systems defenses to regress. Without a strong immune system, your physical body becomes more vulnerable to viruses, infections, and diseases. Needless to say, sicknesses of this nature can take a toll if you are someone with already-existing health issues, the last thing youll want to be forced to deal with is a compromised immune system.
Increases Risk of Heart Attack
A higher likelihood of suffering from a heart attack is another unpleasant impact that stress has on the body. Overextended periods, the effects of stress cause a heightened heart rate along with high blood pressure damage to your arteries.
Increases Vulnerability to Stomach Issues
Spikes Your Blood Sugar
Shortens Your Breathing
Creates Tension in Muscles
Three Healthy Ways to Deal with Stress
What Are The Consequences Of Long
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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You Could Become More Susceptible To Infection When You Are Under A Lot Of Stress
Citing several comprehensive studies, the American Psychological Association reported that stress has the power to weaken the immune system. Chronic stress, in particular, significantly suppresses the immune system and inhibits the body’s ability to respond to foreign invaders.
As explained by Psychology Today, chronic stress makes us more prone to disease as “the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system,” which triggers the release of cortisol and other hormones that are meant to prepare us for a fight-or-flight situation, but simultaneously “depresses our immunity.” While most doctors would agree that stress has at least some sort of negative effect on a person’s overall health, some experts believe that 90 percent of illnesses can be attributed to stress cancer and heart disease included.
The perpetual release of stress-induced cortisol can cause a reduction in infection-fighting white blood cells and cancer-eradicating NK cells. It can also foster the growth of tumors and lead to tissue damage. It’s a chain reaction, and sufficient reason to reevaluate your stressors and embrace coping mechanisms.
Stress And Gastrointestinal Complications
The effects of stress on nutrition and the gastrointestinal system can be summarized with two aspects of GI function.
First, stress can affect appetite . This effect is related to involvement of either the ventral tegmental area , or the amygdala via N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors . However, it should also be noted that nutrition patterns have effects on the response to stress , and this suggests a bilateral interaction between nutrition and stress.
Stress can also alter the functional physiology of the intestine . Many inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and other ulcerative-based diseases of the GI tract, are associated with stress . It has been suggested that even childhood stress can lead to these diseases in adulthood . Irritable bowel syndrome, which is a disease with an inflammatory origin, is highly related to stress . Studies on various animals suggest the existence of inflammatory GI diseases following induction of severe stress . Additionally, pharmacological interventions, in an attempt to decrease the response of CRH to stress, have been shown to result in an increase in GI diseases in rats .
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Take Apple Cider Vinegar
Cortisol can trigger sugar cravings. Too much sugar can cause several issues to the bodys systems.
For example, an overload of sugar can flare up skin issues. Seeing acne, oily skin or other skin issues can make you feel even more stressed . If cortisol has already flared up, start calming skin with a natural, plant-based moisturizer.
Why The Pandemic Is So Stressful For Gen Z
Jennifer King, DSW, LISW, assistant professor and the co-director of the Center on Trauma and Adversity at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, said that not all stress is bad.
Its what helps us learn and grow, she said. Our internal stress alarm rings any time we are going to do something new like take a test, go on a date, or have a job interview.
When stresses are small and predictable, our bodies can respond to the stress and then return to baseline quickly, she said.
However, when stress is intense, unpredictable, and prolonged, we cant prepare for it and we cant predict when it will end. This can lead to physical and mental health challenges like anxiety, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and other bodily discomforts.
Clearly, when it comes to these two patterns of stress, pandemic-related stress is the latter, she said.
As far as why this particular generation is so affected by pandemic stress?
Tonya Cross Hansel, PhD, LMSW, DSW, program director at Tulane University School of Social Work, said, Adolescence and young adulthood are times of transition, so increased stress is nothing new.
However, she explained, it is the magnitude over the past couple of years and cumulative stressors that are potentially problematic.
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