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Dec 16

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5 Ways Stress Affects You and What You Can Do About it

5 Ways Stress Affects You and What You Can Do About it

5 Ways Stress Affects You and What You Can Do About it

Do you suffer from stress? If you do, you’re not alone. Nearly all people feel stressed at some point in their life. Some people experience stress daily! Not all stress is bad, either. If you are in danger, your response to stress releases hormones and chemicals into your system that help you flee from danger or have unusual strength to escape from being trapped by something you normally couldn’t lift or move.

The problem is, those same chemicals and hormones that help you when you are in danger can be harmful to your body over long periods of time. Often we feel the same danger and fear over smaller stresses, like a deadline, a test, heavy traffic, or children arguing. Our bodies don’t differentiate between these less dangerous stresses and over time we can develop diseases or physical ailments from stress.
Let’s look at some ways this stress can affect your body.

1. Anxiety– Anxiety is the feeling of foreboding, fear, distress that things are going wrong. We all feel anxious about certain things, it’s even normal to feel anxious before a test, public speaking, hosting a big event or a job evaluation. If you have anxiety due to unrelieved stress, you may begin to feel anxious all of the time, even when there is no good reason.

2. Depression– Depression is defined as “a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal; sadness greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason.” (Dictionary.com)
It can happen when our bodies have been under stress for a prolonged amount of time. We just begin to shut down emotionally, and can slip into a deep depression.

3. Digestive problems– Stress causes more acid production in the stomach. If you have increased acid production, over time you can begin to experience acid indigestion; a burning feeling in your stomach and esophagus. If it continues, you can even develop stomach ulcers. Stress can also cause some people to develop intestinal cramping and diarrhea.

4. Heart disease– The long term effects of high levels of cortisol (the “stress hormone”) and other stress related chemicals can cause high blood pressure and heart disease. Researchers don’t know exactly why stress causes heart disease, they are still looking for answers. Part of it may even be that being under stress causes some people to overeat, especially higher fat foods which contribute to high cholesterol levels, which can cause heart disease. Stress may also contribute to people drinking too much alcohol, which can also affect heart health.

5. Sleep problems– When you are under a lot of stress, you tend to worry more. When you are filled with worry, it is often hard to fall asleep. Have you ever had a day where you were so busy and exhausted, but when it was time for bed you lay awake worrying about things? Many people who are under a lot of stress find it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Of course, this list is not complete, but these are the more common stress-related symptoms. There are also weight gain, memory and concentration problems and more. Now let’s look at some ways to manage our stress.

Eating a healthy diet and getting a good night’s rest each night is essential. Even if you do not have a weight problem, it is important to eat a healthy well-balanced diet. You won’t believe how much better you feel when you give your body wholesome foods and stop eating junk food!

Get moving, too! Starting an exercise program, even if it is just briskly walking around your neighborhood, helps release endorphins or “feel good” hormones. People who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from depression and insomnia or other stress-related issues. Other ways you can beat stress are by making time to nurture good relationships with family and friends, taking time to pray or meditate, and by seeking professional counseling when you need it.

What ways do you use to combat stress in your life? Let me know in the comments what your best tip is for reducing or treating stress in your life.

Permanent link to this article: https://inspiringwordsfromtheheart.com/5-ways-stress-affects-you-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

25 comments

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  1. 1
    Ronald Gagnon

    I am bipolar and stress greatly aggravates the situation..in all 5 of your ways and a great loss of energy and motivation

    1. 1.1
      Colleen

      I hope you have good support having Bipolar Ronald. Yes I agree loss of energy and motivation are hard side effects and hard to combat. Thanks for sharing.

      1. rbeeyswan

        Thanks! This is well need helpful hints that can only make u a healthier person,whose mindful of one health. I find Water Aeroberics is definitely a could remedy to reliving Stress!.

  2. 2
    alicia0795

    i have anxiety and it sucks! i do certain things that help though and it makes it more manageable.

    1. 2.1
      Colleen

      Glad you have things that help Alicia. I have to take meds….I do all the natural things but they don’t quite cover it for me.

  3. 3
    Marcy Meyer

    Stress really does a number on us, for sure. I’ve experienced some of these things when stress gets to be too much. Great article.

    1. 3.1
      Colleen

      Thanks for your comments Marcy.

  4. 4
    Sarah Hayes

    stress causes so many issues. High cortisol is what Im afraid of from stress. thank you for sharing this info

    1. 4.1
      Colleen

      Sarah, High Cortisol causes so many health issues. I’ll have to address that in a post 🙂

  5. 5
    Mary Czerczyk

    Thank for sharing this information. Stress affects me the most in not being able to get a good night’s sleep.

    1. 5.1
      Colleen

      That’s hard Mary. I am lucky that sleep is probably the only area it doesn’t affect me.

  6. 6
    Molli Vandehey

    im experiencing extremelt high stress right now, these are good tips

    1. 6.1
      Colleen

      I hope you get to feeling better soon Molli.

  7. 7
    slehan

    I swim 3 times a week in a warm water pool and it keeps my stress way down.

    slehan at juno dot com

    1. 7.1
      Colleen

      What a great suggestion! I just joined a club but won’t be there until January 🙂

  8. 8
    Kat

    Stress is a killer..Thanks for sharing this great info 🙂

    1. 8.1
      Colleen

      Your welcome Kat

  9. 9
    Heather McDonald

    Music is always my salve…. I just listen to whatever I feel I need to at the time, whether it is something that I can sing at the top of my lungs to, or something that I can just mutely listen to and let my mind rest with… Music helps in almost every situation!

    1. 9.1
      Colleen

      I’m glad music helps you Heather! It can be the death of me…I have to be very careful with music or I will be crying.

  10. 10
    Denisa Ivascu

    Working out really helps me when I’m stressed. Another thing that helps me is watching youtube videos (Actualized.org and Noah Elkrief are great).

    1. 10.1
      Colleen

      Thanks for sharing what helps you Denisa!

  11. 11
    Colleen Boudreau (Collifornia)

    Great tips, thank you!

  12. 12
    Linda Manns Linneman

    This is so true about anxiety and depression. I suffer from both and it is not fun. Thank you so much for this great article

  13. 13
    Deb E

    I’ve always used nutrition and exercise to deal with this, even as a teen. I even made a career out of the nutrition side of it but now into nursing, I realize that of course that can’t work for everyone and it’s not the best solution but it continues to work for me. You do have to work at it though, every. single. day. It definitely is not easy for me, but doable.

  14. 14
    Robin Creager

    A lack of sleep and poor diet can add to the stress. Having a friend you can talk to always seems to help.

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