How stress affects you physically

woman wearing pink shirt and gray apron leaning on brown doorway

We know what goes on in our minds when we feel stressed. For some, stressful situations are met with thoughts about the worst possible outcome. For others, stress boosts motivation, helping them focusing on important deadlines or getting housework done. It is normal to experience stress in response to situations.

But what about when stress becomes chronic? According to Courtney Weiler, Clinic Manager for Centerstone, “When we experience chronic stress, we might find ourselves mentally and physically exhausted, unable to concentrate, feeling depressed, or having increased anxiety. We might not have the capacity to deal with what comes at us and feel like shutting it all out.” Stress can also go beyond this mental turmoil and into physical problems.


Physical impacts of stress

There are several physical conditions that can be impacted by stress. Some common issues include muscle tension, headaches, heartburn, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing, and insomnia.

When stress is more chronic, more serious issues can occur, such as type 2 diabetes, heart attack, strokes, weakened immune systems (and subsequently more infections), and fertility problems. Chronic stress can also impact behaviors such as alcohol consumption and overeating, which may lead to more problems.

Signs that stress is affecting you

When you face new challenges, stress is not the first reason that usually comes to mind. You may notice that you are experiencing exhaustion, increased muscle tension, headaches, and problems sleep without understanding why. When you realize these new symptoms are affecting you, it may be time to take stock of what is going on in your life.

As change is a common stressor, ask yourself if you are dealing with any changes in your job, family, or elsewhere. Courtney Weiler says, “We’ve all been living through a pandemic for the first time, which has caused many disruptions to our routine and daily life. Sometimes we go through our days so quickly that the impact of stress hit us all at once.”

Processing stress

A helpful starting point for processing stress is talking about what is bothering you and how you are feeling. You can do this with a trusted friend, family member, or professional counselor. Talking to them will help you process your own thoughts on your stress and will provide an opportunity for them to share their viewpoint to help even more.

Because you cannot avoid stressors, what’s important is that you actually manage your stressors and learn coping strategies. There are several activities you can put your time into and changes you can make that can help you manage your stress and feel better physically and mentally.

  • Exercising and being physically active
  • Cooking
  • Listening to music
  • Crafting
  • Playing with your children
  • Meditating
  • Saying no and setting boundaries with work and relationships
  • Set a consistent sleeping routine

As you adopt these behaviors, take note of how you feel before, during, and after. Exercise mindfulness at all steps and see how these strategies help you manage your stress.

If you feel you need professional help managing stress, Centerstone is here to help. Call us at 1-877-HOPE123 or visit https://Centertone.org/connect-with-us to get connected with care.

Location Finder

Related Posts

Mental Health Challenges and Tips for Older Adults

Older Adults
Health & Wellness
For many, one of the perks of reaching the third age (ages 65 to 84) is pursuing retirement and ...

featured Older Adults Mental Health

Mental Health Challenges in the LGBTQ+ Community

Mental Health
Health & Wellness
Those in the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and more) community are often met with significant barriers when ...

Mental Health Physical Health LGBTQ+

Mental Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Family Matters
Health & Wellness
After a bad day at school or work, many people look forward to being home with someone or something they ...

Pet Ownership Family Matters Mental Health

The Physical and Mental Effects of Tobacco

Health & Wellness
May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, a time to spread awareness about the tobacco epidemic its contribution to ...

tips smoking tobacco

How Alcohol Affects the Body and Mind

Health & Wellness
When taking a look at substance use disorders, including alcohol use disorders, it is important to know the facts. ...

Mental Health Physical Health Addiction

Call Now

photo of
44 Vantage Way
Nashville, TN, 37228 United States