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Physical Side Effects of Becoming Too Stressed

Excess stress has long been recognized as a trigger for various mental health issues (such as anxiety and depression). But what many people don’t realize is that stress can be just as harmful to the body as it is to the mind. The good news is that some of the physical symptoms you’re experiencing may subside once you get your stress under control. I’ll go over some tips for reducing stress after highlighting some of the top physical side effects you’re likely to experience when you’re over-stressed.


Headaches


Headaches are some of the most common side effects associated with too much stress. People who already struggle with migraines are more likely to experience increased headache severity and frequency when they are stressed.


Fatigue


Stress can directly impact your energy levels because it typically impacts sleep quantity and quality. Stress hormones can also cause your body to feel rundown and tired all the time. Pay attention to these symptoms, because if they are left unchecked for too long, your immune function could suffer as a result.


Chest Pain


Do you ever get a heavy feeling in your chest when your stress levels are through the roof? You’re not alone. Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of both stress and anxiety. The problem is that chest pain can also be an indication of a much more serious problem, so it shouldn’t be ignored.


When we’re stressed, our bodies release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that increase blood pressure and heart rate. They may even cause the muscles of the chest to tighten, which can lead to chest pain and discomfort.


There are a couple of ways to potentially differentiate between a heart attack and chest pain from stress. When men are experiencing heart attack symptoms, they generally feel a squeezing or aching sensation in their chest that radiates to the left arm or jaw. When women are experiencing a heart attack, they may experience similar chest discomfort but feel it primarily between their shoulder blades. They may also experience generalized discomfort in their neck or upper back. If you have these symptoms, seek emergency care right away.


Muscle Tension


Stress and muscle tension go together like peanut butter and jelly. Stress causes the muscles of the body to contract, which can eventually lead to pronounced muscle tension. The longer your muscles remain tense, the more likely you are to experience aches and pains in various parts of your body.


Upset Stomach


Do you ever wonder why you have pervasive stomach issues such as diarrhea, bloating and stomach pain? The culprit could be too much stress. Stress hormones can negatively impact gut health and make it more difficult for our bodies to digest the foods we eat. As a result, we’re more likely to experience all kinds of unpleasant digestive woes.


How To Reduce Stress in Your Life


Now that you know some of the ways stress can harm your body, it’s time to talk about how to reduce stress in your life. Some of my favorite stress-busting activities include:


  • Exercising: Physical exercise helps to reduce stress hormones and boost feel-good hormones.

  • Meditating: If you want to feel your stress levels melt away like magic, try meditating. It may take a few tries to get the full effects of a successful meditation session.

  • Picking up a hobby: Doing things you enjoy can be a great way to reduce stress and improve your sense of purpose.

  • Stretching: Take time to stretch each day and relieve muscle tension related to stress. You’ll feel like a million bucks after each good stretching session.


These are just a few of my favorite stress-relieving activities. Give them a try and see if they work for you. Don’t forget to cut out unnecessary sources of stress from your life. Your physical and mental health are worth it!


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