You’ve got a four o’clock meeting at work, then you’re checking in with your wedding planner at 5. When you get home, you won’t even be able to relax because you’ve got a few work proposals to look at. Just thinking about your jam-packed schedule has your stomach in knots.
Your stomach might not be hurting because of dread. Stress has a negative impact on your digestive system. Your stomach isn’t the only part of your body that takes a hit when you’re stressed.
This negative emotion has an impact on all your normal bodily functions. Keep reading this guide to learn more.
1. Muscles and Joints
When things get to be too much, your body’s threshold for pain takes a huge plummet. If you have a condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, stressful situations can cause it to flare up.
Stress also tends to make your muscles tense up. This can lead to painful spasms and lockups.
2. Heart and Lungs
Stress activates your fight or flight response which gets your heart pumping harder. It’s trying to distribute blood to help you fight off the thing that’s threatening you. Even if the thing that’s threatening you is a work meeting rather than a vicious attack.
This natural bodily response can up your risk for heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Stress makes your chest tighten as well which can aggravate asthma symptoms.
If the tightness in your chest becomes painful or you’re experiencing heart palpitations, get to a doctor as soon as you can.
3. Skin and Hair
Stress can make your body feel itchy all over. If you have a skin condition such as psoriasis or rosacea scratching it will only irritate it and make it worse. Your body tends to sweat whenever you panic.
This sweat turns into oil which may break you out. Stress can even lead to hair loss or make you grey earlier than you should. That may sound like an old wives tale but it’s an old wives tale that’s true.
Think back to whenever your crush talked to you in school or you had to do a presentation. Your hands would get sweaty, your heart would start to race, and your stomach would twist into painful knots. Stress has an effect on your digestive system.
You may experience simple symptoms such as cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, and gas, or symptoms that are harder to deal with like acid reflux and IBS.
5. Immune System
Your immune system needs to be in top shape in order to fight off illnesses. Stress secretes hormones that interfere with your immune system. This can cause it to overreact and attack both your healthy cells and bad ones.
You’ll be more vulnerable to cold and flu. When you do get sick it’ll be difficult for your body to fight it off. If you have an infection of any kind, stress will actually stimulate the growth of bacteria.
6. Mental Illness
If you’re stressed it’s hard to motivate yourself to do much. You won’t even be able to perk yourself up to do the things that you love doing. People who experience high amounts of stress are also known to make poorer food choices and don’t exercise as much which can make mental health worse.
Whenever you’re stressed about something, your mind will race at night, making it hard to sleep. If you don’t get a proper amount of sleep, you’ll get more anxious and depressed.
7. Shoulders, Jaw, and Head
High amounts of stress can cause you to tense your jaw and shoulders. Doing this for long periods of time will result in horrible tension migraines and TMJ. You may also experience spasms in your jaw, neck, and shoulders.
How to Cope with Stress
The good news is that you can avoid these issues if you learn to cope with stress in healthy ways. Here are a few methods for you to try out.
Focus on the Things You Can Change
Tough times and stressful situations can make you feel helpless. Like nothing you can do will be enough to solve the problem. Ignore this feeling and think about the things that you can change.
You might not be able to avoid having a meeting with your boss but you may be able to push it back to a date that’s better for you, for example.
Seek Support from Others
If things get to be too much and you can’t cope on your own, don’t be afraid to talk to your family and friends. It’s their job to support you and give you helpful advice.
If you can’t count on them to give you the support you need, consider talking to a counsellor.
Make a Plan
When you’re faced with an issue, make a plan to conquer it rather than let it consume you. Once you lay out all your options you’ll see that maybe you can break up your to-do list into more manageable fragments rather than try and take everything on at once.
If you feel good, you’ll be able to take on the entire world. That’s why you shouldn’t forget to take some time out of your day for self-care.
There are many self-care activities you can try and if you have to, talk to your boss about taking a mental health day off.
A Lot Happens to Your Body When You’re Stressed
Your poor body goes through a lot when you’re stressed. If you let the stress overtake you, you may find that you stay sick more often than not. It takes a toll on your joints and muscles as well.
That’s why you have to do your best to not let the stress take its toll. Take control of your mental health and always seek help when you need it.
Sometimes taking a supplement can help you combat the negative effects of stress. Contact us to ask about our products.