The Effects of Stress on our Mind and Body

Stress and its impact on mental health may differ from mild to severe. But with little to no medical precautions, stress can soon elevate to severity. Although stress is a common human emotion, it is only healthy in small doses. When it elevates, it could lead to more severe mental health conditions. Anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts are the worst effects of stress. 

Stress and its impact on mental health could occur due to many other reasons. Working at a stressful job, experiencing a frightening event or having an argument at home are some of the main causes of mental stress. No matter what reason there is, the effect on the mind and body is inevitable. 

How Does Stress Affect The Body Physically?

Our body has a tendency to render an immediate response to stress. When the body receives stressors, the brain is the first to realise them. As such, it sends signals to other parts of the body by ringing an “alarm bell”. 

This alarm bell helps us to understand that our body is undergoing stress. This means that stress hormones, mainly adrenaline and cortisol, are released into the brain and then into the bloodstream. 

When these hormones go around the body, there are a few responses that occur- 

  • Lungs start to function harder to get Oxygen. 
  • Muscles prepare themselves to get into action.
  • Pumping of blood occurs more efficiently in the body. 
  • More energy is made available to you by the body. 

Other noticeable changes may also occur in the body- 

  • Tensed muscles 
  • Heartbeat and breathing escalate
  • Sweaty palms
  • Dry mouth
  • Thinking gets tougher 

Some Symptoms Of Ongoing Stress

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Stress in small doses can be healthy for your body. It can trigger your energy levels, instigate a sense of motivation and make you complete your chores on time. However, too much stress can do quite the contrary to your health. This means when stress reaches a chronic stage, it can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. As such, the connection between stress and anxiety strengthens instantly. 

When the connection between stress and anxiety starts to get stronger, here are certain symptoms you may experience- 

  • Body aches and consistent pain
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping soundly 
  • Constant mood swings
  • Feeling irritated easily 
  • Having an upset stomach or feeling constipated
  • Concentration problems or blurred thinking 
  • Low libido
  • Drooping energy levels in the body
  • Trouble sustaining or having an erection 

Does Stress Have The Potential To Leave Long-term Health Results?

Without getting too technical, YES! How stress affects the body physically can depend on many factors. But there is a high likelihood of it affecting your health long-term if you do not take the right precautions on time. 

Here are certain consequences of long-term results of stress on your health-

  • Asthma
  • Heart diseases
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cancer 
  • High blood pressure problems
  • Chronic Obsessive Pulmonary disorder (COPD)
  • Diabetes
  • Migraines

Other effects of stress on mental condition in the long-term may be-

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic disorder
  • Substance use disorders

What Are The Risks That May Elevate Stress Long-term?

Since everyone has a different definition of stress in their minds, it is difficult to fathom what may cause stress mutually for all. However, certain stressors have been said to be the most common among everyone, which may eventually result in long-term stress. These may also be the reasons why you might be at a higher risk of suffering from stress in the future. 

Most people feel stressed easily about- 

  • Feeling tired and hungry easily.
  • Facing a lot of obstacles in life
  • Not having a resilient support system
  • Suffering from a physical or mental health illness
  • Not having a stable financial situation
  • Unstable housing situation

Stress is also most likely to occur due to- 

  • Death of a loved one
  • Experiencing a serious injury or accident 
  • Not having a home or an apartment
  • Not having a job
  • Undergoing a situation of separation or divorce with your spouse
  • Diagnosis of a new health condition
  • Switching to a new home or apartment
  • Giving birth to a child

How To Cope With Stress In A Healthy Way?

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There can be an indefinite amount of effects stress can incur on both your mind and body. But practising certain steps to cope with stress in a healthy way is a good call. There are umpteen amounts of strategies that work for this purpose. Let us view them all- 

  • Experiencing regular exercise
  • Practising meditation early in the morning for at least 13 minutes each
  • Practising mindfulness (you can start with small steps)
  • Eating wholesome and nutritious foods that give you jolts of energy
  • Getting a sound sleep at night, preferably for 7 to 9 hours.
  • Speaking to a therapist and sharing your experiences with them
  • Joining a support group and making new friends there who share the same experiences as you do.
  • Spending sufficient time with family and friends

This is how to cope with stress in a healthy way. But if you still find yourself in need of medical support, do not hesitate to rely on your doctor for the same. They will help you dive into the crux of the problem and understand how to treat the effects stress is releasing on your mind and body. 

The Bottom Line

The more you are affected by the life around you, the more you will find yourself dealing with stress. That means the reasons for stress can be never-ending. But how we deal with this in a healthy manner and the approach we adopt to keep ourselves sane counts the most. 

Make sure that the next time you are stressed about anything, you adopt the healthy measures to deal with them that we have listed above. 

Also, do not hesitate to share your experiences with friends and family so they can render additional support to you in need. Eventually, you will find yourself dealing with stress better than you had ever imagined. We promise!

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