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Stress And The Effects Of Stress On Your Body

Stress And The Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Shweta Chaubey

Stress is defined as the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear we experience when dealing with emotional or mental pressure. Just mentioning the word “stress” can paint a picture in your mind where hundreds of cars are stuck in traffic, continually honking their horns or take you to the time when you couldn't find your keys and were late for an important meeting.

In a stressful situation, the hypothalamus in the brain sends an emergency signal to the body to release stress hormones such as Cortisol. These stress hormones trigger a "fight or flight" response which prepares the body to stay and deal with a threat or run away. Heart rate and breathing become rapid, the pupils dilate, skin becomes pale, and muscles tense which causes trembling. This is a normal body reaction but if it occurs frequently, it can put you at serious risk.

Experts agree that constant stress can lead to various health issues. In addition, chronic stress can have long-term effects on the body because it disrupts almost all body systems.

Symptoms of Stress

  • Irritability 
  • Headaches 
  • Fatigue 
  • Insomnia 
  • Clinical Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Cloudiness 
  • Back Pain 
  • Emotional Withdrawal
  • Loss of Appetite

How does Stress Affect the Body?

Stress is part and parcel of human life and can push us to go beyond the usual to get the job done. However, chronic stress disrupts the body's overall well-being. Besides the mental and emotional damage, long-term stress also causes physical and social problems and has been found to be the underlying cause of several fatal diseases.

Respiratory Issues

The hormones released in harsh circumstances affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems to a great extent. For example, when we are stressed, breathing becomes faster for quick distribution of oxygen-rich blood to the body. Therefore, a person already dealing with a severe breathing concern like asthma may find it challenging to deal with stress effectively.

Another thing that happens is stress-inducing hormones constrict blood vessels and divert excessive oxygen to the muscles, so they have enough strength to act when needed. Chronic stress raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder than necessary, increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack.

Frequent Muscle Pain

When in a dangerous situation, the muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury and return to their normal state once you relax. However, in a chronic stress situation, the muscles may not get the chance to loosen up. Tightened muscles cause headaches, back & abdomen pain, and other body aches. After a certain point, this can make the body imbalanced and inactive as you stop exercising and turn to pain medication for relief.


Stress can trigger and worsen diabetes in many ways. First of all, it can increase the frequency of destructive behaviors and push the body to eat mindlessly and drink excessively. Second, experts claim that stress raises glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes.


Medical researchers and practitioners believe that chronic stress can cause issues with brain health. Cortisol damages brain cells and causes inflammation which has been linked to early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Bad Posture

Too much strain on the muscles and shallow breathing leads to compromised body posture. Increased tightness of muscles and improper breathing can permanently hinder body posture.


Increased secretion of cortisol pushes the body to not only indulge in overeating, but to also crave high-calorie comfort food. This causes unnecessary weight gain and ultimately leads to obesity.

Erectile Dysfunction

Although short-term stress can increase the production of the male hormone testosterone, it doesn't last long.

If stress is not managed, a man's testosterone levels may fall drastically, causing interference with sperm production, erectile dysfunction or impotence. Chronic stress may also increase the chances of infection in the reproductive organs.

In women, stress directly impacts menstruation and often leads to irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Subsequently, it can also cause heavy bleeding and painful abdominal cramps. Chronic stress can also increase menopause symptoms.

Low Sex Drive

Stress exhausts both mind and body. It is quite common to lose desire and stamina which leads to low libido. When under continual pressure, lethargy can creep into your sex life and result in diminished drive.

Stress Incontinence

Have you felt the sudden urge to use the bathroom before a job interview? Do you often feel this way when you're nervous? This happens because continual pressure makes the bladder hyperreactive. This leads to the development of Urinary Tract Infections and stress incontinence in more severe cases.

Extreme Weight Loss

Sudden fluctuations in weight are considered one of the first symptoms of chronic stress. While it often paves the way to obesity, stress can also do the opposite and cause excessive weight loss by forcing you to skip meals, make poor eating choices or lose the desire to eat altogether.

Delayed Wound Healing

Research has shown that stress impedes wound healing. Constant pressure can cause a weakened immune response which adversely impacts the body's wound-healing capacity.

Poor Vision

Stress is the body's natural response to any demand for change that interferes with its normal equilibrium. Continual stress leads to headaches which may cause blurred vision and excessive strain on the eyes.

What is Stress Management?

They say stress management is an art; indeed, it is. Managing stress levels is essential to living a healthy and prosperous life. It is next to impossible to avoid stress completely, but you can limit its impact on your mental and physical well-being. There are plenty of creative ways to manage stress before it starts to take a toll on your overall health.

How to Manage Stress?

Stress management is personal and individual. What works for one may not work for another. The best way of coping with stress is to understand the cause and derail it for a while.

Follow these five steps to nip your stress in the bud:

1. Know Yourself

Understand who you are. Identify your emotions, strengths and weaknesses. Spend some time alone to reflect and get to know the real you!

2. Identify the Problem


Once you know where the problem lies, it becomes easier to find a solution. First, pay attention to your reactions to the actions of others. If their actions trigger negative responses in you, try avoiding them. Then, trace your negative patterns and replace them with healthier ones.

3. Take Frequent Breaks

Everyone gets into the "low zone" at some point. The best way to return to normalcy quickly is to give yourself time to rest. Even a few minutes of downtime scattered a few times throughout the day can work wonders.

4. Pick Your Favs

Investing time in your favorite things is an effective way of releasing stress. Whether it’s reading, painting, listening to music or exercising, pick your favorite hobbies and do what you love to do the most.

5. Stay Hydrated

Water is truly a magic potion. It not only has the power to cure severe physical ailments but it can also soothe your mind. Try it right now! You will be amazed how a simple thing like drinking a glass of water can make your outlook brighter.

Modern life is stressful and can put you at significant risk for various medical conditions and disorders. Learning to manage stress is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Check healthproductsforyou for our vast catalog of products designed to help you on your way to health, wellness and stress management.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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