Are you in stress? Be aware its physical reactions
Self Help

Are you in stress? Be aware its physical reactions


Stress can be described as a state of mental tension or worry, which can be caused by any difficult situation. It is a natural response of humans and prompts us to address threats and challenges in our lives. It can be also defined as any change that brings emotional, physical and psychological strain.

Stress is not always harmful. Sometimes, it is good to have some stress that encourages us to be productive and do our work. This type of good stress is called eustress. However, taking too much stress, for an extended period of time and can cause mental as well as physical health problems and can hinder over all well-being of an individual and the quality of life gets affected.

We come across multiple challenges in our day to day life, such as meeting deadlines, managing finances, managing household chores etc. which results in our body reacting to these situations because they cause stress to us which is completely normal because this stress is a motivational force that keeps us striving for better. The problem arises that when we get stuck into that loop of fight or flight mode, which can ultimately lead to chronic stress affecting our health as well.

Also Read: The Relation Between Your Stress and Gut

How Does Stress Affects Our Body?

Stress affects our body and physical health in many ways. In case of some minor stressful situations like going for examination or an interview or even going on a date can cause physical symptoms like stomach ache. It happens due to the nervousness that we feel prior to some important event which is quite normal.

Another type of stress is acute stress. It is caused by events that causes significant impact on person’s mental health like death of a loved one or any natural calamity like earthquake, flood etc. Such repeated episodes of acute stress can lead to inflammation in coronary arteries and that is why people associate stress with heart attack. Stress can also lead to high levels of cholesterol in body.

Chronic stress is a prolonged state of being under stress. The longer the stress stays, the more dangerous it is to your mental as well as physical health. In such conditions, the daily functioning of the individual also gets impaired.

Also Read: Stress from pre-board exams among students: how to minimize exam stress?

Few symptoms are very common in chronic stress such as:
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability
The long term exposure of body to cortisol can adversely affect the bodily functions as well. Some of the physical symptoms are:
  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Stroke
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Memory impairment

People with chronic stress also experience weakened immune system. Due to this it gets harder for them to recover from illnesses and makes them prone to many diseases as well.

Some diseases caused by chronic stress can be:
  • Broken Heart Syndrome
  • Stress Induced Anxiety
  • Stress Induced Depression
  • Ischemia to the Heart
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia

While dealing with stress, one might also give in to addictions like alcohol, smoking, drugs, tobacco etc. Such risky behaviors eventually affect their physical health as well and make them prone to diseases.

How to Prevent Such Conditions?

Reducing and managing the level of your stress not only benefits you temporarily, but will help you lead a healthy and happy life in the long run. Research has shown can help you in managing or reducing your stress are:

Identifying the Cause

It is important to sit back and think about what is actually causing you stress. It can be anything like work deadline, household responsibility, kid’s responsibility, expenses, whatsoever can be your potential reasons for the stress experienced. You can write it all somewhere that what is bothering you, how it is bothering you, your thoughts about it, your feelings about it etc. after that make a plan of addressing these issues. Make a priority list that what are your top priorities and what are the things you can eliminate from your list. This will give you a sense of control over your life and help you to make informed and better decisions without experiencing unnecessary stress.

Interpersonal Relationships

Sometimes relationships can itself cause enough stress in a person’s life. For example, having an abusive partner can bring a lot of anxiety in one’s life or having friends that bully you can also cause a lot of stress to a person. Such people are needed to be eliminated from your lives.

Meanwhile, good relationships can also help one overcome their stress and encourage them to do better in life. Reaching out to friends and family during tough times can help one a lot. Talking to them in itself might help you overcome that feeling and they might even offer you some advice or support to help you cope with it.

Also Read: Mindfulness and humor can facilitate Psychological well-being and reduce stress

Taking Care of Physical Health

What worsens the stress is your poor physical health. It is easier to manage stress when you have a healthy lifestyle. Some of the ways through which you can ensure your physical health are:

  • Exercising consistently
  • Eating a nutritional and balanced diet
  • Taking quality sleep
  • Limiting consumption of caffeine
  • Physical grooming
  • Limiting screen time

Mindfulness refers to staying the present. Under stressful conditions, we often tend to either dwell in past or worry about future. Mindful activities can help us to stay in touch with reality and focus on the present. Activities like yoga, meditation are some example of mindfulness.

Seeking Professional Help

If trying all these strategies does not seem to work and the stress gets too overwhelming that it is a good decision to seek help from a professional psychologist. Psychotherapy can help you manage your stress effectively and can help you adapt healthy behavioral pattern that will result in your over well-being.


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