Stress and Its Effect on Your Body
Stress is something that most people experience from time to time, and it’s a normal part of life. A small amount of stress is usually nothing to worry about; in some situations, stress is helpful. It can spur you on to achieve things or push you to meet that deadline. You may not notice it, but constant or long-term stress can have detrimental effects on your body, wearing you down and making you mentally and physically sick.
Recognizing your stress symptoms can be tricky; there are many of them, and they can be hard to pin down. You might not recognize the signs or notice how stress affects your body until you get to the breaking point.
What Does Stress Do to Your Body?
Our bodies are pretty resilient. We are designed to be able to experience stress and react to it. There are even different names for the different types of stress. Positive, helpful pressure is called eustress, while negative, unhealthy stress is called distress. Distress is the type you feel when you’re permanently overwhelmed or suffering constant challenges. This type of stress needs to be recognized and dealt with before it builds up and distress-related tension develops.
- Forty-three percent of adults experienced adverse health effects from distress.
- Seventy-five to 90 percent of visits to the doctor’s office are about stress-related complaints.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has even declared stress as a workplace hazard. Stress costs the American industry more than $300 billion per year.
A Body in Distress
Distress is unhealthy and can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, including headaches, stomach problems (like IBS), raised blood pressure, pains in your chest, and problems with sleep. High levels of stress may also make existing medical conditions worse. Another issue that can arise from being over-stressed is that, as human beings, we are programmed to look for the fastest and most effective ways to reduce stress levels quickly, and they aren’t always healthy. Smoking, drinking alcohol, or drugs may provide temporary relief. Still, in the long term, rather than relaxing you, these substances tend to keep the body in a high-stressed state and can lead to even more problems, like addiction or substance-related health conditions.
Better Ways to Cope with Stress
You’ll know the ways that being stressed out affects you personally. Maybe it causes your skin to flare up. Or you get an IBS attack. Don’t ignore these symptoms – they can be your body’s way of warning you that it’s all getting a bit too much, and you need to calm yourself down. Don’t reach for the junk food or wine bottle when you’re stressed – you’ll appreciate little treats more when you’re relaxed, and relying on unhealthy crutches to get you through can lead to long-term issues on top of the underlying stress.
Massage is a well-known stress reliever – physically, it will un-knot the tense muscles causing headaches and neck/shoulder pain. Emotionally, massage therapy stimulates the production of feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine, so you don’t need the chemical relaxants. Book for a massage therapy session before the stress builds up, and do yourself and your body a big favor. You can also try our massage using premium CBD salve for that warm and relaxing relief.
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