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.

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, these substances tend to keep the body in a high-stress state and can lead to even more problems, like addiction or substance-related health conditions.

Severe and prolonged stress can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental well-being, potentially pushing them toward a heightened vulnerability to suicide. The strain of unmanaged stress can lead to feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and distorted thinking. Coping mechanisms may falter, and the ability to see solutions or positive outcomes may diminish. Stress can also exacerbate underlying mental health conditions, further increasing the risk. Recognizing these connections and seeking timely intervention through professional help, support networks, and healthy coping strategies is crucial to breaking the chain between stress and the tragic outcome of suicide.

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.

Massage offers both physical and psychological benefits that can alleviate stress and promote relaxation. The tactile stimulation of massage triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. It reduces muscle tension, helps regulate breathing and heart rate, and improves overall circulation. Moreover, the human touch involved in massage can foster a sense of connection and emotional comfort, countering feelings of isolation.

But it’s essential to seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with severe stress and suicidal thoughts.

Book 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.

Brilliant Massage & Skin

Burlington, Vermont