If you didn’t know that stress affects physical health as well as mental health, then we have some unfortunate news for you, it definitely does.
The gut-brain axis has been the talk of the town in recent years, with how chronic stress can cause serious physical symptoms that can result in chronic pain, illness, and potential diseases.
If you think that you are living with too much stress and you would like to find proactive ways in managing stress, then you are in luck as today we will delve into what physical symptoms you can go through, and the best stress management tips that can turn those aches and pains into relief.
Why Should We Reduce Stress?
Sometimes, a little bit of stress and anxiety can actually help us, it can spur us on with motivation to meet our goals, whether they be personal or professional, and it can protect the immune system through the production of a chemical called interleukins which block illnesses.
These are positives for our daily life, and it is hard to avoid stress entirely, in fact, whatever corporate life you are living you are going to experience your stress response rising at certain points to get you through the day.
However, there are times when stress can overload the body causing chronic stress which results in long-term effects that can generate serious harm to the body if not dealt with properly.
Digestive problems have been linked to chronic stress such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) causing more mental health problems which will then once again have an effect on the body, like an endless cycle of illness and upset.
Reducing stress holds immense significance, not only for our physical and mental well-being but also for the betterment of our immune system and nervous system. It’s crucial to explore various avenues that can help us alleviate stress in our daily lives. One highly effective method is to foster connections with our loved ones, confiding in them and spending quality time together. This can work wonders in easing the burden of stress.
Alternatively, for a different yet equally potent approach, one might consider using vaping devices with nic salts (if interested, you can click here to check nic salts equipped vape devices). By using these innovative devices an individual can experience an instantaneous release of dopamine, which may provide a much-needed boost to the overall sense of well-being.
In essence, making a conscious effort to destress on a daily basis is essential. By doing so, we can safeguard ourselves from the perils of chronic stress and embrace a healthier, more balanced life.
The Physical Symptoms of Chronic Stress
If you stop for a moment and be by yourself, you may notice that even when you are at a standstill, your body is working overtime.
You might notice muscle tension in your shoulders, your hands shaking, your pulse racing, and your blood pressure may be very high.
This is (bar any physical health issues), more than likely the result of stress, especially if you live a busy and active lifestyle whilst handling different issues.
You could have an illness in the family that you are trying to support, trouble at work that is making you experience anxiety symptoms such as worry and fear, or you could just be dealing with personal issues that are causing you psychological stress which you can’t seem to shake.
Whatever is going on in your life, your body is going to show it on you.
So, if you have any of the physical effects down below, it may just be the right time to take a step back and address them properly.
In women, our hormones are constantly fluctuating to deal with our menstrual cycle, and times like menopause which can cause hair loss, however, stress also has an effect on people losing their hair, men or women, and if you have noticed a few more hairs in the sink or in the shower, it could be to do with your stress levels.
We have hair loss naturally when the hair follicle moves from the normal growth cycle to the resting cycle, but, when stress is introduced into our system, it causes a lot more follicles to move into the resting cycle resulting in more hair loss.
Muscle Aches and Pains
Stress causes muscle tension in our bodies, they tense up due to the stress we are going through, and over time if this turns into something chronic, then that will result in muscle pain and a lot of aching. A lot of people will feel aches and pains in their shoulders, necks, and back, but it can form in any part of the body which people can falsely apply to them accidentally hurting themselves or pulling a muscle exercising.
Stress often leads to muscle tension throughout our bodies, causing them to tighten as a response to the stressors we’re experiencing. Over time, when this tension becomes chronic, it can result in persistent muscle pain and discomfort. These aches and pains are commonly felt in areas like the shoulders, neck, and back, but they can manifest in any part of the body, sometimes leading individuals to mistakenly attribute them to accidental injuries or muscle strains from exercise.
Seeking relief from this chronic muscle tension, many turn to the skilled hands of a massage therapist. Not only they provide relaxation but can also help release the built-up tension in muscles, offering a holistic approach to managing the physical toll of stress. Additionally, there are various other strategies people employ to alleviate this tension. Some engage in regular exercise, such as yoga or stretching routines, which can promote muscle relaxation and reduce stress.
Heat therapy, like warm baths or heating pads, can help relax muscles, while cold therapy may be beneficial for reducing inflammation. Deep breathing exercises, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic care, over-the-counter pain relief, and stress management techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy and biofeedback are other avenues individuals explore to address stress-related muscle tension, each offering its unique benefits and approaches to relief.
Stress will have a serious effect on the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause abdominal pains, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation.
People who also have illnesses that affect their gut like IBS and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) may experience more stress as they are trying to deal with their illness which can be very worrying, but that will also have a knock-on effect, which, as mentioned before, turns into a horrible cycle.
Feeling Lightheaded and Dizzy
The stress hormones coursing through the system will cause people’s heart rates to rise with rapid and shallow breathing, making them feel very dizzy and lightheaded.
It can result in chronic fatigue making people constantly feel like they have lead weights in their bodies and if they try and move they get the feeling of a spinning room and they can lose their vision for a moment.
Lack of Sexual Desire
Someone with an anxiety disorder is going to go through a lot of ups and downs as they try and regulate their body, however, when it comes to the bedroom, stress can also disrupt the body’s hormone balances, decreasing people’s sex drive, causing erectile dysfunction, irregular menstrual cycles, and women can miss their periods.
If this is constant, then couples may go through emotional stress which can have a negative effect on their relationship, especially if they think that they are the problem and don’t talk it out with their partner.
How to Do Stress Management
Calming your mind to benefit your body means that you need to see what you can do to manage stress and help yourself feel better about what you are going through.
Here are some ways that you can do this, so you are not feeling constant stress and having it massively affect your life.
Get Enough Excercise
Exercise will not only keep your body active and help you with a healthy body weight, but it can also release endorphins in your body making you feel happier.
You won’t need to exercise a lot during the day, but as long as you set aside some time during the day, even if it is just a 10-minute HIIT workout, you will see the benefits, and before you know it you will form a habit that can manage stress.
Eat Nutritious Food
What you put into your body is definitely going to affect you mentally.
Eating foods high in sugar and fat will give you that rush initially, but you will eventually crash causing you to feel lethargic and jaded, making you reach for more sugar.
Focus on foods that release energy naturally and slowly to keep you fuller for longer such as nuts, protein-rich foods, fruit, eggs, and whole-grain foods.
These will keep your gut regular too.
Connect With People More
When we feel down in the dumps, we don’t really want to see people, we feel tired, fed up, and all we want to do is hide away.
This can sometimes help as you do need that quiet time to reset, but if you have been doing it for a while, this can make you feel worse as all you have are your thoughts.
Going outside for a walk, even just saying hi to people in passing can be a nice addition to your day and make you feel slightly happier.
Dial it up a notch and go and visit friends and family by spending the day with them. This connection can help you feel better and you will get your mind off your stress for a little bit so you won’t be feeling this worry all at once.
Practice Mindful Meditation
There are a lot of benefits to meditation, and people have sworn by them for many years at helping them gain clarity about situations and provide themselves with a clearer mind to tackle things.
Spending 10 minutes a day, maybe in the morning before you start your day, just sitting in a quiet room and doing some deep breathing, can help you with your stress and set you up for a good day, rather than starting out feeling rushed and anxious.
See a Therapist
There are things that happen in life that can shake us to our very core, and as much as we try to deal with them in our own way (sometimes ignoring them), it is not always going to work and it can cause more issues down the road.
If you have gone through a very stressful event that has made you feel upset, angry, scared, or incredibly anxious, then now is the time to seek help from professionals.
They will be able to provide you with mental exercises and help you gain a better understanding of yourself and other situations.
If you feel like it would benefit you to see a professional, then look up what therapists are in your area, and how they will be able to help you with your issue.
So, can stress cause body aches? Yes, of course they can, and they can also cause many issues in the body that are not good for your overall health.
If you have been dealing with stress by yourself recently, and you have not had any luck with tackling it, it is essential that you speak to someone and get the support you need to reduce these problems.
Don’t suffer in silence, it won’t be good for you and you deserve to live a mentally positive life.