Stress. An aspect of our lives, but are you dealing with it everyday? If you are, you may be experiencing symptoms caused by stress and not know it. When stressed, your muscles tense up and guard you from pain and injury, so continual stress keeps your muscles in a constant tense state*, which may cause the following symptoms.
Ways Stress Affects Your Body**
- Muscle tension or pain
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach upset
- Sleep problems
- Rapid pulse
- Sweaty palms
- Frequent illnesses
Ways Stress Affects Your Mood**
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Irritability and anger
- Sadness or depression
Ways Stress Affects Your Behavior**
- Overeating or undereating
- Angry outbursts
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Tobacco use
- Social withdrawal
- Exercising less often
Are you experiencing any of the items above? “Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.”*** If you are, it is time to think about stress-management.
One way to help decrease stress is by doing regular physical activities like walking, exercise, gardening, etc. Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, Qigong, warm bath/shower, etc. may also help reduce your stress level. Physical activity also helps you fall asleep faster and reach deeper sleep levels.
Another simple stress reduction activity involves doing one or more breathing techniques. “With the speed and depth of our breath, we are telling our bodies what we are feeling, as well as what our priorities are at the time. This means that breathing affects all the aspects and levels of our mood, from stress level to blood pressure and immune functionality.”**** Visit Breathing Techniques: A Guide to the Science and Methods article to learn about the different breathing techniques.
If these suggestions don’t help reduce your stress symptoms, see your doctor to help you find a stress-management/coping skills professional.
Go to our Events & Services web page to learn about our upcoming events that help you learn how to reduce stress and anxiety.
*”Stress Effects on the Body” by American Psychological Association
**”Stress Symptoms: Effects on Your Body and Behavior” on Mayo Clinic and “10 Ways to Stay Healthy Under Stress” by Daniel K on TrueWellnyss
***”The Effects of Stress on Your Body” by WebMD
****”Breathing Techniques: A Guide to the Science and Methods” by Groom and Style
“How to Start a Workout Plan (and Actually Stick with It)” by Michael Perry on FitnessFixedGear.com