The human body has many common responses to stress. These might include both emotional responses, such as depression, anxiety, and anger issues, as well as physical responses like cravings, headaches, sleep problems, diseases, and other detrimental effects on the body.
The Mind and Body Connection
When assessing stress levels, both the mind and body are connected. This link means that stressful thoughts or actions can sometimes lead to physical effects on the body. For example, a person who is stressed out might crave sweets, alcohol, or nicotine, which could, in turn, harm the body by contributing to overeating, weight gain, liver disease, lung cancer and other health problems. In addition, stressful thoughts, like worry and anxiety that are compounded over time, contribute to problems like chest pain, arthritis, headache, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Stress plays a clear role in decreasing the body's immunity because as you are on high alert, your body wears out and your reserves tap out.
List of Common Responses to Stress
The following are some of the common responses to stress. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider getting professional help before the condition worsens.
Physical stress includes the problems that occur in the body, such as aches, pains and disease that develop due to stress. It also includes the responses to those symptoms, such as self-medicating with sugar or caffeine during times of stress. Some of the physical symptoms of stress include:
- Chest problems such as pain, heart palpitations, and heart disease
- Aches and pains in the body, including headache, back pains, and upset stomach
- Problems with sleep, such as waking up in the night and not being able to fall back asleep
- High blood pressure
Emotional stress are thoughts and feelings experienced during stressful situations. For the most part, these are negative thoughts, although emotional stress can also come from overexcitement due to a positive event. The human body simply can't sustain an elevated level for long without consequences. Emotional responses to stress include some of the following:
- Anxiety and depression symptoms
- Anger and outbursts or rage
- Burnout and the inability to focus
- Withdrawing socially and forgetfulness
- Increased irritability and restlessness
What stress really does when you can't take it anymore is it either ends up causing disease in the body if you don't get help or it causes you to make a lifestyle change because you don't want to get sicker. It's critical to work on stress-related issues and stress management before major problems occur. Don't wait until it's too late. Most of the time, stress doesn't go away on it's own without some kind of intervention, such as visiting a physician, talking to a therapist, or changing habits. Medications, such as antidepressants, can work to alter brain chemicals to promote well-being and the ability to better handle challenging situations.
Ways to Decrease Stress in Your Life
Since stress is an inevitable part of life, focus on what you can do to combat it.
- Take time out for you to relax
- Engage in activities that promote laughter
- Don't be afraid to say no if you feel overcommitted.
- Practice deep breathing and meditation
- Get enough sleep, healthy foods, supplements, and exercise
- Keep a normal routine during the day
- Do your best to surround yourself with supportive people
- Realize that there is only so much in life that you can control
Live a Long, Healthy Life
As you can see, it takes some initiative to deal with stress, but avoiding physical and emotional responses can help you live a long and healthy life.