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Ways Stress Can Affect Your Health

Ways Stress Can Affect Your Health

by Tanner Neuberger, PT, DPT, TDN Level 1Leave a Comment

We all deal with stress from time to time, with some periods of our lives being more stressful than others. Everyone handles stress differently; some can cope with stress better than others, and some give in to the slightest bit of stress. Some use positive coping mechanisms like exercise and meditation, while others use negative coping mechanisms like substance use or other destructive behaviors. With all this increase in stress over recent years and decades, modern medicine has demonstrated within the past few years the effects stress can have on our physical and mental health, both long-term and short-term.

Stress can have short term effects on your body, mood, and behavior, not limited to 1:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Over/under-eating
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle tension/pain
  • Decreased libido
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Chest pain
  • Drug or alcohol misuse

Understandably, if these effects are allowed to transition from a short-term problem into a long-term, the effects can increase in their severity as well. Long-term stress has been linked with 2:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk for cardiovascular events that include heart attacks and strokes
  • Induction or exacerbation of anxiety and depression can occur
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Sleep issues
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Gut health issues (diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc.)

Make Time for Your Mental & Physical Health

Stress can alter your mental and physical health to a severe degree if left unchecked. It is important to know when you are stressed beyond your ability to handle that stress. Here are three ways to help combat stress: sleep improvements, regular physical exercise, and a healthy social support network.

If you feel that your stress impacts your quality of life, schedule a Free Assessment with a licensed physical therapist today. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our Telehealth platform.

Request a Free Assessment

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

References:
1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987
2. https://psychcentral.com/lib/long-term-effects-of-chronic-stress-on-body-and-mind#6

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