Stress can impact your health in ways you might not even realize. What might seem like a normal headache can actually be caused by stress, as well as insomnia or decreased productivity. Too much stress can also cause irreparable damage to your body. The relationship between stress and your health can be complicated, but you can take steps to reduce the stress in your life.
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Common Health Effects of Stress
Stress can have an impact on your physical and mental health, as well as your behavior. Leaving stress unchecked can cause your symptoms to get worse and wreak havoc on your life. It’s crucial to recognize the common effects of stress and learn how to reduce your main triggers. High blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease are often worst-case scenario conditions that can be caused by untreated stress.
On your body
- Muscle pain or tension
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach problems
- Sleep problems
On your mentality
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sadness or depression
On your behavior
- Over or undereating
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Tobacco use
- Exercising less
- Socializing less
- Angry outbursts
How to Manage your Stress
Taking the right steps to manage your stress in a healthy way is key to avoiding any health problems. Some common stress management tips to consider include:
- Regular physical activity
- Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or massages
- Spending time with loved ones
- Prioritizing hobbies, such as reading, playing, or listening to music
Certain activities such as playing video games or watching television may seem like they are reducing stress, but they may end up causing stress later on. It’s important to find active ways to manage your stress, such as the above-mentioned activities.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a balanced diet. Avoid tobacco use, the use of illegal substances, and excess caffeine and alcohol.
When to Seek Professional Help
If you are unsure whether or not stress is the cause of your problems, it may be beneficial to speak with a healthcare provider. Professional counsel or therapy can also help you determine the cause of your stress or certain changes in your behavior.
If you are suffering from sudden chest pain, are having difficulty breathing, pain radiating in your shoulders or arms, nausea, and dizziness, seek emergency medical attention. These can be signs of a heart attack and not general stress symptoms.