Stress is number one proxy killer today. However, a lot of people are not even aware of the physical effects of stress. Once you understand the mechanism of how stress works on your body, you would think a hundred times before you become prey to its possession. In this article you will learn all about the psychological and physical effects of stress, so that you can start on planning a calmer, stress-free life.
What Are the Physical Effects Of Stress?
A lot of people justify being stressed all the time on basis of being stressed “just a little bit”. They couldn’t be more wrong because your body reacts to stress whether it was “big” or “small” in the same manner. Among the scariest physical effects of stress are:
- Chronic Fatigue: This results in the infamous teeth grinding (bruxism) and tension in the jaw.
- Muscle tension and pain.
- Chest pain: This is among the scariest physical effects of stress. Chest pain could be a result of strokes, hypertension, increased heart rate, heart disease and arrhythmia.
- Sleep disorders like sleep deprivation, night terrors, insomnia and nightmares.
- Digestive disorders including indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an upset stomach all the time, abdominal pain and heartburn.
- Headaches (one of the most common physical effects of stress).
- Weight Gain and Obesity (due to overeating to compensate for increased cortisol hormone production).
- Decreased sexual drive.
- Difficulty swallowing and lump in your throat.
- Playing with your hair which might lead to compulsive hair pulling in some extreme cases.
- Sweaty palms and hyperventilating.
- Decreased energy level and an overall grim mood.
- Compromised immune system: This could be directly or indirectly. When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormone cortisol, which lowers the numbers of antigens in your immune system and thus decreases its ability to fight off diseases. In a more twisted form of immunocompromised behavior, when you are stressed, you seek ways in which to minimize your stress. Most of the methods are unhealthy such as consuming junk food, alcoholism and smoking. On the long run, these habits would have a detrimental effect on your immune system.
What Are The Psychological Effects Of Stress?
Psychologically, stress affects your personality causing what scientists call “cortical inhibition“. This means that a part of your brain stops functioning properly. Even if you are the smartest person in the world, stress could lead you to make hesitant, irrational decisions and say things that you might regret in the end. Physical effects of stress go side by side with the psychological ones:
- Lack of focus, dizziness motivation or concentration.
- Irritability, anger outbursts, nervousness and panic disorders.
- General negativity.
- Obsessive disorders, worry and paranoia.
- Becoming numb to your stress from physiologically becoming too accustomed to it.
- Sleepwalking, amnesia and sleep terrors.
- If your stress lingers for as long as you can imagine, it might lead to suicidal thoughts and mental illness.
How Can You Overcome Psychological and Physical Effects of Stress?
There are many methods through which you can overcome your stress. One of the best short-term strategies is handling it in the moment. On the long run, you need to learn how to practice positive thinking so as to do a complete makeover of your life. You can also benefit from meditation, music therapy or yoga to calm down your irritable nerves and live a longer, healthier life.