The mental and physical symptoms of stress are no longer a theory.
In our fast-paced modern world, stress manifests in very real ways that can make you sick, disrupt brain chemistry, and drastically affect your overall quality of life.Stress manifests in very real ways that can make you sick and drastically affect your overall quality of life. Click To Tweet
There are three distinct types of stress: acute, episodic, and chronic.
1. Acute stress is a natural response by your body to temporary circumstances. It’s a short-term condition that’s common and manageable. Due to the limited amount of time your body remains in this state, there’s not enough time to develop long-term physical symptoms of stress.
An illness, changing jobs, or overcoming a relationship hurdle can result in feelings of anxiety, irritability, depression, stomach upset, or aches and pains. If you’re able to deal with change quickly and effectively, acute stress doesn’t control your life.
To handle acute stress (rather than the other way around), consider meditation, yoga, and a diet of anti-inflammatory foods. Maintaining a strong sense of self as well as a plan to deal with sudden contingencies are also helpful in managing acute stress.
2. Episodic stress tends to affect people who live their lives in constant chaos. These are people who may exhibit poor time management skills, are consistently over-scheduled, or have a pessimistic personality in general.
Those who deal with this form of stress often expect things to go wrong but rarely take responsibility when it does. This is a person whose life always seems messy in one area or another. They may experience physical symptoms of stress that include headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain but have a tendency to be resistant to making changes that will help.
If you believe you may suffer from episodic stress, it’s important to evaluate when and why stressful situations occur in your daily life. Only by being honest about yourself and your habits (being late, having too much on your plate, feeling rushed) can you defeat this creeping form of stress that’s commonly self-inflicted.
3. Chronic stress is the kind that wears you down a little at a time, often for decades. Those stuck in this cycle may feel hopeless, resigned, and unable to imagine life without the constant presence of misery and worry.
Some situations that instigate this type of stress are childhood trauma, poverty, long-term toxic relationships (friends, family, or significant other), feeling powerless, a debilitating accident, or dealing with years of illness or disability (yourself or a loved one).
The physical symptoms of stress that’s chronic are deadly to your body. Over time, every system inside you is impacted by the inflammation resulting from too much adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) coursing through your tissues and blood.
Ongoing chronic stress has been linked to higher risks of heart disease or stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune diseases, and diseases that damage brain cognition. Treatment requires addressing every aspect of your life and making positive changes.
Stress is a Natural Part of Life
All of us are forced to deal with changing situations from one day to the next. Weather, health, traffic, relationships, or your job can disrupt your day, week, or even month.
However, if your stress goes on and on, never letting up, then it’s critical to figure out how you can scale it back in your daily life.
Chronic stress manifests emotionally, mentally, and physically. Rampant inflammation breaks down your tissues and damages basic bodily functions. Long-term stress shows on your skin and damages your organs – causing you to age more rapidly than your actual years.
In the United States, experts estimate that 75% of all visits to the doctor or hospital are related to stress in one form or another.
To combat the physical symptoms of stress, you need to recognize the signs. Strangely, we often don’t notice – or ignore – indicators that we’re under too much stress.All of us are forced to deal with changing situations from one day to the next. Combat the stress and live happy.Click To Tweet
Chronic Stress Signs and Symptoms
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Poor skin health (acne, psoriasis, eczema)
- Chronic pain (headaches, migraines, pain in muscles or joints)
- Too little sleep (insomnia) or too much sleep (hypersomnia)
- Substance abuse
- Poor digestion
- Heart disease or high blood pressure
- Susceptible to sickness or infection (compromised immune system)
- Infertility or libido problems
- High-risk behaviors
- Low energy or fatigue no matter how much rest you get
- Anxiety, irritability, depression, or hopelessness
- Hair loss or changes to nail health
- Deterioration of dental health
- Inability to concentrate, poor memory, or disorganization
Stress doesn’t have to control your life. You can change everything. Evaluate everything, make changes where you need to, and regain the quality of life you deserve.Stress doesn’t have to control your life. You can change everything.Click To Tweet