The Effects of Stress on the Body and How to Reduce Them
Stress is a state of alarm that we can all count on experiencing at some point in our life. Although many of us regularly deal with small doses of stress, this feeling of pressure becomes harmful when it occurs too frequently causing effects that may threaten our overall and long-term health.
There are many layers to stress and how it affects our body and well-being. Understanding the consequences of a repeated state of alarm opens a doorway to learning how to relieve it.
We invite you to use this article to better understand the effects of stress on the body and how to reduce them. We’ll explain common sources of stress, how they cause a threat to our health, ways you can be an active participant in reducing your stress, and how to ultimately live a more relaxing life.
Natural Stress Relief
Causes of Stress
Stress happens when you find yourself in a situation of high alert. You feel tense, irritable, and rushed with your emotions becoming more elevated and showing themselves through mental and physical signs, including but not limited to tense muscles and nervousness.
There are a variety of sources that create stress. The leading stress-inducing causes include:
- Performance in school and at work
- Life-changing situations
- Financial problems
In addition, modern-day work practices are quickly becoming a top-ranking stress trigger. With our phones constantly by our side and remote work making it hard to divide home and work life, we are putting in more hours than ever leading to overwork and mental exhaustion.
Lesser-known stress triggers include a traumatic event or a lack of control. Unresolved trauma weighs heavy on the mind and can lead to negative feelings and thoughts that take their toll on our emotional and physical well-being.
External pressures of life, such as taking care of an elderly family member, can leave us feeling drained and often like we don’t have the time to take care of ourselves.
How Stress Effects the Body
The effects of stress come in a variety of feelings and physical traits. Although many of them overlap, let’s highlight some of the top effects of stress on the body individually.
Headaches and Migraines
One of the first and most common effects of stress on the body are headaches and migraines. Both can severely disrupt your day, but the two are different in how they present themselves.
Tension headaches are caused by contracted muscles and feel like a tight band around the head. The scalp can be sensitive to touch, and the tightness usually stems from the neck and shoulders.
A migraine usually focuses its pain on one side of the head. The pain is throbbing or pulsating, and most migraines are accompanied by nausea and vomiting. While it is not clear what triggers a migraine, stress headache can easily turn into a migraine if the number of stressful events is not being reduced in time.
There may be times when you feel exhausted, even after the day just started. As you move through the day, your low energy may worsen because you put out more energy than you gain in return.
Stress saps our strength and leaves us in situations where we feel we can’t perform as well as we want to, causing more stress. When we are continually exposed to stressful situations, we may suffer from adrenal fatigue.
Your adrenal glands produce many hormones essential to a healthy life. Stress can overwhelm your adrenals. Adrenal fatigue is recognizable as more than simply feeling tired, it includes lightheadedness, nervousness, and digestive issues, to name a few. It can also include muscle or body aches.
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The more stressed you feel, the more you tend to tense up your muscles. This action leads to headaches (see above) and overall body or muscle aches. Continually having muscle tension eats away at your overall energy.
Over time, this can lead to larger pain throughout your entire body. It can also lead to flare ups of other symptoms and conditions, such as arthritis because stress lowers your threshold for pain.
When your body is experiencing constant pain, your energy goes to the affected areas trying to bring relief, but it doesn’t have the momentum it needs to resolve the issue. Persistent aching can lead to sleepless nights, which can adversely affect your memory and concentration.
Sleeplessness and Memory
No doubt you have noticed the effect stress can have on your quality of sleep. Feeling overtired with achy muscles and a busy mind can cause you to lose sleep and leave you feeling irritable, in a brain fog, and unable to concentrate on important tasks.
You may even find that you have difficulties learning and retaining new information or struggle to recall memories. Both are common roles that stress has on memory and learning.
Struggling with retention of information and concentration can lead to negative impacts on your job and life, which in turn, contributes to the cycle of stress.
While stress is often used interchangeably with anxiety, the two experiences are not the same. Anxiety or anxiousness involves needless, persistent feelings of worry and apprehension even when you’re not in a stressful environment.
That said, it is consistent stress that leads to anxiety. Find out more here about stress and its link to anxiety and other conditions that—while not new—have increased since the 20th century and can substantially impact your quality of life.
Today, more important than ever, are easily accessible tips and ways to reduce stress, learn to decelerate, and bond with nature so you can get back to a more balanced and rewarding lifestyle.
Top Ways You Can Reduce Stress
The earlier you realize that your health can benefit from a stress reduction program, the faster you will return to a balanced life with stress being a short-term event, useful in managing occasional high-alert situations.
You may choose to add in one or more of the following healthy habits to combat your stress. In no particular order, here are our top suggestions.
Mindfulness & Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to help reduce stress and return to ease and control over your life. Mindfulness is your reminder to be in the present moment for whatever you are doing. Mindfulness is anti multi-tasking.
Sending an email to someone, stick to this single task. Making dinner for the family, avoid talking on the phone at the same time. Mindfulness helps you to not be stressed thinking about the next tasks on your big to-do list.
Mindfulness can be practiced with every task you do throughout the day.
While meditation can also take place at any time of the day, we suggest you set aside a regular time and a special space for your practice. Keep the space clutter-free and peaceful. Take time to relax and sit still while focusing on your breathing to help you re-center your mind and remove the chaos within.
There are many different meditation styles and practices available online and at your home or in person together with others.
For example, a grounding meditation will give you a sense of being supported and help you feel safe. A release meditation is a great way to give your mind a mental reset, while a gratitude practice can help shift your mindset from negativity to positivity.
Ideally, combining meditation with physical activity will give your body the ultimate balance it craves. Physical activity comes in all forms and should always be something you enjoy doing to ensure that you will stick with it.
Physical activities, such as yoga, walking, or playing a sport, can reduce stress by releasing muscle tension and prompting your brain to come out of the fight-or-flight mode you may be stuck in.
It’s important to consider the food that you are eating and the cravings you have and how they relate to your stress cycle. Do you constantly reach for certain unhealthy foods whenever you’re stressed?
Try changing your diet to accommodate and treat the stress you frequently experience. Include heart-healthy high-fiber grains and brain-nourishing foods from the healthy fat category.
Eating fish rich in Omega-3s, hearty oatmeal, lots of vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate can help you feel less stressed and more energetic.
If you find you have a habit of reaching for sugary treats whenever you’re overwhelmed, you can create healthier versions of sweet treats. For example, try making “ice cream” from frozen bananas for a wholesome sugar fix.
It also helps to prepare your own meals as much as possible, versus eating preserved foods from the grocery aisles or from your favorite takeout spots. Can’t get enough of French Fries? Next time bake your own in the oven.
Daily Healthy Habits
Knowing what triggers your stress and what amplifies it can help you create healthy habits to combat your symptoms. Remember, small steps can go a long way.
Try implementing daily habits, such as going on nature walks, spending quality time with friends, or limiting screen time. Not only can these calming routines help combat the physical symptoms of strain and fatigue, but they also reduce nervousness by naturally promoting the production of serotonin and other happiness hormones in the brain.
Get to know and incorporate clean herbal supplements into your health routines to reduce stress and stay in control. They optimize your body's overall wellness by filling in nutritional gaps when needed.
You can choose to take them as part of your overall health regime or add them in when you know you are going through a stressful situation. They are an easy, portable solution that you can take anywhere you go.
Products We Recommend From Our Homeopathy Store
Our store has a variety of herbal and homeopathic products made from organic and sustainable sources that help you relax, recover your energy, and get you back to feeling at your best.
Try our Mushroom Master Blend with Ashwagandha, a full-spectrum liquid extract that combats fatigue, rebuilds healthy energy levels, and helps you sleep better and longer. This high-quality adaptogen supplement blends shiitake, reishi, and maitake mushrooms with ashwagandha and licorice root known to support your adrenal function and help increase your body’s resilience.
A lack of magnesium is a common cause of muscle tension, resulting in cramps and aches. Our Magnesia Phosphorica cell salt comes in the form of an oral spray. Cell salts are recommended for their easy, quick absorption by the body.
Consider spraying this remedy into a glass of water (warm water if available) for even faster action and take it multiple times a day to relieve overall tension in the body.
Use our Liquid Vitamin B Complex to break down food in your body, transport and distribute the nutrients where they need to go. The nutrients gained will give you the boost in energy you need to get through the day and be productive.
If you have trouble sleeping because stress keeps you up, check out our Liquid Melatonin to help you feel sleepy at bedtime and to help keep you asleep. A dose before bed will help you feel refreshed when you wake up and ready to take on the day.
To calm racing thoughts, improve focus, help you fight performance fears, and help calm more feelings of apprehension, fear, and anxiousness, turn to Peacefulí, our smart homeopathic blend with time-tested ingredients such as cell salt Kali Phosphoricum, Passion Flower, Oats, and St. Ignatius Bean.
Buy homeopathic remedies today at our store to help you alleviate stress and reduce and avoid the effects it can take on your body, success, and happiness.
Natural Stress Relief
Stress can harm your health, especially when it manifests itself repeatedly and long-term. Excessive stress causes numerous ailments that can create a cycle hard to escape. But with a better understanding of the effects of stress on the body and how to reduce them, you’ll gain the tools and determination you need to return to a more peaceful, balanced, and rewarding life.
The content and product descriptions in this article are grounded in traditional homeopathic and natural wellness practices. They have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.