How Stress Affects Your Physical Health

Many people think of stress as a purely mental phenomenon, but did you know that stress can affect your physical health as well? Stress is a chronic and common issue in modern-day America. Stress manifests itself in many different ways, but essentially it boils down to unresolved internal conflict. Similar to a building, you won’t be able to stand up to the pressures of life if you’re structurally compromised within, so to speak. Even though it’s an internal issue, stress can start showing up on the outside too. Here are a few ways that stress can affect you physically.

Increases Your Blood Pressure

Even though most people only think of stress as an emotion or a feeling, your body does react physically when you’re stressed. When you are feeling stressed out or in a stressful situation, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. According to American Heart Association, these hormones cause your heart rate to increase and your blood vessels to constrict. This reaction happening occasionally isn’t a big deal, but if you suffer from chronic stress or constantly find yourself in stressful situations, it can become a problem. While the exact link between blood pressure and future health problems is unclear, it is clear that having high blood pressure is not a good sign for future you.

Causes Digestive Issues

Ever gotten that knot in your stomach or maybe the butterflies? While those feelings aren’t necessarily stress-induced, emotional responses can often show up as sensations in your stomach. And while stress won’t exactly give you a stomachache, it can cause digestive problems. According to Granite Peaks Gastroenterology, stress can divert blood from your digestive system and cause issues. This may stall or slow down digestion, impeding digestive regularity.

Makes You Look Older

And did you also realize that stress can make you look older? Yep, it's true. According to Insider, research has shown that cortisol, one of the hormones pumped out into your body when you’re stressed, can break down skin collagen. And being chronically stressed can cause inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation is a root of all sorts of health problems; one of the less harmful of those problems is causing wrinkles.

You’re probably doing your best not to be stressed out all the time, but in modern-day America that can get pretty tough. Try slowing it down by spending less time on your electronic devices, more time exercising, and more time unplugging or just taking a nap. Just relax.

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