Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: The Detrimental Effects of Stress
Every single person on the planet deals with some kind of stress in their lives whether it comes from work, family, friendship, or romantic issues – everybody experiences stress. In fact, most people experience at least some form of mild stress on a daily basis. While stress is a reaction designed to help motivate us and keep ourselves safe, having too much of it in your life can be seriously detrimental to your physical and emotional health. You may not be able to get rid of stress completely, but reducing the amount of stress in your life can make a serious difference.
Physical Effects of Stress
Often the physical effects of stress get ignored, but if left alone, the symptoms caused by stress become more severe and make day-to-day life more difficult. Like anything, these symptoms vary from person to person and range from:
- Mild to severe headaches
- Chest pain
- Reduced sex drive
- Sleep problems
- Pain or tension in the body,
often in the neck, shoulders and back
Emotional Effects of Stress
The emotional effects of stress are more commonly experienced for most people. They’re also more likely to be severe and affect your life than the physical effects of stress. In many cases, these emotional effects can lead to physical symptoms, such as the ones mentioned above.
- Mild to severe anxiety
- Anger or irritability
- Lack of focus
- Reduced motivation or drive
- Overall restlessness
Behavioral Effects of Stress
Having too much stress in your life easily affects the way you behave on a regular basis. For many people, the behavioral effects don’t creep in until they’ve been under a severe amount of stress for a long period of time. However, these problems have a tendency to manifest early on – especially when a person is under extreme stress.
- Anger or rage issues
- Avoiding activities you once enjoyed
- Avoiding friends and family
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Eating disorders
How to Reduce Your Stress Level
Stress management is a critical part of everybody’s life, but when you’re under a lot of stress or put into a difficult situation, it’s hard to feel like you have the time for activities that reduce stress. However, making these activities part of your daily routine helps reduce stress levels for a lifetime and set up good habits.
- Regular physical exercise, at least 30 to 45 minutes per day
- Yoga and Meditation
- Relaxing, calming hobbies like reading, playing an instrument, etc.
Stress is a serious issue for many people. When it builds up, and a person undergoes stress for a long period of time, many of the minor symptoms mentioned here only lead to more serious health problems. It’s always better to deal with the problem early on, before it gets out of hand. Use these techniques to minimize stress, and avoid stressful situations that aren’t necessary.
About the author: Tara is a guest contributing blogger on The Zen Girl Chronicles. Tara Heath is a freelance writer in Southern California. She finds that stress very easily creeps into her life, and it’s best to take care of it right away. As a beauty and health writer, she contributes to the Bellezza Spa blog.