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3 Important Ways Stress Affects the Body

By Genevieve Cunningham

Stress can be so frustrating. Even when everything seems to be going right in your life, too much stress can quickly spiral you in the wrong direction. But even more than causing frustration or worry, excessive stress can be damaging to your overall health. And some of those damages can be quite serious and long lasting. But what should you be looking out for? To keep your stress and health in check, take a look at these ways in which stress can affect your body so that you can make a plan to stay as healthy and stress-free as possible. 

Headaches and Neck Tension

Stress brings tension into the body. If you're ever stressed, take a moment to notice the physical feelings and sensations. You may notice a tight feeling in your neck, back, and shoulders. This can create obvious pain in these areas, but it may also contribute to headaches. As the tension builds, it creates a chain reaction. You may have a dull ache, or you may experience a much stronger, longer lasting pain in the head. Though over-the-counter pain medications can help, alleviating or lowering the stress is the best and most effective option. 

Weight Gain

This is a side effect that far too many people are aware of. When stress in the body rises, cortisol -- a hormone related to stress -- is produced in large amounts. And higher levels of cortisol are linked specifically to excess body fat, especially around the middle. If you've noticed a bit of weight gain without cause, take a look at the stress in your life, and make adjustments where necessary.

Insomnia and Fatigue

No one enjoys insomnia. Unfortunately, frequent bouts of insomnia are the norm for many. And though insomnia can have numerous causes, stress is definitely a common factor. You may notice that during stressful times in your life, your sleep suffers. You may toss and turn or be unable to fall asleep at all. And this leads to excessive fatigue, which then makes everything in life -- from work to family life to personal time -- much more difficult. 

If you're suffering from stress, your body and overall health will definitely suffer. This is why it's so important to learn stress management techniques to incorporate into your life every single day. While you can't completely avoid stressful situations, you can learn to keep the stress at a minimum, which will lead to better health and a better quality of life for years to come. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Smyrna, Ga.

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