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Surprising Ways Stress Plays Out In Our Lives

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us assume we recognize stress when it happens, but we may totally miss how many ways stress can affect us.

The Mayo Clinic says stress symptoms have a long list of impacts, affecting mind, body and mood. Stress can show up as a pounding headache, sleeplessness or burnout at work. Later stress may linger as a backache, upset stomach or muddled thinking.

If you can relate, you may have tracked all sorts of symptoms back to their source and repeatedly found stress to be the cause. Your doctor may have also cautioned you that stress can elevate blood pressure, contribute to emotional eating and obesity or trigger diabetic symptoms.

See if these effects of stress impacts look familiar.

Effects of stress on the body

  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Insomnia

Effects of stress on emotions

  • Worry or anxiety
  • Anger or irritation
  • Feeling unsettled
  • Feeling overloaded
  • Effects of stress on actions
  • Appetite swings
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Hibernation
  • Angry bursts

How to Get a Grip on Stress

You may have some tried and true ways to handle stress or just find yourself winging it every time. Either way, the more you know about stress and the more you work on the issue the better off your health will be.

Put exercise to work - Brief walks, long runs, or a some time spent in the garden can all help to chase stress away. Most all of the people that I know who garden say they use it to grow flowers and peace of mind.

Find a relaxation technique - Meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing or massage offer simple ways to ease stress.

Remember to laugh - Sometimes we overlook how much good funny books, movies and friends can do to keep us mellowed out.

Stay connected - When stress reaches its peak, trusted friends and family members may help us find relief by simply listening.

Make time for hobbies - Music, books, art, cooking, sewing, or woodworking can provide a pleasant escape when everything just keeps building.

Eat healthy and sleep well - It's easier to let go of stress when you are getting enough sleep and eating a satisfying diet with your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Spotting Stress Overloads

Once you recognize the many ways stress can impact your life, it is easier to know when you need help. More exercise and a little time off may be all that you need to feel better, but if none of your favorite stress relievers work, it may be time to see a therapist to work through ongoing issues.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downers Grove, Ill.

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