Updated: Feb 3
It’s Monday morning, you are running late and it’s taking the kids forever to get ready and get into the car. In your hurry to leave you knock over a cup filled with coffee, and your little girl is asking you for money as they have a thing at school. Traffic is bumper too bumper and there is an argument going on in the back seat.
Does this all sound only too familiar? Not a great way to start your day or your week and enough to put your stress levels through the roof. This means you aren’t going to function at your full potential and your concentration levels aren’t good either. At some point or other, we have all found ourselves in this kind of stressful situation.
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to stress other than it’s just part of life, but what you may not realise is that it has a very negative impact on your body!
From causing your heart to race faster to making you feel like to want to throw up, stress should not be ignored and will have an effect on how you feel and live. So let’s look at how stress can affect your body.
Stress can have a huge effect on your digestive system, from getting butterflies in your stomach to actually feeling so stressed that you vomit. Some people will deal with stress by overeating while others starve themselves as they lose their appetite. Either way continual stress will take its toll on your body and can lead to eating disorders.
When you get overly stressed the muscles in your body tighten as a reaction, over time this can lead to headaches or backache. Obviously this is not good for your body and of course will cause you actual pain.
People who suffer from stress a lot can find themselves spiraling into depression, which can lead to other health problems like bad appetite, poor sleep patterns, and mood swings.
When you are under a lot of stress, you may start to breathe faster or uncontrollably this, in turn, could lead to a panic attack. While panic attacks aren’t life threatening they can be extremely scary and upsetting for both the person having them and the people around them.
Stress may be the cause of other symptoms as well such as a lower sex drive. If you are stressed you will not be in a good place or in the mood for sex and this could lead to arguments with your partner, which in turn will make you more stressed.
Overeating or undereating can be caused due to stress. Food can be one of the first things to stop or the first thing you turn to when you get stressed. Either way, this is not healthy for your body and can have long-term effects.
The good news is that there is hope. Making a few changes in your life can have a major effect on your stress levels.Check out your diet and make sure you are eating healthily, get enough exercise, and that you have a good night's sleep.
As a psychotherapist, I will talk through the causes of your stress and help you to first be aware of them and then how to manage them. Most problems are lessened if they are shared and I’m here to listen and make your life as stress-free as possible.
Jimi D Katsis is a Bristol based consultant psychotherapist at jimikatsis.com specialising in recovery from trauma, depression, and anxiety