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How Does Stress Affect Us Both Emotionally and Physically

Stress: How Does It Affect Us Both Emotionally and Physically?

Did you know that anxiety affects over 11.6% of Canadians? Anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental illness.

In today's society, the pressure of the nonstop "hustle" creates excessive amounts of stress. When we feel constant stress, our minds and bodies react in ways we might not expect. 

Are you familiar with the emotional and physical signs of stress? 

Learn about the effects of stress on your mind and body and tactics for finding relief.

Emotional Signs of Stress

When you think about stress, we most often picture the emotional feelings involved. Ordinary aspects of life can cause stress. An argument with a partner, a busy weekend, or a big content marketing presentation might make you feel stressed.

Some of the emotional symptoms of stress might include:

  • Irritability
  • Depression and emptiness
  • Sadness and crying
  • Worrying, anxiety, and panic attacks
  • A "cloud" over your head

People deal with stress in very different ways. When you're stressed, you may be more likely to lash out at others over minor incidents. You may desire to close yourself off from the world or engage in unhealthy habits. 

Physical Signs of Stress

Although we think of stress as primarily emotional, the brain and body are tightly intertwined. Stress can produce genuine physical symptoms. People with anxiety disorders can often feel like they live with a chronic physical illness. 

The physical effects of stress may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Sweating and shaking
  • Lightheadedness
  • Insomnia and poor sleep
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Chest pain
  • Body aches
  • Weakened immune system
  • Changes in appetite
  • Loss of sexual desire

When we hold stress inside our bodies, it can manifest itself with surprising physical conditions. Before rushing to the doctor for these symptoms, it may be helpful to address your stress levels.

Finding Stress Relief

A little stress is beneficial to keep us motivated in life, but if you're struggling with severe symptoms, it's essential to find relief. Luckily, there are many simple therapeutic solutions for stress relief.

Relieve the Mind

If a task can be done relatively quickly, like washing the dirty dishes, try to complete it to get it off your mind. If just the idea of washing dishes is enough to spur a breakdown, don't be afraid to ask for help. Kindly ask a spouse or friend to help you clean up.

It's crucial to set boundaries at work and in your social life. When you're feeling overwhelmed, say no to additional projects or events that will only stress you further.

Relieve the Body

Self-care is vital for relieving physical symptoms of stress. Even five minutes of alone time can improve your stress levels. Treat yourself to a spa day at home or visit a nearby massage studio to work out some tension.  

Seek physical stress-relievers like exercise, sunlight, and healthy foods. When your body is feeling its best, your mind will feel better too.

Express Yourself

When you're feeling stressed, you may be feeling stuck or misunderstood. Ask a trusted friend to listen to your thoughts or vent your emotions through journaling, art, or music.

Bouncing ideas over the phone or laying them out in a journal helps the mind process stressful situations. Your friend may give you helpful advice, or you might discover a new perspective through your art.

Get a Massage!

Therapists suffer from stress as much as any other group of people. It may not seem obvious if you're in the therapy business yourself, but a soothing massage is an excellent way to relax and release tension.

Operating a clinic is like running any other business, and it can be stressful — particularly at the time of writing (as we emerge from COVID-19), when so many clinics have been shuttered by lock-downs. It's healthy to acknowledge these stresses and ease them away with a day at a spa.

Soothe Away Stress

Stress is a genuine issue plaguing our society, but we can work together to overcome stress's physical and emotional effects. Regular stress relief is essential. Take a pause, invest in self-care, and don't be afraid to ask for help. 
Are you or your clients struggling to soothe daily stress? BodyBest is your trusted provider for physical stress relief. Shop our wide selection of massage tables, tools, oils, and more!

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