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Health & Medicine

How Chronic Stress Affects Your Body

— January 31, 2022

While it may be true that stress is unavoidable, the negative impact it brings to one’s health and wellness shouldn’t be overlooked.

Many adults often complain about feeling stressed for various reasons while going about their daily routine. While some have accepted certain levels of frustration and exhaustion as inevitable parts of everyday life, others struggle to cope. Chronic stress, if left unaddressed, may negatively impact one’s lifestyle and health in many ways. As such, it’s essential to recognize its physical manifestations in someone’s health and well-being early on so that they can be remedied accordingly. 

Stress can affect almost all aspects of a person’s life. It can influence one’s behavior, thought processes, emotions, and physical health. Given this, people experience and respond to chronic stress in unique ways. Thus, symptoms may vary and can be challenging to recognize in some cases.    

If you’re thinking about how being under constant stress can impact your health, here are some of the common signs: 

  1. Triggers Negative Emotions 

People who experience chronic stress may easily feel overwhelmed by things beyond their control, such as specific environments or events in their lives. Apart from this, they may constantly feel frustrated, moody, worried, and depressed. A person may find refuge in social isolation with all these negative emotions, which may be counter-productive as having a strong support system is essential in boosting mental health and emotional well-being.   

To alleviate these symptoms, it’s important to learn coping mechanisms and techniques to help refocus and relax the mind. Some of the most popular stress-relievers are yoga and meditation, aromatherapy, and art therapy. Others also use medicinal herbs and organic teas, such as oolong tea, for calming properties.   

  1. Depletes Physical Energy 

Stress can place the body in a ‘fight-or-flight’ state which may exhaust one’s energy reserves. This results in having low energy levels and an inability to perform activities. Aside from this, chronic stress may hinder the body from recuperating as it can also trigger insomnia. Because of this, the body will be in constant energy and sleep deficit which can lead to serious illnesses if not addressed promptly.  

If you frequently feel sleepy or sluggish, especially during the day, you can have caffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea for a quick energy boost. On the other hand, you can also use herbal tea to help you have a good night’s sleep and get the quality rest you need. There are specialty stores like Hey China that offer authentic Chinese herbal teas, including lavender, passionflower, valerian root, and many other variants.  

  1. Causes Bodily Pains 

Stress can make the body susceptible to infections and diseases. It weakens the immune system and may cause aches and pains in different parts of the body. It can also negatively impact other bodily processes such as the respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems. Here are some examples of ailments that may be triggered by chronic stress: 

  • Colds and coughs 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Diarrhea or constipation 
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations 
  • Nausea 

While it may be worth noting that other factors may cause these symptoms, it may also be helpful to monitor how often you suffer from them and the possible triggers. This way, you’ll be able to tell whether they’re happening more often than usual and if stress may be the root cause. If so, you’ll need to find ways to manage your stress levels more effectively to avoid these symptoms. 

  1. Impedes Cognitive Functions

    Confused woman; image by Uday Mittal, via
    Confused woman; image by Uday Mittal, via

Experiencing chronic stress may also deteriorate one’s thought processes. Some may struggle with racing, intrusive thoughts that can get in the way of their daily activities. Others also report feeling constantly worried, unable to focus or pay attention, struggling to make decisions, and becoming noticeably forgetful.  

While these non-physical manifestations of how chronic stress negatively impacts a person’s well-being, they’re equally alarming and can seriously threaten their safety. As such, it’s essential to seek professional assistance right away if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.     

  1. Prompts Unusual And Risky Behaviors 

People who are chronically stressed may notice a sudden increase or decrease in their appetite. Some also cope by abusing dangerous substances such as cigarettes, liquor, or prohibited drugs. Without intervention and proper medical guidance, these behaviors may seriously harm one’s health and well-being. As such, it’s important to act promptly and seek the help that you need when you notice drastic changes in your or your loved one’s behavior.   


While it may be true that stress is unavoidable, the negative impact it brings to one’s health and wellness shouldn’t be overlooked. The harmful effects of chronic stress may cause serious illnesses and may even threaten a person’s safety. This is why it’s crucial to manage stress levels effectively and seek help when needed.   

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