Stress has always been bad for your body, and always will be. There are people who will argue that tension can help bring out the best in people because it gives pressure, but the majority of doctors and therapists will agree that subjecting yourself to constant stress is unhealthy.
There’s a saying that stress can increase your chances of getting cancer. Although there is no scientific proof of this, you’ll see below that this isn’t far from happening because of the many harmful effects of stress on your body, emotions, and behaviour.
Here is a list of those common effects that can attract future illnesses or mental or social issues.
Effects of Stress on Your Body
1. Constant Headache
There are many reasons why you can get a headache or a migraine. When you’re stressed, your mind is always in fight mode and this adds so much pressure on your brain. You have to remember that your brain needs some rest too and if you overdo this, you stand the risk of shutting it down at some point.
2. Muscle Tension
It’s common to feel tensed when you’re stressed. You’ll notice this with your muscles because when you reach to your shoulders, you will notice that it is hard and stiff.
3. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a by-product of your body’s reaction to stressful situations. When you are stressed, your body automatically produces more hormones and this can affect changes in your blood pressure.
4. Weak Immune System
Prolonged stress can eventually weaken your immune system. This is because your body gets exhausted and as long as you do not take breaks and find a way to manage it, its defences can constantly deteriorate making you susceptible to other diseases.
Effects of Stress on Your Emotions
1. Mood Swings
There’s no doubt that when you are stressed, you will be moody. For a good number of people, stress makes them angry, frustrated, and after a while, surprisingly happy.
There can even be a time when constant stress can make you develop learned helplessness and indifference to your surroundings.
2. Anxiety and Restlessness
When you are under so much stress because of someone or something pressuring you, then you become anxious. Normally, people experience anxiety for short amounts of time, but constant stress can cause anxiety attacks.
When you experience anxiety attacks, your body becomes restless. Your mind buzzes with ideas, your heart pounds, your breathing becomes short and fast.
The most difficult emotional change that stress can do to you is long-term depression. This is different from sadness because sadness is temporary and fleeting. On the other hand, stress can make you feel depressed even without you knowing it.
Effects of Stress on Your Behaviour
1. Changes in Appetite
You have probably heard of stress-eating. This is your body’s way of compensating for the stress that you are experiencing. Food is a comfort for a lot of people and eating food constantly is a way for them to take breaks or to calm then down during stressful situations.
For some, it can also be a lack of appetite. Because they are stressed, they tend to push food as their least priority. This is often the case for people who love working and only see eating as a luxury after they finish their work.
2. Lack of Sleep
Because your mind will be buzzing with ideas and things to do, you will end up either dreaming about them or
worrying about them even if you’re in bed. Because the stress continues to loom on you, you won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep and even if you had sleep, you still wake up feeling exhausted.
3. Drug or Alcohol Abuse
If other people cope using food, some people cope using drugs or alcohol. Vices pose as an escape from stress and continuous use of these vices can cause abuse or addiction.
These common effects of stress already show that constant stress is unhealthy. The best way to avoid getting long-term illnesses is to learn how to manage stress or to find an environment that is not highly stressful.
You can also look for an outlet to put your stress on, but make sure that this is beneficial to your health.