7 Things That Happen to Our Body When We’re Under Too Much Stress
Stress is a normal part of life, whether we like it or not. We can learn how to handle it better, but we can’t omit it completely. However, when our stressful days become stressful weeks, we might start noticing changes in our body, mood, and behavior.
Sleep problems are just one of the many things that come with chronic stress. We might start experiencing changes in our health, cognition, social life, and emotional wellbeing.
You’ll be surprised how much stress can affect your overall health and wellbeing. The longer we’re under stress, the more consequences we’ll have.
The most common consequences include insomnia, irritability, anxiety, headaches, rapid mood swings, and depression, according to Healthline.
However, there are some things that can happen as a result of long-term stress that we might not expect. Here are several surprising things that can happen if we are under stress for too long.
7 Strange Symptoms of Stress
1. You Crave for Sugar & Fat
WebMD explains that anxiety or stress can cause cravings for carbs since carbs stimulate the secretion of the happy hormone – serotonin. One research also suggests that the combination of sugar and fat can have calming effects.
That’s why being under stress can make you crave ice cream, pasta, or fatty foods.
2. You Overthink Everything
Being under stress can make you analyze things in detail, even those that are small and insignificant. In fact, you could focus on something that you wouldn’t have otherwise and keep ruminating about it, which actually prevents you from seeing the bigger picture.
That’s because anxiety and stress narrow your attention to the threat, making you too vigilant.
3. You Feel Clumsy
Long-term stress affects your sleep, and lack of sleep can lead to some motor and cognitive impairment which can compare to the effects of alcohol intoxication, explains a study published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
So, being stressed for a longer period can make your way of thinking, coordination, and judgment similar to the way you feel when drinking. This means you are more prone to accidents as well.
4. You Have Toilet Issues
The increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and rush of hormones you feel when under stress could also upset your digestive system. Your body starts producing more stomach acid, increasing the chances of acid reflux or heartburn, explains Healthline.
What’s more, stress can affect the movement of food through your system, leading to constipation or diarrhea. It can also cause stomachache, vomiting, or nausea.
5. You Are Exhausted and Fatigued
That’s right. Being stressed out over a longer period can make you exhausted and fatigued. Mayo Clinic lists fatigue as a common symptom of stress. Your body is tense, you are worrying, you can’t sleep well, and you wake up without feeling tired instead of well-rested.
6. You May Spill Your Guts to Strangers
Have you ever found yourself telling your problems to the barista at Starbucks? Well, you might want to blame stress for your sudden urge to tell your life story to a stranger. That’s because your release valves are forcing you to let off some steam.
By telling your problem to anyone you meet at that moment you are relieving some of the stress you are keeping in yourself. Even though that feels good in the beginning, it could ruin your relationship with someone your love.
Therefore, it’s best to talk to a therapist or a trusted friend.
7. Body Aches
Stress makes your muscles tense up. They do this as a way to protect themselves from injury. Once you relax, they release. Tight muscles can cause pain in your shoulders, neck, head, and throughout your entire body.
This should be a sign that you need to increase your physical activity instead of turning to painkillers, explains Healthline.
If you notice these weird symptoms, you probably have chronic stress. Still, it’s best to consult your doctor to rule out the possibility of another health problem.
Quick Tips to Relieve Stress
Here are a few ways to help you relieve your stress, recommended by Healthline:
- Find a physical activity you enjoy, like walking, cycling, swimming, and practice it every day
- Use essential oils with calming scents like rose, lavender, vetiver, and Roman chamomile.
- Limit your caffeine intake
- Chew gums
- Spend more time with your family and friends
- Watch funny YouTube videos or TV comedies that will make you laugh
- Avoid procrastination
- Practice yoga, mindfulness, and deep breathing
- Listen to relaxing music
- Cuddle more.