6 Major Areas Affected by Stress and What Can Help

Stress affects us in many different ways. It is important for us to know how we may be affected by stress in order to be able to determine what lifestyle adjustments may be right for us to make. These lifestyle adjustments should meet our unique needs and are what can lead us to living a healthier and happier life. Knowing the symptoms of stress help us realize when the vicious cycle of stress is beginning so we can break the cycle early on. Stress can affect us physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, behaviorally, and spiritually.

 

Physically

Symptoms include:

Exhausted
Trouble sleeping
Headaches or body-aches
Upset stomach
Weakened immune system
Increased blood pressure and rapid heartbeat
Decrease or increase in appetite
 

What can help:

Breathe!
Exercise
Drink water
Eat nutritious foods
Treat yourself to a massage
 
 

Emotionally

Symptoms include:

Easily agitated or irritable
Depressed or sad
Feeling guilty
Increased anxiety
Angry
Frustrated
Overwhelmed
 

What can help:

Allow yourself to feel
Express your feelings to someone you trust
Seek therapy/counseling
Cry (Crying releases toxins)
Scream in a pillow (instead of at someone else)
Journal
Force yourself to laugh
 
 

Mentally

Symptoms include:

Inability to concentrate/focus
Forgetfulness
Racing thoughts
Constant worrying
Poor judgment
Being pessimistic
 

What can help:

Take a “mental health” day and relax
Journal
Meditate
Read a book or magazine
Listen to music
Give yourself some positive affirmations
 
 

Behaviorally

Symptoms include:

Alcohol/drug abuse
Smoking cigarettes
Nervous behaviors including nail biting, fidgeting, pacing
Procrastinating
 

What can help:

Decrease alcohol/drug use (seek help as needed)
Quit smoking
Decrease caffeine intake
Make a to-do list and prioritize
 
 

Socially

Symptoms include:

Isolating
Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
 

What can help:

Make time for social activities
Take a class
Start a hobby
 
 

Spiritually

Symptoms include:

Questioning your faith
Feel abandoned by God or your higher power
Decrease or increase in attending spiritual activities
Questioning purpose of life
 

What can help:

Connect with nature
Connect with God or your higher power
Read inspirational material
Pray
Talk with a spiritual guide
 

“Stress is like spice – in the right proportion it enhances the flavor of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke you.” ~Donald Tubesing

 

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