The Physical Effects of Stress on Your Body

Stress is not just a state of mind — it is a condition that can impact your body in various ways.

These signals may be more prevalent for Americans who have high-stress levels.

The 2020 Stress in America survey revealed that 80% of US adults feel stressed due to the pandemic, while 60% stated that the political issues in the country are overwhelming. Such situations can trigger your body to release stress hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. And once these hormones are released, your body will likely experience both mental and physical reactions.

The connection of stress and the body

Our idea of stress often comes with a negative connotation, but it stems from an important part of our human behavior. SymptomFind’s health resources help explain conditions like stress to their readers. And their feature on how stress affects the mind and the body emphasizes that this reaction can actually be both good and bad. To illustrate, “good” stress or eustress releases stress hormones into your body, making you feel energized.

This is the exact feeling you get after a good workout or a roller coaster ride. On the other hand, “bad” stress, more commonly referred to as distress, leads to negative cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical health outcomes. And this can stem from being in troubling situations wherein your emotions can get the best of you. That said, you have to be more vigilant in spotting the warning signs of distress.

What are the common physical manifestations of distress?


Stress is one of the biggest causes of tension-type headache (TTH). Research publication NCBI cites that this is the most common primary headache disorder, since it affects about one-fifth of the world’s population. TTH is characterized as a dull, pressing, or tight sensation often found in bilateral locations in your head.

Unfortunately, they can last from 30 minutes to 7 days in duration. To soothe these headaches, experts recommend that you improve your posture, try relaxation techniques, and exercise regularly. However, chronic TTH must be resolved using medications as well as physical therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Muscle PainThe Physical Effects of Stress on Your Body (2)

It’s common to tense your muscles, especially when you experience stress. However, chronic stress can keep your body in a constant state of tension. If your muscles are subjected to too much tension due to stress, then you will experience muscle aches and pains. These musculoskeletal aches often manifest in the lower back as well as in the upper extremities. To relieve yourself from muscle pain, you can stretch the muscles gently.

For a more holistic approach, our article here on Awakening State recommends that you try relieving your stress by spending time in nature. This experience will not only relieve your stress, but can also soothe the tension in your muscles.

Stomach Sensations

Yes, even the unusual sensations in your stomach are connected to stress. In one of The Conversation’s articles, it’s explained that tough situations can trigger one’s fight or flight response. As a result, you may feel butterflies or tingling sensations in your stomach. However, chronic stress can produce a more alarming effect. When your stress persists for a long period of time, you may experience stomach aches due to inflammation.

Besides reducing your stress, experts recommend that you try diaphragmatic breathing techniques. As you’re breathing deeply, try tightening your stomach muscles before letting them relax on your exhale. This can lessen the tension that you feel in your abdomen.

Stress can manifest in your body either as a positive or negative reaction to events. It is important to know which is which, so that you can take action before your physical condition worsens. To learn more about how you can combat negative stress, check out Awakening State. Our articles will help you expand your consciousness and personal growth for a healthier life.

Images credit]

Leave a Comment