How Stress Affects Your Body

STRESS RELIEF:  Don’t try and ‘find’ the time… MAKE TIME!

It is just not possible to avoid stress.  What is stressful to one may not be to another.  Relaxation is NOT the opposite of productivity.  In fact, in order to be more productive, you need to relax!  Most of us hang on to stress or stressful thoughts and feelings and cannot (sometimes actually refuse to) let them go.  We all need at least 20 minutes DAILY to relax and reduce stress.   And you must ‘make’ time rather than trying to ‘find’ the time.

*Note:  Cortisol is an essential hormone that the body makes and is involved in glucose metabolism, insulin release for maintaining blood sugar, liver function and regulation of your blood pressure & immune function.  (A natural hormone in the body produced by the adrenal gland cortex)  Cortisol is also known as the ‘stress hormone’ because our bodies release it when we are stressed.  It’s one of those instances where there can be ‘too much of a good thing’.

Okay, so what happens to our body when we are stressed?

Stress makes our body produce chemicals (cortisol) that prepare you for ‘fight or flight’ and sends this chemical throughout your body.   Sometimes you’ll get a sudden burst of strength and endurance.   Your heart rate speeds up and you breathe faster to get more oxygen into your muscles.  Muscles tense up.  Blood Flow to your muscles and brain increases up to 400%.   When your body is under stress often, your muscles are in a constant state of being tense.  Often times this creates sore muscles in the head, neck and back.

Digestion stops because your body feels it doesn’t want to use up energy when that energy is needed in other areas of the body.

Sometimes this response is a good thing, for instance if your child is pinned under a car, your adrenaline kicks in, the fight or flight response kicks in and you become this incredible person with unlimited strength and pick the car up enough to have your child moved to safety.

But the body simply cannot handle this flood of reactions and hormones/chemicals all the time or on a regular basis.  Un-needed stress can harm the body.

What happens to a stressed body?

Increases blood pressure (increased risk for stroke)
Affects infection fighting blood cells (more colds and illness slow healing of wounds)
Causes headaches and upset stomach
Impairment of the area of the brain that makes memories.
Causes back and neck pain
Causes chronic fatigue and depression
Enables and encourages bad habits and addictions
Increases the probability of heart attacks and heart disease
Asthmatics may worsen their condition if in an asthma attack
Affects reproduction and physical growth
Decreased bone density
Decreased muscle tissue
Sugar imbalances
Increased abdominal fat
Suppressed thyroid functions
It’s harder to live a healthy lifestyle if you are stressed out

What do Dermatologists say about stress?

When your body is stressed and releases extra cortisol.  Releasing extra cortisol in turn causes the body to produce more oil which in turn causes acne.  Dermatologists are also aware that stress causes hair loss and a whole host of dermatological issues.

That huge pimple from out of nowhere the night before your wedding is not a coincidence.  It’s stress.


Eating healthy, getting a decent nights sleep (every night) and taking time to exercise and relax is essential to every ones well being.  Just look at everything that stress can cause and make a serious attempt to de-stress your self.

Find a way that works for you!  Whether it’s a walk, sitting solitary in your garden, taking a hot bath – find 20 minutes daily for YOU.

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