Find out how stress impacts you from head to toe.
By Diana Kelly Levey
When you feel anxious and worked up as pressures mount in your life, you’ve probably felt some tension in your neck, back, or may have experienced a tension headache. And while rubbing those areas, applying heat, and adjusting your posture might help you relieve some of the tightness and pain, there are a few other areas in your body that you’re likely to hold stress. Here’s how emotional stress is causing you physical pain in unexpected places.
Ever experience digestive issues when you’ve been under pressure? When you feel stressed, your brain ignites that “flight-or-fight” response because it’s trying to avoid danger. This can slow digestion and cause constipation, or, if you’re under severe stress, disrupt the digestive process, causing diarrhea, abdominal pain or gastrointestinal distress, according to a Harvard Medical School article, stress and depression have also been related to a prevalence of various gastric disease and that occupational stress has been associated with impacting gastrointestinal tract alterations. Chronic stress can cause ulcers or severe stomach pain without ulcers. Talk to your doctor about digestive issues to rule out something more serious, and find healthy ways to handle stress, like exercise, listening to music or a podcast, reading, or talking to a friend.