How Stress Can Make You Sick and What to Do About It

by Samit Patel on March 09, 2022

Your body has a stress response that is activated when it is threatened. Suppose this response is constantly activated. However, your body and mind start to suffer. This is called allostatic load, a state in which your body’s systems are overworked by stress. The following could be affected:


Your Heart

Stress can cause the blood to rush to the extremities, increasing your blood pressure. This can put stress on the heart, causing it to beat faster. This can cause irregular heartbeat, which can cause you to faint or even have a heart attack.


Your Lungs

When under stress, the body can release hormones that cause shortness of breath. When you are constantly surrounded by stress, you can even develop asthma.


Your Digestive System

When you are under stress, your body releases more hydrochloric acid for protection. This can cause you to have stomach problems like indigestion or acid reflux constantly.


Your Sleep Cycle

Thanks to the stress hormones that affect your body, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.


Your Immune System

Stress can suppress your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to infection and disease. In some studies, it has been found that people under stress have a higher infection rate.


Your Brain

Stress can cause you to develop mental illnesses and psychological disorders. For example, it can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Your Body

Stress can cause physical pain and ailments. For example, it can cause an ulcer or muscle strain.


Your Dental Health

Stress can cause you to grind your teeth. Over time, this can cause your teeth to wear down and your jaw to be overworked.


How Can I Avoid Stress?

There are several techniques you can use to alleviate and avoid stress. Here are a few to try:


1. Exercise

Exercise can help you ease physical tension and stress. It can release endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers, which can alleviate feelings of worry and stress.


2. Meditate

Medicating can help you cope with work stress by allowing you to focus on the present moment.


3. Get Adequate Sleep

Getting enough sleep can help lower levels of stress in your body. Your body naturally creates stress hormones at night, so getting at least 8 hours of sleep will help you avoid them.


4. Take a Break

If you are feeling stressed out, take a break. It can help lower levels of stress hormones in your body by giving your mind a break.


5. Get a Hobby

If you automate your thoughts, you can avoid unnecessary stress. For example, knitting or model building can keep your mind from worrying about daily life problems.


6. Take a Vacation

Taking a vacation can help with stress by taking your mind off of your job for a little bit and allowing you to relax. Try anywhere from a few days to a week, depending on how much stress you are under.


7. Meditate

Studies have shown that meditation can help lower anxiety, which can cause stress. It can also help you focus your thoughts on something else that isn’t stressful.


8. Practice Gratitude

Instead of focusing on all of your worries, focus on what you have to be grateful for. Take time to be thankful for the people you care about.



Stress can be a dangerous thing if left untreated. If you feel any of the symptoms above, you must visit a medical professional. Try to find one you trust and see what they say. They may be able to help you manage your stress better.

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