3 Ways Stress Affects Your Body, and How To Handle It
Fact: we all get stressed at some point in our lives. Although stress may come in good forms like when we get excited or surprised, it may also take a toll on our health during instances of grief or pressure. Like most people, you may feel tensed when you’re crippled with work or faced with prolonged anxiety – and while there’s no quick solution to your current dilemma, the next best thing you can do is manage your response to the stress that comes with it.
According to US-based wellness coach Elizabeth Scott, stress is the body’s response to potentially harmful situations. When your physical, emotional, or mental state abruptly changes, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows your reflexes to act and prevent injury. Case in point: the involuntary movement of your hand when a pot is too hot, or your sudden reaction to hearing unexpected news. These scenarios activate your body’s fight-or-flight mode, where it prepares you to react quickly to protect you from an emergency. Although immediate, short-term stress can be beneficial to your body as it helps you cope with unexpected situations, exposure to chronic, long-term stress can topple you down and interfere with your day-to-day routine and activities.
Unsure how stress can affect your physical well being? Below, three different ways stress affects your body, and how to manage it effectively:
When you’re under stress from an accident or physical fatigue, your muscles tense up to protect themselves from pain and injury. As blood pressure rises, hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol get released, tightening muscles in the chest and around the spine. Aside from the pain and discomfort, you’ll also feel a slight difficulty in breathing, or even worse, catch a panic attack.
How to manage it: Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing.
Start by settling into a comfortable position and relax on your back with a pillow under your head. Apply YogaLove’s Cooling Cream made with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as arnica, argan oil, ginseng extracts and menthol extracts on your neck, chest, and back. Inhale the calming fragrance of the essential oil blend through your nose, and start breathing slowly. Close your eyes, imagine a tranquil scenery in your head, and let your muscles loosen as you release deep breaths out in the open.
Research shows that stress drains physical energy – and when it does, productivity is put to a halt. When you’re stressed, not only does your body get tired, but your mind also loses focus that ultimately leads to low levels of mental efficiency. Exposure to constant stress in school or in the workplace may lead to burnout, and you might begin to feel a sense of lethargy that can go for days if not treated right.
How to manage it: Get regular physical activity.
When you’re feeling drained or unmotivated, a little bit of physical activity might help you get going. Healthy exercise releases endorphins, or the hormone associated with positive feelings. A slight increase in your blood pressure will pump you up and increase your energy levels, and you’ll find yourself returning to work with a lighter feeling after finishing a simple workout routine.
Tip: You can also use the easy-to-carry and travel ready Cooling Cream in 80 mL when you hit the gym to calm your muscles after some rigorous training!
Stress triggers and intensifies what is commonly known as tension headaches, or the sensation of tightness in the forehead or at the back of the head. It may also cause throbbing and pulsing pain behind the eyes, or even vomitting, nausea, and increased sensitivity to light. You may develop stress-induced headaches when you spend too much time working in front of the computer, or after long hours of reading or driving on the road.
How to manage it: Incorporate massage in your nightly bedtime ritual.
Massage therapy prevents headaches, reduces stress hormones in the body, and decreases high levels of anxiety. Before sleeping, relax by massaging YogaLove’s Cooling Cream on your temples, forehead, and neck area. Its argan oil and ginseng extracts can relax tight, stubborn muscles, while its menthol properties work well with tension headaches and can help you calm your disturbed senses.
Shop the new Cooling Cream 80 mL here, and try it for yourself for better stress management.