We tend to see stress as a mental health problem rather than something that affects us physically. Indeed, most of us feel stressed because of the way our brains perceive situations. It’s closely linked with anxiety and a host of other mental health problems.
Nevertheless, we can’t forget the connection between physical and mental health. Things that affect our mental health will usually have a knock-on effect, and vice versa. Stress is a fantastic example of this. It stems from our brain and has an impact on your mental well-being, but it can also lead to the following physical health concerns:
High Blood Pressure
Stress is proven to raise your resting heart rate. If you want to see this in action, wear a Fitbit or fitness tracker and track your heart rate. You’ll see it spikes during the most stressful periods of the day. If you constantly feel stressed, your RHR is going to be higher at all times.
This is a problem as a high RHR can lead to increased blood pressure levels. When this happens, you’re at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems in the future. That’s one reason it’s so important to use stress relief techniques to calm yourself down. Work on getting the heart rate down, so your heart isn’t overworked and your blood pressure won’t consistently rise.
It sounds crazy to say, but stress can cause muscle pain. This is because you might tense your muscles or clench parts of your body when you’re stressed. You don’t realise you’re doing it, but it leads to muscle soreness. A lot of people will tense their shoulders while stressed and end up with lots of pain in the neck/upper back region.
Again, it’s crucial to find ways to relax. A soothing bath can help ease muscle tension and decrease stress levels. If you’re in a lot of pain, it’s worth checking out a muscle pain relief guide to explore the different treatment options. Remember, stress is the main cause of your issue. You can get muscle pain relief, but it’ll keep coming back unless you tackle your stress levels.
Reproductive Health Problems
When you’re stressed, your central nervous system is always on high alert. This inhibits the body’s ability to perform certain functions, such as regulating hormones. As a result, it’s highly likely to experience some reproductive health problems.
This happens to men and women when stressed. Men may suffer from sexual performance issues while long-term stress can decrease sperm production. Women will see all kinds of issues with their menstrual cycle such as irregular periods, missed periods and more. It’s even possible for stress to impact fertility and cause problems for couples trying to have a baby.
Clearly, stress has a bigger impact on our bodies than we realised. It’s not only a mental health issue; it’s a physical one too. Try your best to treat stress whenever possible so it doesn’t have a long-lasting effect on your physical health and lead to serious problems.