stressed lady with head in hands

April is Stress Awareness Month: How Stress Affects Your Health

Stress is what you feel when you react to pressure. Pressure can come from things like work, family, money, illness, or from an internal need such as wanting to achieve a goal, wanting to fit in, or the way you feel about yourself. Everyone handles stress differently.

The Stress Response

The Stress Response floods your body with chemicals made to prepare you for the “fight or flight”. This helps you react quickly under pressure, gets you ready to meet challenges, and it is helpful in true emergencies. The Stress Response is a normal reaction, but it can be harmful if it goes on too long.

After the pressure or emergency situation  has pass the Stress Response if supposed to turn off so your body can rest. If your body is constantly in “fight or flight” mode it can wear your body down. If this continues for a long time it can have negative effects on your physical health and well-being.

Signs your Stress Response is Overworking

Change in feelings

  • Feeling sad, edgy, irritable, anxious or panicked, much of the time
  • Blaming other people for bad things that happen to you

Symptoms of Depression

  • Only seeing the down side of situations
  • Feeling like things that you use to enjoy aren’t fun now

Physical Ailments

  • Dry mouth or skin problems
  • Loss of appetite or need to eat constantly
  • Headaches, stomachaches, diarrhea or constipation
  • Trouble sleeping

How Stress Harms your Health

Stress can contribute to the following conditions:

    • Anxiety Disorder
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • Depression
    • Sexual Dysfunction
    • Diabetes
    • Tooth and gum disease
    • Hair loss
    • Ulcers
    • Heart Disease
    • Weight gain or loss

How to Lower Your Stress Level

Don’t Over Schedule Yourself

Leave room in your life for the thinks you like to do, for thing that you laugh and for moments with friends and family.

Make a List and Ask for Help

Make a list of all the things that you have to get done. Decide which ones are the most important, which are less important and can wait and which you can get help with. Then work on them one by one.

Have Healthy Habits

Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep.


Take time to unwind and calm down every day. Try going for walks, reading doing a craft, sitting and enjoying time with friends or family.

If you are concerned about your stress levels, talk to your doctor or call our office closest to you.   We are accepting new patients for medical and/or behavioral health services. The sliding fee scale may be applied to both medical and behavioral health services.

Bassett Family Practice | 276.629.1076

Ridgeway Family Health | 276.956.2233

Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

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