Stress can affect your entire body from your hair and skin to your brain’s functionality and even digestive system. Since stress is inevitable, it’s more important to focus on how you handle it rather than trying to eliminate it altogether. There are a variety of ways to tell if stress is having an effect on your body, although, many aren’t always obvious. Keep reading to see if stress is causing you physical or mental symptoms, and what you can do about it!
If you currently suffer from a skin condition, such as psoriasis or acne, stress can aggravate your symptoms making it worse than usual. Stress can even cause rashes or a breakout of hives on the skin as well. Sometimes, if you are feeling extremely stressed, you may even neglect taking care of your skin altogether.
It also can cause a reciprocal effect, as those with current skin ailment may start to feel even more stressed and negative about their situation. As a result of these feelings, the skin condition worsens.
Fixes for stress-induced skin troubles:
- Don’t neglect taking care of your skin, even if you feel tired or stressed out. Be consistent with a skin care routine for your skin type and you’ll surely notice an improvement in your skin.
- Regularly exercise. It’s great for both your physical and mental health. Exercise brings positive emotions and makes your body stronger as well. Additionally, it circulates oxygen in your body, which helps improve your skin as an added bonus.
There are three different kinds of hair loss that can be associated with stress. Telogen effluvium can force many hair follicles into the resting phase of the hair shedding process, causing large clumps to come out all at once. Trichotillomania is a disorder that may cause you to feel an impulse to pull out your hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes as a way of dealing with negative feelings. And lastly, alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles causing hair loss.
Fixes for stress-induced hair loss:
- Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. Ensuring that you have all the essential nutrients your body needs will help you have stronger and healthier hair.
- Use products that are gentle and helpful. Products, such as a hair loss shampoo, can be beneficial at reducing shedding.
Problems like constipation and diarrhea can be due to underlying stress. If you experience any changes in appetite, this may be another sign that you’re dealing with too much stress. You may notice a lack of appetite altogether or you may find comfort in eating more often.
Fixes for a stress-induced upset stomach:
- Stay away from inflammatory foods. Processed foods and items high in sodium should be avoided as these have been known to worsen stomach problems. Instead, eat a diet containing anti-inflammatory foods, like berries and avocados.
- Eat five small meals a day. If you feel like you’re eating too much or not enough, portioning your meals can help.
Excessive stress can take a toll on your immune system making it harder to fight off illness. Although a weakened immune system can be the result of many things, such as poor diet and physical inactivity, there is a strong correlation between stress and frequent illness.
Fixes for stress-induced illness:
- Take time for yourself. Oftentimes, people who are stressed don’t give themselves enough time to recover from an illness, therefore prolonging it.
- Drink more water. One of the best ways to help your immune system and flush out toxins is by staying hydrated. Being dehydrated can also increase your cortisol levels, causing more unnecessary stress.
Change in Sleep Patterns
If you find yourself always feeling tired with low energy levels, this can also be anxiety-related. This is your body’s way of telling you that you’re overwhelmed. Whether you’re having trouble falling/staying asleep or sleeping too much, this is a tell-tale sign of stress. Your body and mind both need rest in order to function its best.
Fixes for stress-induced sleep problems:
- Create a nighttime routine and be consistent about it. Put down your electronics, like your phone, laptop or tablet, an hour before bed. This will help reduce any distraction while trying to fall asleep. Read a book, practice some yoga, or try taking a warm bath.
- Don’t hang out in your bed. If you often relax, watch TV, or just spend extended amounts of time in your bed you’re confusing your brain. You may either feel more tired being in bed since you relate it to sleep, or have trouble falling asleep in the place where you spend time while you’re awake.