Most people today in our fast-paced society are familiar with the feeling of stress. While stress is primarily associated with its emotional impact, it can have real physical effects on people in their day to day lives as well.

Are you interested in learning about stress and how it can impact your physical well-being? These mental healthcare providers in Northwest Indiana take a deeper look.

First: What Is Stress?

Stress is your body’s way of dealing with challenging situations. Sometimes, it can help you stay alert or finish a job. But too much of it, too often, can cause both physical and mental harm.

Physical Symptoms of Chronic Stress

Headaches

Stress can lead to frequent and severe headaches. This is often because your muscles (especially the ones around your neck and head) get tense when you are stressed.

Digestive Issues

Stress can slow down digestion, leading to feelings of bloating and fullness. Moreover, stress can disrupt the balance of your gut flora, making you more prone to gas, indigestion and even diarrhea. If this goes on too long, it can even lead to long-term issues like irritable bowel syndrome.

Disrupted Sleep Patterns

Stress can keep you up at night, making falling or staying asleep hard. For some, this pattern can become chronic insomnia, adding even more stress to their daily lives.

Muscle Aches and Tightness

Ever felt a stiff neck after a bad day? That is stress causing your muscles to tense up.

Compromised Immunity

Stress weakens your immune system, making it easier to catch colds or other infections.

Cardiovascular Problems

Stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, this constant state of alertness can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) and even more severe issues like heart disease and stroke.

Weight Fluctuations

Stress can mess with your appetite, making you eat too much or too little. This can lead to drastic weight gain or loss.

The Importance of Addressing Stress

Life has its challenges, and with that comes stress. It is inevitable. But it is also essential to know that prolonged, unmanaged stress can harm our health and overall well-being. Now, while it might seem impossible to escape every stressful situation, how you respond and deal with these situations is in your hands.

For example, exercising releases endorphins, our body’s feel-good chemicals. So, why not set aside just a few minutes daily to walk, run, or do any simple physical activity?

Your mental healthcare provider in Northwest Indiana will also recommend eating a balanced diet. Avoiding too much caffeine, sugar, or junk food and incorporating fruits, vegetables and lean proteins can make a big difference in how you handle stress.

Lastly, consider seeking external help. Whether talking to a trusted friend or a professional, sometimes simply voicing your concerns and feelings makes the weight on your shoulders feel lighter.

Seeking Help

If stress becomes too much, it is okay to ask for help. Mental healthcare providers in Northwest Indiana, like 219 Health Network, know a lot about stress and can offer advice based on your unique situation, background and triggers.

Various interventions are also available — from mindfulness techniques to cognitive behavioral therapies — to help you feel better. Remember, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness but one of strength, understanding, and the desire to live a fuller, happier life.

Looking for an Affordable Mental Healthcare Provider in Northwest Indiana?

If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed by chronic stress, you can always reach out to our experts at 219 Health Network. We can help you develop effective techniques to work through and manage your stress. Contact us today at 833-219-0001 to get started.