Lower Stress: How does stress affect the body?

Feeling stressed out? It can have lasting effects on your health and wellbeing. But there are ways to manage stress and its symptoms that can help you feel better.

Stress Stinks! What Can You Do About It?

Stress is a fact of life. A 2017 American Psychological Association survey found that a whopping 80% of respondents reported experiencing at least one symptom of stress over the past month.1 Does this describe you?

Sometimes we stress over good things, like a long line at a brunch spot, a new job, an upcoming wedding, or a new baby. And other times it’s over not-so-good things like being sick, working too much, or family drama.

Stress can affect your mental and physical health in so many ways.

Long-term activation of your body’s stress response system, along with prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones, may put you at risk for health troubles like:2,3

  • digestive problems
  • anxiety
  • headaches
  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • weight gain
  • memory and concentration issues
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease and stroke

So what can we DO about stress?

You want to avoid all these, right? Us too! Luckily, small changes are easy to try. We even have a nifty list! Let’s get started:

Get giggling. Make silly faces with the family, have a staring contest, watch videos of babies and puppies – whatever gets your belly moving, try blowing off some steam with some laughs! Bonus points if you laugh till you cry.

Let’s list. Making a list can help you decide what’s actually important to do today so you don’t feel buried all the time. Added bonus? You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you cross things off as “done.” We can practically hear you saying “aaaahhhhh” already.

  • Find a friend. Take a 60-second social break to message someone with a “Hello!” And hey, if it turns into a longer chat, we won’t tell!
  • Move more. Movement is good for your heart and your mind. Dance like crazy to get the funk out, try hula hooping, briskly walk around the block and listen to the birds, or take that hip-ho

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