3 MAJOR things long term STRESS does to your body
Stress is a natural reaction. It’s what happens when our body senses a threat and switches on its fight or flight response so we can protect ourselves from whatever that stress is.
But when we can’t turn that fight or flight response off? Oh boy, then we’re in real trouble.
If you’re feeling bogged down and foggy, if your jeans are more snug than they should be, if you’re not sleeping well and you’re more irritable than normal, you may be in a constant state of stress. Your body may not be turning off that fight or flight response.
Before you go any further: if any of this sounds like you, so far, you should download my brand new, FREE, Post Pandemic Support Plan for Busy Moms.
Why might you want the support plan? It will help you manage these on-going stressors and stress symptoms in just a few easy steps.
But if you want some real, concrete reasons, here are 3 major things long-term stress does on your body.
It impacts digestion
You know that Hollywood trope when people get so scared they poop their pants? That’s a real thing!
Stress can lead to diarrhea and constipation. Because your body has re-directed blood flow to your muscles, there is no longer enough blood going to your intestines to properly move waste through. So, it could come out WAY TOO FAST, or not fast enough. Yikes!
Along with waste, stress also stops your intestines from absorbing nutrients properly. This can cause gas and bloating or even stomach cramps, which can be really uncomfortable. But it also means the hard work you may be doing to plan balanced meals may be going to (literal) waste.
Fun fact: the opposite of “fight or flight” is “rest and digest”!
There is such a huge link between our digestive system and stress. If you want to learn more about this topic, check out my blog post about using food to lower stress.
It impacts your sleep
Sleep and stress are a vicious cycle.
Not enough sleep can cause stress, too much stress can lead to a lack of sleep.
Getting enough sleep can alleviate some stress. But how the heck do we sleep when we’re stressed????
And when we don’t sleep? That brings on a whole slew of frustrations.
Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering things, mood swings, impulsivity or lack of rational thinking, decreased energy, decreased motivation…. The list goes on.
These symptoms can impact every single aspect of our lives.
If reducing stress levels means getting back some quality zzzs, SIGN ME UP.
FYI The Sleep Foundation does have some good tips for sleeping when stressed. Check it out, here.
It can lead to physical pain
Aside from just the stomach aches I mentioned before, stress can lead to real, physical pain in different areas of the body.
Headaches, chest pain, muscle aches, clenched jaws and teeth grinding (ouch!) are incredibly common side effects and symptoms of stress.
And when you’re in pain, what’s hard to do? SLEEP.
It’s all connected.
Because so many moms are in a constant state of stress these days, I created The Busy Mom’s Post Pandemic Support Plan to give realistic, tangible steps you can take to start feeling better.
Want to know more about how your body reacts to stress and how you can manage it? Download The Busy Mom’s Post Pandemic Support Plan today.
I also have lots of resources on our blog to support you, like this one: Stressed AF? Read this
Let’s work together to get this stress under control and get your body, mind and soul back into that coveted rest and digest phase!