Let's talk about STRESS, baby. What doesn’t stress do to women? We already have such complex systems capable of creating and sustaining life, hemorrhaging for days on end without fatalities and bearing regular, oftentimes monthly cramping and tenderness throughout our entire body. From our head to our toes, our bodies experience natural occurrences that put stress on the body. But, what does external and additional stress do to a woman’s body? Let’s discuss!
How stress affects our emotional state.
Stress isn’t always just physical. In fact, stress can play an integral role on our emotional health with symptoms that can vary from woman-to-woman and even day-to-day in each woman. Here are some symptoms of emotional stress and how they manifest in our lives:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
- Having difficulty relaxing and quieting the never-ending dialogue in your mind
- Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
- Avoiding time with others and secluding oneself
Naturally, these above emotional states can also then affect the body in ways of physical symptoms. Here, we share some symptoms of physical stress:
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Mild headaches or migraines
- Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles (sometimes acute and other times chronic)
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
- Insomnia or inability to stay asleep for full night’s rest
- Frequent colds and infections
- Loss of sexual desires or even ability to participate
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth (which can also prompt headaches)
Just when you thought that feelings and physique were pretty much enough real estate for stress to take over, there are also cognitive symptoms of stress to be aware of:
- Constant worrying
- Racing thoughts or inability to quiet the mind
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
- Inability to focus
- Poor judgment
- Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
- Changes in appetite -- either over-eating or consuming too little
- Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
- Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
Are there Consequences to Long-Term Stress?
A little stress every now and then is not something to worry over. In fact, stress is one of those unique challenges that we face in life that often helps us grow wiser and more mature as well as, to set appropriate boundaries for future occurrences. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including your mental health, heart health, sexual health and bodily health.
Be sure to get help for Chronic Stress.
Stress won’t go away but it can be managed. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it is to know your stress symptoms and to have resources available to you for assisting with coping. If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, talk to your primary care physician. Share your symptoms of stress so they can rule out or identify other health problems.