Here are some ways your body reacts to stress

Long-term or chronic stress can have serious effects on your body.

Here are some ways your body reacts to stress
© Getty/ Ekaterina Goncharova
Here are some ways your body reacts to stress

We’re still in the throes of an unprecedented pandemic which has altered life as we know it. The uncertainties, confinement, loss and fear we experienced during lockdowns have plunged most people into chronic, unmitigated stress. Although symptoms of stress tend to be mental in nature, there are some physical manifestations of long-term stress.

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A 2003 study by researchers at Stanford University found that college students experienced acne flare-ups during exams, a period associated with relatively higher stress levels compared to few weeks into the start of school where no tests are conducted. Dermatologist, Dr Lisa A. Garner offered this explanation on WebMD:

When you already have acne, and you get into a stressful situation, that seems to be when your acne really flares up.


Probably a common effect of stress on one’s health is in the form of a headache. It’s no wonder your head tends to ache at the end of a stressful day or when you are worried about an ongoing or impending event. Research from 2015 indicated that increased stress levels were associated with frequency of headaches. Lack of sleep, brought on by stress, can result in headaches as well.

Getty/ Boy_Anupong

Digestive problems

You may have noticed that a change in your bowel movement when you are feeling stressed. Some people experience constipation, diarrhoea as well as heartburns when they are under pressure. A 2010 study conducted on 2,700 children found that exposure to stressful events or activities caused them to constipate. Although other factors can cause digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, heightened stress can trigger these as well.

Frequent ailment

Long periods of stress may take a toll on your immune system’s ability to fight off common infections. This means you may be more prone to common cold and other viral infections when you are feeling stressed. According to Healthline:

psychological stress can affect a range of bodily functions, such as inflammatory responses, wound healing, and the body’s ability to fight off infection and disease

Sources used:

Healthline:The effects of stress on your body

New York Times: How Does Your Body React to Stress?

WebMD: Stress symptoms

American Psychological Association: Stress effects on the body

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