STRESS is a normal part of life, and everyone feels it at some point, but recent research has linked chronic stress to a host of negative health outcomes.

Even though stress is a normal reaction that the body can handle, the fast-paced modern world we live in makes it difficult for our bodies to keep up.

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“Chronic stress can lead to a range of physical and mental health problems,” Alisa Bash, PsyD, LMFT, a family and marriage therapist, told Verywell.

“Chronic stress is ongoing and can be caused by factors like financial problems, relationship issues, or a long-term illness,” the therapist from Malibu, California, explained.

“It can put the body in a constant state of arousal, which has been linked to numerous health issues, both physical and mental.”

Your body can handle “acute stress,” like that felt right before giving a big presentation or riding a roller coaster, but it can’t handle the chronic stress that you’re under right now.

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In these brief periods of stress, the body deploys the fight-or-flight response to eliminate the danger.

Our breathing may become more rapid, our muscles may tense, and our heart rate will rise.

After an episode of stress, the body begins the process of relaxing in order to restore a sense of calm and safety.

“Without opportunities to rest and relax and experience a break from stress, it can be really problematic for both our mental health and our physical health,” said Shannon Bennett, PhD, site clinical director of NewYork-Presbytarian’s Youth Anxiety Center.

Bennett pointed out that people have different ways of displaying stress.

She speculated that differences in how people felt its effects could be inherited.

Understanding how your own body reacts to prolonged stress is essential for overcoming its negative effects.

Bennet claims that the changes in heart rate and blood pressure caused by adrenaline and cortisol make the heart a key organ that can be affected by stress.

These alterations to the heart improve muscle performance in preparation for either fighting or running.

However, experts have warned that doing so for an extended period of time can result in chest pain, heart disease, heart attacks, hypertension, and an increased risk of stroke.

Shortness of breath, rapid or uncontrolled breathing, and even asthma attacks have been linked to both short-term and long-term stress, as reported by Bash.

Bennett pointed out that the stomach and intestines can also show symptoms of prolonged stress, including gastrointestinal distress like nausea, bloating, gas, and vomiting.

Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms may be exacerbated by gastrointestinal issues like ulcers, reflux, and hyperacidity.

Head, neck, shoulder, and back tension are common physical manifestations of persistent stress.

Poor posture and back pain can be the result of chronic tension in the back muscles.

Hernias, slipped discs, and sciatica are all possible complications.

Headaches, jaw pain, and leg pain are all possible manifestations of this condition.

A stress headache can make it difficult to sleep and increase feelings of sadness, nervousness, and lethargy.

Ways to reduce heart rate:

How to control breathing:

How to help digestive issues due to stress:

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How to deal with stress-related headaches, backaches, and shoulder pain:

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