Physical Effects of Stress: 6 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress

physical effects of stress / woman laying down

Last Updated on August 20, 2023 by Lori Geurin

Stress is an unavoidable aspect of modern life. We’ve all had moments where we feel overwhelmed by the pressures and demands of our jobs, relationships, or other responsibilities. Stress can be physical, mental, or emotional. In this blog post, we will explore how to combat the physical effects of stress.

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What Is Stress?

Stress is the body’s physical and emotional response to challenging or threatening situations. It’s a natural reaction that helps people stay alert, focused, and motivated. In short bursts, stress can be helpful and even motivating. But when stress hangs around too long, it can take a toll on physical and emotional health.

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physical effects of stress / woman exercising

What Are the Effects of Stress

There are numerous physical changes that can occur in the body due to prolonged periods of stress. The physical effects of stress can be wide-ranging and affect different parts of the body. Some of the most common physical symptoms of stress include:

  1. Chest pain & increased heart rate[*]
  2. Insomnia[*]
  3. Decreased immune function[*]
  4. Decreased sexual desire[*]
  5. Dry mouth, grinding teeth[*]
  6. Headaches and migraines[*]
  7. Digestion problems, including nausea and consipation[*]
  8. Aches and pains[*]

What Can You Do To Combat the Physical Effects of Stress

There are numerous things that you can do to combat the physical effects of stress. Some simple measures that you can take include:

1. Getting Enough Sleep

It is important to get enough sleep when you are feeling stressed. Fatigue can worsen physical symptoms and make it difficult to cope with stress. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep every night and take breaks during the day to rest if needed.

2. Eat Healthy Foods

A healthy diet is a key to keeping your body functioning properly and reducing the physical effects of stress. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins in your diet and limit processed foods and sugary drinks.

RELATED: 10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas To Kick Off Your Morning

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your physical health. A moderate amount of exercise can help relieve tension and fatigue, while more vigorous exercise can help improve mood and physical health.

RELATED: The 6-Step Guide on How To Start Working Out for Beginners

4. Be Mindful of What You Say to Yourself

Be mindful of what you say to yourself when you are stressed. It is important not to focus on physical symptoms or allow them to overwhelm your mental state as it will only make physical symptoms worse and prolong the physical effects of stress. Practice positive self-talk and stay positive and productive throughout the day.

RELATED: How To Deal With Regret: A Guide for Working on Personal Growth

5. Practice Relaxation Techniques

Whether it is deep breathing or meditation, practicing relaxation techniques at home or work will help to reduce physical symptoms of stress and encourage physical health. Use these techniques when you feel physical changes taking place in your body due to stress.

Deep Breathing on TikTok

You may enjoy this short video I made for sharing an easy box breathing practice you can do anywhere to enjoy being more relaxed and less stressed. Follow me on TikTok for more wellness videos.


Take a moment for yourself today. Try this deep breath exercise to melt away, stress and anxiety. And help ease, Exhale worries. You’ve got this! 🧘🏼‍♀️🤍#breathe #breathworkhealing #stressreliefexercise #anxietybusters #mindfulbreathing #anxietyrelief #breathworkmagic #wellnessforlife

♬ Nature Love – AjiMD

5. Set Healthy Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is another important strategy to combat physical symptoms of stress. Making time for yourself can be difficult when you are stressed, but learning to say no to others and prioritizing your physical health is important. You cannot care for others if you cannot care for yourself, so find time to take a break from your busy schedule and keep symptoms of stress at bay.

6. Get Help

If you are feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about how to manage physical changes due to stress, make sure to get help. Talk to friends and family about physical changes you are experiencing and let them know what is going on. You can also talk about physical changes with your doctor or a therapist for additional support.

RELATED: Suicide Prevention: Risk Factors And Warning Signs


physical effects of stress / woman smiling

Final Thoughts – Stress Prevention and the Importance of Self-Care

The physical effects of stress can be debilitating and should not be underestimated. There are a number of things that you can do to combat the physical symptoms of stress, including getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, being mindful of what you say to yourself, practicing relaxation techniques, and setting healthy boundaries.

It is also important to remember to take care of yourself and practice self-care. This means making time for yourself and doing things that make you happy and relaxed. If physical changes due to stress are becoming overwhelming, don’t hesitate to get help from friends or family members or talk to your doctor or therapist. Stress prevention is key in maintaining physical health!

printable self-care calendar
Self-Care Calendar Printable | Thrive Berry Etsy Shop

Printable Self-Care Calendar

Self-care calendars can help you in planning your self-care regimen, maintaining a positive mindset, and enhancing your life. We created a printable Self-Care Calendar to help you do just that.

Check out the Self-Care Calendar now!

What have you noticed about the physical effects of stress? What are some effective stress-relieving techniques that you’ve discovered?

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