Stress and Your Body

Photo of woman with serious face to represent how stress can impact your life

Stress is our body’s normal response to a challenge.

Sometimes stress is how you react to a short-term situation, like being stuck in traffic. In this case, your stress usually goes away quickly. Other kinds of stress may last longer, like dealing with relationship problems or the death of a loved one.

What is stressful for one person may not be stressful for someone else. Each of us responds to stress in different ways.

How can stress impact your health?
It’s possible for stress to affect your physical, mental and emotional health. When under stress, you may:
  • Feel tired, unable to concentrate or moody.
  • Have physical pain, skin rashes
    or digestive problems.
  • Not sleep well.
  • Feel depressed or anxious.
  • Have immune system changes that may put you at risk for other diseases.
Managing stress

It’s important to be aware of how you deal with stress. If you deal with stress by using unhealthy behaviors — like smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating too much or too little — look for more positive ways to manage your stress.

For healthier ways to manage your stress, consider activities such as meditation, exercise or talking with friends and family. Also, don't feel like you have to take on too much at once. Change may be hard, so focus on changing only one behavior at a time.

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