According to the Mayo Clinic, stomach aches, headaches, body aches, and other types of pains in the body can have a variety of sources. Sometimes the cause or reason for the physical pain is medical or biological. Sometimes the reason for the pain is psychological or mental. Stress is often an overlooked source of bodily pains. The National Institute of Mental Health provides a helpful and straightforward definition of stress. Here it is:
Stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand.
If you are curious like us, you probably asked the obvious question: How do the brain and body respond to stress? Watch this short video to learn more:
The effects of chronic stress may have already set in. Yet, the effects are reversible. Consider these helpful tips to manage stress provided by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Observe yourself. Just make sure you pay attention to changes in your behavior, thoughts, and feelings.
Exercise regularly. Stay physically active through walking, playing sports, or vigorous house cleaning.
Relax regularly. You can either engage in meditation or sit quietly and focus on images or ideas you find peaceful.
Prioritize your time. Life is filled with demands like family, friends, and work. Plan and try to follow it through.
Talk with a health professional. Remember, chronic stress can have harmful physical effects on your body and mind. Honestly, talk with a medical doctor or a professional counselor to explore treatments and strategies specific to your situation.
Chronic stress can cause physical symptoms. Commit yourself to practice one of the tips above each week for the next week.
National Institute of Mental Health. 5 Things You Need to Know about Stress. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml
Mayo Clinic. Stress Symptoms: Effects on Body and Behavior. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987