Stomach troubles: during stress, we tend to swallow large amounts of air. This results in gas formation, bloating and discomfort. But that is not all. Unchecked, stress can wreak havoc on the digestive system, causing anything from restricted blood flow to stomach spasms, ulcers and celiac disease.
Jaw pain: those under stress often gnash and grind their teeth during sleep. Many of us clench our teeth all day long without realizing it. If your jaw feels tight and your facial muscles feel tense, it could be more than a dental problem–stress is sometimes an underlying reason.
Canker sores: stress can cause the area around the lips to swell and flare up. This happens because stress compromises your ability to fight inflammation and infection.
Frequent colds: stress lowers immunity and triggers the production of cortisol, a hormone that inhibits your ability to fight infection. And the dangers of stress stretch beyond frequent colds. Several inflammatory diseases such as asthma, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease have been linked to high stress levels.
Skin problems: tension causes skin to produce more oil, thus clogging pores. The result is breakouts and pimples. But that’s not the whole story. A whole list of skin problems, such as dry skin, itchiness, cracks, eczema and psoriasis have been linked to stress. A Johns Hopkins study even found a link between stressful life events and deadly skin cancer.
Weight gain: If you eat high calorie food in a happy frame of mind, it isn’t as bad as when you indulge in stress-triggered overeating. That’s because stress causes the body to produce cortisol, which turns the extra food into belly fat.
All of this means two things:
- The relationship between stress and physical ailment is proof of the intimate link between body and mind.
- You need to address the stress factors in your life, and deal with them. Good diet, sound sleep and a happy heart—work toward strengthening these three pillars of health, and wave a firm goodbye to stress and all that comes with it!