4 Ways Stress Can Affect You

Your body reacts to high levels of demands and worries by giving you stress. This, as you know, can affect you mentally or physically, or both. Most people with a lot of stress get used to it, but that doesn’t make it normal. You can live your life without all this added stress, as many of the sources of stress and overwhelm are entirely unnecessary.

Before you look at ways to reduce stress, it is a good idea to understand WHY you need to reduce it. Here are some of the different ways stress can affect your mentally and physically.

Increases Your Depression

One of the links between stress and your mental health is that it increases the feelings of depression. Stress doesn’t cause depression if you don’t already suffer from it, but it can make it worse over time. One reason for this is because the stress hormones may create a type of sedative effect. This can lead to common depression side effects like fatigue, lethargy, lack of motivation, poor productivity, sleeping more, and having no interest in activities you used to enjoy.

Stress in itself can be a big trigger if you suffer from clinical depression. When you experience that rise in stress hormones, it can lead to your depressive episodes, which then cause more stress, and turn into more depression or anxiety. The only way out of this cycle is to treat both the depression and the stress, and understand where each one is coming from.

Makes Your Anxiety Worse

If you have an anxiety disorder like generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, or panic disorder, you are already susceptible to anxiety itself. The problem is that many things can easily trigger your anxiety and panic episodes, including high amounts of stress. Just like with depression, increased stress hormones are a very common trigger for anxiety. You might even find that you are having trouble distinguishing between your stress and anxiety, because they continue occurring at the same time. Each one can make each of them worse, just like with depression.