Stress & Its Physical Effects: Understanding How Stress Affects Human Body

Last Update on May 18, 2021 : Published on December 22, 2020
Physical effects of stress on your body

One thing is already clear with the topic of this blog! Stress is not limited to brain activities but also pitch in physical effects equally. Not just you can’t concentrate on one thing at a time but also feel the change in pulse rate, breathing pace, body pain and more. Yes, there are a number of physical effects of stress on your body which must be kept in check for a healthier you.

Also Read: An Introvert’s Guide To Managing Stress

However, stress is a natural part of human life which could be experienced by a person due to everyday responsibilities like work, alienated family members or working in war torn grounds. It even helps in coping up with difficult situations as the human body releases hormones which changes heart rate and breathing speed as a response.

With that said, let us go through effects of stress on the body to enrich your understanding.

How Stress Affects The Body?

1. Headache

Stress has the capacity to trigger and intensify the tension that causes prolonged headaches. Stress can even wear you down emotionally and cause headaches along with depression.

Also Read: What Are The Possible Effects Of Untreated Depression?

2. Insomnia

When someone is stressed, they may feel like not able to sleep properly or stay awake all night. It makes the body feel lethargic and lacking energy. As sleep is directly related to mental health, one can learn about sleep restriction therapy for better results.

3. Heartburn & Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases

Heartburn & Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases

Stress can lead to production of stomach acid at a greater scale that can cause heartburn and even worsening conditions. Moreover, if stress remains intact for a long time then it may even cause damage to arteries, ultimately leading to heart attack.

4. Rapid Breathing

Due to any reasons, the stress within you causes tension and may even leave you breathless or short of breath for sometime. If you are going through asthma or emphysema then stress makes it harder for you to breathe. Blood pressure is another thing which comes into picture, leading to chances of stroke.

5. Weak Immune System

Weak Immune System

One may become immune to a number of infections as an impact of stress on the body. When subjected to long term stress, the defense mechanisms of the body reduces and the body becomes susceptible to illnesses like common cold and flu viruses.

6. Risk Of Blood Sugar

Another effect of stress and anxiety on the body includes liver releasing extra sugar or glucose in the bloodstream. Although this sugar gives energy to the person but its surge may increase the chances of Type-2 diabetes in the body.

7. Fertility Problems

Men or women, physical side effects of stress prevail in both and may lead to problems in conceiving. Apart from this, the fatigue becomes reason for low sex drive and may even take toll on the libido. Men can face erectile dysfunctioning as stress and thoughts interfere in the process. At the same time, women can go through fluctuating hormones which could miss the menstrual cycle or even stop it altogether in severe cases.

8. Tensed Muscles

Stress affects your body in another way too. Your muscles may feel tensed and there could be associated headaches and backaches that drain you towards potential serious situations.

Stress-O-Meter : How Stressed are you?

Feeling Stressed? you can take this short quiz to measure whether your ‘stress level’ is too high.

Click Here to Check Your Stress Level 

Effects Of Stress On Your Mood & Behavior

Apart from physical side effects of stress, stress also affects your mood like:

With such changes, behavioral issues like overeating or binge eating, angry outbursts, drug overuse, alcohol abuse, social withdrawal and tobacco use could be seen. However, it is important to manage your own stress so that you sideline the symptoms and keep yourself going positively.

Some of the best ways to manage stress include:

1. Regular physical activity must be involved in your daily lifestyle to keep your hormones balanced. Walking, jogging, gymming or swimming; whatever it is but make sure that it becomes a part of your routine.

2. Practice relaxation techniques including Yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation or massage.

3. Make time for your hobbies and indulge in them to keep yourself busy as well as productive.

4. Spend time with your friends and family members. Try to express yourself in front of them and understand your feelings in a better way.

habits to relive stress


We hope that you have understood that the effects of stress on the body are equally considerable as on mind. So, if someone is under huge stress then they must immediately look for a counselor or therapist by dropping us a message at or visit them in-person.

You may also read these blogs to get a better understanding of stress and learn effective ways to manage it.

About The Author

Akanksha Soni
Akanksha Soni

Akanksha is an active lifestyle blogger and writer at Calmsage. She has learnt various lessons on happiness and methods to fight depression through 'Gurus' as well as own experiences. An ardent practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she keeps traveling, writes and interacts with people to feel alive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

As Seen On