February 6, 2023/Daily Health Stories

How Stress can Impact the Body

A psychologist goes over how stress can take a toll on the body and some ways to cope.

How Stress can Impact the Body

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CLEVELAND – Stress is something we can all relate to, and it can impact us in different ways each day.

“Daily stressors can be things like your to-do list, going to the post office and conflicts with your boss. More chronic stressors are things like financial issues and conflicts with family members,” explained Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic. “These ongoing issues can have lasting and profound impacts on your mental and physical health.”

According to Dr. Albers, long-term stress can accelerate aging and cause inflammation in our bodies, making us more vulnerable to chronic diseases.

Unchecked stress can also lead to anxiety and depression as well as cause people to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs and alcohol.

To manage stress, Dr. Albers suggests to start by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.

Sticking to a daily routine or taking a few minutes to clean are other simple ways to keep your stress at bay.

Dr. Albers also recommends people try practicing meditation, which can be as simple as taking some deep breaths.

If stress starts to prevent you from doing everyday tasks, reach out for help.

“It’s important to consult a therapist or your primary care physician if you are experiencing high levels of stress, and that stress is impacting your day-to-day routine,” Dr. Albers said. “If you have trouble getting to work or notice changes in your sleep patterns or appetite – these are some indications your stress level may be out of control.”

Dr. Albers notes some stress can be positive.

For example, it can provide a boost of motivation to meet a deadline at work.

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