Ways Your Body Is Telling You It’s Stressed And How To Find Calm

The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

Stress is a natural response in the body. It’s natural for anyone to feel stress from time to time between the many daily demands of work, finances, and family. What’s not healthy is feeling constant and repeated stress, which can often cause or exacerbate physical illnesses and result in negative effects for our health.

There are a number of ways this kind of chronic stress can show up in our body. One way people may experience stress is through skin rashes and bumps on their fingers. To learn more about how stress can show up as inflammatory skin conditions, check out BetterHelp’s informative guide to hives, eczema, and stress bumps on fingers:


How Chronic Stress Is Different From Normal Stress

In this article, we’ll take a look at how stress works and ways to calm the body’s stress response to avoid painful skin conditions and other symptoms of stress. Stress is a natural response in the body. In some ways, stress is like an alarm clock. An alarm clock serves a helpful purpose of waking you up in the morning, so you don’t miss work and important activities you have planned for the day.

But what if that alarm clock keeps going off all day long, even when you’re in a meeting or trying to enjoy family time? An alarm clock that won’t stop ringing could interrupt your day and cause you to miss deadlines at work and impair your ability to function in your work and relationships.

The body’s stress response can work a lot like that alarm clock, it plays a helpful role at specific times. But stress isn’t meant to be chronic any more than an alarm clock is meant to be ringing all day long. In addition to inflammatory skin diseases, stress can cause symptoms throughout the body, including:

  • Stress bumps on fingers, as well as hives, and eczema
  • Feeling exhausted and unable to move
  • Body aches and painful places throughout the body
  • Digestive issues and upset stomach
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Feeling dizzy and having shaking hands
  • Chest pains and heart palpitations
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Uncomfortably tense muscles
  • Clenching one’s jaw
  • Lack of interest in sex

There’s no mistaking that the physical symptoms of stress are real. Symptoms of stress aren’t just “in your head,” and they can affect a person’s ability to lead a healthy, productive life.

Fortunately, even though stress is an automatic response meant to protect us and help us focus, there are ways to experience fewer symptoms of stress. When we experience fewer bodily symptoms of stress we may be able to decrease the instances of things like stress bumps on our fingers, skin conditions, elevated blood pressure, aches, muscle tension, and more. First, let’s take a look at how the body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system that comprises the autonomic system works.

How Understanding The Stress Response Helps

When we’re faced with a stressful situation, our body sends adrenaline that helps speed up our heart rate, which means more blood and oxygen are going to the different parts of our body. This is the often described as the fight, flight, or freeze response. Great for fighting lions, it’s less great when you’re feeling stressed about meeting a deadline at work where no immediate danger is involved.

But because humans evolved to physically evade predators, we still experience these physical effects in moments of stress – even though we’re not in physical danger. That means we can often be left with powerful stress energy in the body with no place to go, especially given our sedentary work lives.

In order to bring the body out of this heightened response state, the parasympathetic nervous system then kicks in to dull the effects of sympathetic nervous system in the body.

The good news here is that we can consciously affect our parasympathetic nervous system. We can learn to encourage our body to bring more good calming vibes and even shorten the duration and dull the intensity of stressful episodes.

How To Dull Harmful Stress And Bring More Calm To Body

To go back to the alarm clock example. Your stress response can keep going off, just like an alarm clock. But there are ways to hit snooze on the alarm, then to reset your alarm clock to not go off as frequently.

Let’s look at some ways to calm the body’s stress response and experience fewer skin conditions and physical manifestations of stress:

  • Set up reminders on your phone throughout the day to check your breath and scan for stress in the body. Choose a delightful sound, or download an app designed to help remind you to check in. Even a few moments of mindfulness can provide a valuable reset that wards off stress.
  • Take a break in nature without headphones and distractions. Walk to get a cup of coffee. Or hit a hiking trail. Feel the sunshine. Listen to the birds chirping, and commit to being fully present in the beauty of nature. If you can’t get out of the office, even looking out your window for a few quiet moments can bring calm.
  • Practice breathing exercises. There are special exercises designed to trigger the calming parasympathetic nervous system that often involve longer exhales. Study the exact techniques to get the best results. The 4-7-8 breathing pattern is one such method, where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, then exhale for 8 seconds.
  • Exercise, stretching and yoga provide ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous system that can also offer potent health benefits. There are many forms of exercise that can help encourage calming in the body, consistency is key.
  • Consider returning to a hobby you enjoy, or starting a new one. Singing, drawing, doodling, painting, and playing music can all help activate the parasympathetic nervous system and bring more calming effects.

In Conclusion

There are many possible negative effects we can experience from stress, which range from skin diseases to headaches and sleep issues. Once you know that it’s possible to have an effect on the frequency and duration of your stress response, you can begin to prevent it from going off as often. Take steps to practice the skills outlined here to bring more calm your body. Most importantly, please don’t hesitate to seek professional mental health help if your stress becomes overwhelming. A licensed therapist is trained to guide you on the path to better physical and mental health. You don’t have to suffer alone, there’s hope for anyone who wants to better manage stress and live a more joyful life.

Sanjeev Kumar
Sanjeev Kumar
Myself Sanjeev Kumar a dynamic writer and digital marketing expert, currently contributing his expertise to OurNetHelps. With a passion for crafting compelling content and a deep understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape i dedicated to creating informative and engaging materials that help businesses thrive online.

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