The Effects of Stress and How to Overcome Them

Stress is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.

Heart palpitations. Sweaty palms. Overbearing thoughts.

From something as small as losing $5 to something bigger like a family feud, anything can cause stress.

When people care deeply about something (an event, a person, their identity, etc.) they fear anything negatively affecting whatever they value. When that happens, it induces stress.

The question is not whether you will encounter stress. Rather, understanding what stress can do to you and crafting positive habits will help ease your tension levels.

That’s what our topic is for today. So relax and check out how bad stress can be for your health.


As part of your body’s flight-or fight response system, cortisol and adrenaline pump from your adrenal glands, giving you a heightened ability to cope with stress.

Cortisol, however, elevates the brain’s pain sensitivity, which leaves the stressed person more susceptible to headaches. Once your stress simmers down and your brain readjusts itself, these headaches usually intensify.

When people are stressed, they often lack healthy amounts of sleep. This can put unnecessary strain on the brain and lead to more headaches.


Weight Gain

In addition to amplifying the sensitivity of the brain, cortisol also overrides the body’s signals to get rid of fat. Whatever fat one eats under stress has a higher likelihood of remaining lodged inside his or her body.

Of course, many people deal with stress by overeating. When people feel bad, they often seek the endorphin rush of a warm platter of comfort food.

But developing an addiction to this momentary relief can add up. The more people don’t deal with stress directly, the more often they’ll turn to food, and the more weight they will gain.

One nice thing about Fit Body is that our coaches offer nutritional advice to members. You can just follow their instructions and worry less about whether the foods you consume are healthy, even when you’re stressed.

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Digestive Issues

When the body is stressed, the stress hormones flowing through the bloodstream can cause cramping, upset stomach, diarrhea, and heartburn. This can eventually lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

These symptoms can also magnify each other. Intense headaches can send sharp pains to your stomach, while overeating can lead to heartburn and other digestive issues.


Heart Problems

Stress can take a severe toll on the heart. Not only does it increase blood clotting, it can restrict arteries and raise blood pressure. Under these conditions, heart attack and stroke become more likely.

When the heart is in flight-or-fight, blood courses throughout the body to support added levels of adrenaline. While fine once in a while, forcing the heart to work this hard regularly doesn’t bode well for its long-term health.



When the body works overtime to manage stress, it leaves the immune system open to attack from viruses and diseases.

When adrenaline energizes the body, it lower’s the immune system’s defense even more. If the body contracts illness, burning itself out because of stress will only make that illness’s effects stronger.

Again, other symptoms like lack of sleep and heart issues can also cause the immune system to deteriorate. That’s what makes stress so dangerous – it diminishes your health in multiple areas.


Fortunately, you can alleviate stress in a variety of ways. Let’s now discuss some helpful tips for coping with stress.



When stressed, the body looks for a way to release its building energy. Exercise is a healthy option.

Not only does working out take your mind off of stressful circumstances, it improves your mood as well. Exercise combats other effects of stress such as weight gain and heart problems.

Fit Body Boot Camp’s calorie-burning routines are perfect for a good workout. Whether you’re slamming the battle ropes or hitting the plyo boxes, our 30-minute sessions are always fresh and engaging, giving you something new to look forward to each time you come in.


Support from Others

Having people in your life you can talk out your stressful circumstances with is important. After all, when people deal with stress alone, it can be overbearing.

Find someone you trust and let them help you through your unresolved issues. Sometimes, another perspective is all you need to decide your plan of action. Even spending time with others while you’re down can lift your spirits up.

Fit Body prides itself on nurturing a warm, friendly atmosphere inside its locations. With Fit Body, you gain more than workout partners; you gain a family that cares about you. Our trainers and members all drive towards the same goals and encourage each other through that process.

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Stress-Relieving Hobbies

Having a hobby you’re passionate about can greatly lower your stress levels. While it doesn’t directly stop your stress, it can redirect your focus toward being productive.

You could write music, play a sport, knit, or dance. Whatever makes you feel good and relaxed is a great way to distress.

Remember that tackling stress requires you to be in a positive mindset. By stepping away from a contentious situation, you can gain clarity on how to best move forward while defusing your tension.


Meet Your Stress Head-On

When people make their issues larger than they actually are, stress piles down on them. This fear stifles them from taking action to rid their tension.

But unless you deal with whatever is causing that stress, it won’t completely leave you.

Obviously, covering every situation that could cause stress would be impossible, but a good rule of thumb is to push toward a solution as much as you can. That might bring more stress, but you have to start somewhere.

Use some of the other techniques mentioned above if this becomes too overwhelming. Those techniques will help temporarily alleviate your stress. Then, continue to pursue resolution in your life.

Try to not waste time in facing the sources of your stress. The longer you wait, the more you allow stress to affect the mind and the body.

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