What Does Chronic Stress Do to The Body?

Experiencing stress is normal but it does affect our body when it becomes chronic. No matter what causes it, chronic stress is a serious problem and should be addressed before it causes a serious health condition.

If you experience stress regularly, it can lead to a neurological condition, hypertension, heart issues and other serious health disorders. Make sure to seek medical advice as to what to do to manage systemic stress and prevent further health issues.

Let’s see how long-term stress can affect your body.

Elderly couple holding hands and walking to avoid chronic stress.

Chronic Stress and Its Impact on the Body

When stress occurs over an extended period, spanning days, weeks, months, or even years, it becomes continuous. What happens is that your blood vessels get narrowed during stress, impairing blood circulation that aids in oxygenating the body. As a result, we can get high blood pressure, strokes, heart problems, memory issues and other health disorders.

Effects of stress on the brain

Research indicates that chronic stress is associated with structural alterations in specific regions of the brain. When someone experiences long-term stress, it can actually cause the brain to function differently. This means that the brain does not work quite the same as it did before the stress.

Changes in the brain due to high-level systemic stress can lead to issues in overall health. When the brain is affected by stress, it can influence various bodily functions and systems, contributing to a range of health problems.

Effects on overall health

Here are some ways in which brain changes related to stress can impact overall health:

According to the American Psychology Association, when chronic stress begins to disrupt your daily life over a prolonged period, it becomes increasingly hazardous. The longer the stress persists, the more detrimental it is to both your mental and physical well-being, triggering anxiety, depression, cognitive problems, and other disorders.

Systemic stress can cause inflammation in the body. One of the reasons of this is that  stress can disrupt the immune system. Chronic stress can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to dysbiosis and other intestinal conditions. This can allow harmful substances such as bacteria and toxins to leak into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and promoting inflammation.

What to do when stressed?

First, find what works best for you in managing your chronic stress. Experiment with different techniques and incorporate them into your daily routine to promote overall well-being. Feeling stressed out is very unhealthy, so it is crucial to learn and practice whatever works best for you to calm down. There are numerous ways to do so. Here are some of them.

Walk away when stressed out

Walking away from a stressful situation can be beneficial for several reasons. Walking helps release endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. It also promotes relaxation and reduces muscle tension, helping to alleviate the physical symptoms of stress.

Listen to relaxing music to stay away from chronic stress

Relaxing music can be a powerful tool for stress management and relaxation, offering both physiological and psychological benefits. Incorporating it into your daily routine, especially during times of stress or before bedtime, can help promote overall well-being and resilience.

Play soothing music or nature sounds to help you relax and unwind. Some people prefer happy songs to get distracted from stress as it can help shift your focus away from stressors.

Deep breathing

Practice deep breathing exercises to activate the body’s relaxation response. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat several times.

Do some physical activity

Exercise is a great way to relieve tension and help to reduce chronic stress. Start moving straight away. Just a few exercises will relax and calm you down. Or go out, run, or participate in your favorite physical activity to release endorphins, which are natural stress relievers.


Take a few minutes to focus on the present moment. Pay attention to your breath, bodily sensations, and surroundings without judgment. Mindfulness meditation can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Meditating regularly would help to get chronically stressed out.

Chronic stress can have profound effects on both the body and mind, leading to serious health issues if left untreated.

Remember that different techniques work for different people, so it’s important to experiment and find what works best for you. Consistent practice of relaxation techniques can help you build resilience to stress over time.

This article is for educational and informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions about your own health condition, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.