Diana Kelly Levey

Weird Ways Stress Affects Your Body

woman holding head in hands from stress

April 30, 2019 | Categories: ,

When you feel anxious and worked up as pressures mount in your life, you’ve probably felt tension in your neck, back, or may have experienced a tension headache. And while rubbing those areas, applying heat, and adjusting your posture might help you relieve some of the tightness and pain, there are a few other areas in your body that you’re likely to hold stress. Here’s how emotional stress is causing you physical pain in unexpected places.

Here are 8 signs you’re WAY too stressed.

Your Jaw

When you see an email from your boss or client that makes you feel angry or uneasy, you might unconsciously clench your teeth and cause tension in the muscles around your jaw. Try yawning or stretching your mouth open wide to release some of the tension. Make an effort throughout the day to hold your jaw open slightly so the top and bottom teeth don’t touch. If you think you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about whether a mouth guard is right for you.

Your Eyes

If your eyes feel fatigued and sore, you might blame the aches on too many hours of looking at a screen. While it’s true that staring at computer screens and phone screens for too many hours can strain your eyes, anxiety and mental pressures can lead to physical aches in this area as well. In that same Japanese study, eye fatigue or eye pain was related to teachers who were more likely in an unhealthy mental state. Other studies found that individuals with anxiety, depression and stress were more likely to experience dry-eye disease. This eye disease’s symptoms include burning, itching, redness, a feeling of something in the eye, as well as pain. When you find that you’re experiencing eye pain, try to minimize screen time, add moisturizing eye drops, and talk to your eye doctor if the pain becomes severe or you experience vision changes.

Your Shoulders

Many of us reflexively hunch our shoulders up or tense them while typing for hours, driving, or when we’re worried about something. Ongoing mental strain can lead to physical shoulder pain according to a study done on high school teachers in Japan who were in an unhealthy mental state. Try to release this tight area by doing yoga poses like Eagle arms to create a broad space across the top of the back, or do a forward bend with your arms behind you, falling overhead, to release shoulder tension.

Your Hips

If you’ve ever attended a yoga class, your instructor probably led you through at least one hip-opening pose. That’s because it’s believed that the hips hold tension—which can be emotional tension or even physical tightness from running or exercising and sitting at a desk all day. Child’s pose is a great stretch that helps release tension in the hip area. After you’ve warmed up, a Pigeon pose on each leg or a Figure-4 stretch while lying on your back can help release tightness in the hips as well. Try these yoga poses for beginners to relieve tension and stress.

Read the full article on DoctorOz.com.

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