7 ways stress affects your body

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If you’ve ever been on a roller coaster, you’re familiar with the slow tick of the track as you climb the hill to the top for that first plunge. Your heart races with uncertainty and excitement, steadily building until you’re on the brink. Sound familiar? Stress can be a roller coaster, with those same twists and turns and, if we’re not careful, an emotional peak that can have a big impact on our minds and bodies.

Think stress is just about the mind? Think again. Not only is stress a burden on your mental health, leading to feelings of burnout, anxiety and depression, but stress that’s not dealt with can lead to many physical health problems, including:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Migraines and tension headaches
  3. Hormonal changes caused by an increase of stress hormones like cortisol
  4. Heart disease
  5. Stroke
  6. Obesity
  7. Diabetes
The good news is that with the right support, you can reduce or eliminate the effects of stress altogether.


We’ve all felt that slow rise in emotion and pressure that feels inescapable, but it doesn’t have to take you for a ride!

1. Make time for self-care

Even when you’re busy, you can still take a moment for yourself to do something you enjoy. Whether it’s sitting down with a book, taking a long shower, going for a walk or enjoying your favorite meal, the options are endless.

2. Boost your mind-body connection

While COVID-19 is back on the rise, there’s good news—a new booster is here to help protect you from the latest variants. Even if you’ve been vaccinated or boosted or had the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you get the new booster. Speak with your doctor or schedule an appointment with a participating pharmacy.

3. Get moving

When you’re stressed, the last thing you may want to do is exercise, but lacing up those sneakers is sure to release stress-busting endorphins. Any movement counts—from yoga to jogging to stretching or marching in place, stress is no match against a good sweat session!

4. Talk it out

Sometimes it helps to have someone to talk to. Whether it’s a friend or a professional like a counselor or therapist, reach out if you could use someone to listen and help you troubleshoot the issues that have been weighing on your mind.

Need help dealing with stress?

For information and tips, visit the Healthy Minds section of our Healthy Living Resource Center or call the Benefit Funds’ Wellness Member Assistance Program at (646) 473-6900 for a confidential referral.