How Stress Affects Our Overall Health

Many people forget that stress can affect health. Stress can affect us both mentally and physically and although there can be benefits to moderate stress, too much stress may cause negative health effects that we should all be aware of.


High blood pressure can occur as a result of high stress. This is because the stress hormone can cause your heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow, causing there to be an increase in blood pressure. Certain behaviours triggered by stress can also be linked to high blood pressure such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and unhealthy eating habits.


Depression can also be caused by stress. Sometimes when we’re stressed, we may isolate ourselves from the people that love us the most. This may cause us to feel lonely and unsupported, when really, we’re just closing ourselves off. One way that may help avoid these feelings is to place yourself amongst the right people in challenging times.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is another example of a health issue that is a result of a habit that is triggered by stress. During stressful times, people may begin to comfort eat or overindulge in unhealthy food. An unhealthy diet can be one of the main contributors to Type 2 diabetes, as sugar content in these diets often exceeds the daily recommendation.

Skin Issues

Skin issues such as acne and eczema may also occur as a result of stress. Although no direct links between stress and skin issues have been found, it is thought that because of the hormone changes that stress causes, skin issues occur as a result of the hormone changes. It has been found, however, that stress can increase the harshness of existing acne.

Menstrual Cycle

As stress can affect the part of the brain that controls hormones, for women it may affect their menstrual cycle. When we are stressed, the primary hormone that is released is called cortisol, which in heightened levels can cause irregular periods in women. What can trigger an increase in cortisol is different for each woman, so take some time to note down the things that cause you to be really stressed, and find ways to reduce stress in those areas, as irregular periods may affect your fertility.

If you feel as though you are currently dealing with too much stress, a proven way to combat this is through exercise and mindfulness.

Here at Sheffield City Trust, we offer a range of classes from Yoga to Circuit Training that provides opportunities for a good workout and mindfulness . We also have saunas, steam rooms, and gyms for those who prefer an out-of-class setting.