by Will Grumke February 19, 2021 4 min read

Stress is a part of life.

We actually need small amounts of stress in our life. The problem is that due to the society we live in, we are constantly under stress.

This constant stress can make it hard to live the life you want … by sabotaging your efforts to be healthy, lose weight, achieve a fitness goal, and can lead to serious health issues.

Common Causes of Stress

When we’re talking about stress, it can come from various places in a multitude of forms. Some of the BIG common stressors are:

– Financial Stress
– Academic Pressure
– Physical Stress 
– Work-Related Stress
– Relationship Issues
– Academic Pressure

Everyday Causes of Stress

But there are tens of thousands of smaller, almost routine stressors, that you deal with every single day. Here are eleven common examples that you may recognize from your life:

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– Over-scheduling Yourself
– Fears
– Nutrient Deficiencies
– Procrastination
– Poor Training Habits
– Commuting and Traveling
– Inadequate Amounts of Sleep
– Indecision
– Exercise
– Worrying About Future Events
– Weight Loss Diets

These smaller stressors, or the tens of thousands like them, might not seem like a big deal when looking at them one at a time, but it’s the compounding effects in conjunction with the big stressors … over a period of time, that can lead to one or more of these nine negative consequences of stress that are disrupting or negatively impacting your life.

9 Negative Consequences Of Chronic Stress

1) Decreased Brain Function

Studies show that chronic stress affects your ability to concentrate, delays reaction time, and inhibits your ability to think efficiently.

On top of that, people who are chronically stressed are more accident-prone.

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2) Memory Loss

Living with constant high levels of stress has devastating effects on your memory. It can even  limit your ability to learn.

All learning depends on the use of memory. High levels of stress can decrease your ability to access memories as well as prevents you from creating new memories.

3) Inflammation

Stress can contribute to inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been linked to a multitude of health conditions, issues and even some diseases.

These conditions range from gut issues, heart disease, joint pain, and more. All of which can negatively impact the quality of your life.

4) Weakened Immune System

There is no doubt about it, being chronically stressed weakens your immune system, making fighting infection and sickness much more difficult.

Once you are sick, high levels of stress can increase the severity of the symptoms and delay your recovery time.

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5) Constipation or Diarrhea

I’m not sure which is worse… but since your body struggles to maintain proper digestion when under stress, it can contribute to a variety of digestive disorders.

A few common symptoms include being bloated, cramping, constipation and diarrhea.

6) Weight Gain

High levels of cortisol (your stress hormone) for an extended period of time can lead to increased belly fat storage as well as make it very challenging to burn body fat.

Not only can high amounts of stress over time lead to more fat storage, but it can also increase cravings for fat, salt, and sugar. Making it harder to stick to your nutrition plan!

7) Terrible Nights of Sleep

Whether it is difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep … constant stress can affect your sleep patterns.

This can make you irritable and fatigued, delays recovery from training, and interferes with proper hormone production.

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8) Physical Pain

High levels of stress are sometimes associated with backaches, joint pain, and tension headaches. Needless to say, if you are in constant pain, you can not possibly operate as effectively as possible! 

That goes for while you're at the gym, while at work, home, or anywhere. 

9) Acne and Breakouts

Hormonal imbalances due to stress can negatively affect your skin health. This can lead to acne and breakouts. Eczema, acne, and hives are common reactions to stress.

Premature hair loss has also been linked to stress ... which for me personally, is a big area of concern!

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Strategies to Reduce Stress

As you can see, the negative impact high levels of stress has on your body is widespread.

Much of the chronic stress on your body and mind has to do with feeling out of control or helpless or an inability to properly deal with stress.

Therefore, you will want to take a look at your life, and identify what’s causing you stress ... then work on a plan to help cope with stress. Some effective stress management practices are:

– Prioritize and delegate tasks/responsibilities.
– Consume a nutrient-dense diet.
Improve your sleeping habits
– Daily reflections on the positives in your life
– Keeping a journal
– Limiting your stimulant intake
– Exercise and move your body regularly

How To Eliminate Stress

All of these will help you deal with stress better, but don’t try to get rid of all stress from your life, because some stress is good.

For example, learning a new skill, taking on a challenge that is just outside of your comfort zone, or a good exercise routine are all good types of stress.

Therefore, it’s always important to learn to deal with stress effectively through lifestyle habits, proper training, rest, nutrition, and even supplementation when needed.

If you need any help with this, please feel free to contact any of our NASM Certified Personal trainers for free by giving us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or sending us an email.

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Will Grumke
Will Grumke

Will Grumke is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.