Stress is one of many factors when it comes to pain. Whether its work, family or an injury that is causing you stress it can affect your homeostasis (your bodies optimum levels).
Often when we get stressed we change our breathing to much shallower shorter rapid breaths. This makes the heart pump faster to get blood to the muscles/organs that need it, however is prolonged episodes of stress are recorded this can increase the risk of hypertension.
If the body is functioning at its limit it can be a small change that can tip your body over the edge. Therefore, people that are highly stressed are more likely to catch a cold or re-injure themselves. Stress can also prolong the bodies healing making a pain more chronic.
Simple ways to relieve stress are doing simple breathing exercises such as 4×4 breathing this is an effective way to calm your breathing and make sure your body is getting the oxygen it needs. The way to do this exercise; breathe in over 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out over 4 seconds hold for 4 seconds and repeat.
Exercising is a great way to reduce stress as it releases hormones in the body called endorphins which make you feel good.
Talking to someone, whether it be a friend or someone you don’t know such as Samaritans can help you air your feelings and allow you to be able to work out how to reduce the stress.
Avoid alcohol, although many people think having a drink will help when you are stressed it can make you feel much worse as it effects neurotransmitters/chemical balances in the brain which can lead to increased anxiety and stress. Drinkaware.co.uk explains in further detail the effects
By Paige Barnard