How to Stop Stress From Impacting Your Mental Health

Updated: May 25

Block letters that spell out -ess show how stress or wellness can impact mental health

Stress is a leading cause of illness for both mental and physical health. Here are some ways stress can impact your mental health – and what to do about it!

Key takeaways:

  • Stress is a normal response to the demands of life.

  • Our bodies may perceive high levels of stress as threatening or dangerous, even if we’re physically safe and everything is fine.

  • Good stress, or eustress, can be helpful.

  • Long-term chronic stress can be harmful. It can cause mental and physical health problems.

  • Stress can affect us mentally, physically, and behaviorally.

  • It can come from any area of your life, including home, work, school, or your social life.

  • Some risk factors cause your stress to seem unmanageable.

  • There are many ways to manage stress, but if you feel that you’re unable to proactively do so, therapy can help.

Stress is a natural, normal response to the demands of life. Good stress, or eustress, can help you meet deadlines or arrive on time for events. Long-term chronic stress, however, can be harmful. When stress becomes overwhelming and chronic, the likelihood of mental and physical health problems increases.

Our bodies are amazing, and they can do a lot to keep us alive, safe, and well. When we experience high levels of stress, however, our bodies perceive the situation as threatening or dangerous – even if we’re safe and everything’s fine.

When we are stressed, our brains make chemicals called hormones. These hormones are supposed to help you run away or fight in a life-threatening situation. This response is called the “fight or flight” response, and it activates itself to protect you.

When your “fight or flight” response is chronically activated, it can lead to issues such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems, substance use, and even medical problems like difficulty conceiving, cardiovascular disease, immune system issues, gastrointestinal problems, and more. How does bad stress impact mental health and how can you combat it? We explain.

Common symptoms of stress

Stress can impact your health, both mentally and physically, in a variety of ways. It can also impact your behavior. Here are some of the