Part 03:  Understanding the Effects

Understanding the Effects Banner

Knowing what stress and anxiety are and even their causes is only skimming the surface of how they impact our lives.  The effects of these two mental and emotional responses can affect us in many different ways, even physically.

Many studies have been conducted on the effects of stress and anxiety, especially when we are exposed to these things long-term.  This long-term exposure is often referred to as chronic stress and the development of an anxiety disorder.  While there is no cure for either of these, understanding their effect on us can help us understand just how important it is to utilize prevention and management strategies.

Effects on Health Banner

The consequences of stress and anxiety highlight just how serious prolonged exposure to them can be.  These consequences are vast and varied across both the mental and physical health spectrum.  Listed below are the most common effects of stress and anxiety.

Mind

Body

Headaches Lack of Energy
Dizziness Increased or Decreased Appetite
Racing Thoughts Weight Gain or Loss
Feelings of Despair / Panic Attacks Acne
Sadness Muscle or Joint Pain
Nervousness / Worry Increased Heart Rate
Anger / Irritability Rapid Breathing
Confusion / Forgetfulness Shortness of Breath
Insomnia Sweating
Behavioral Health Conditions (Depression, Substance Use) Trembling
Reduced Libido Numbness
Social Avoidance High Blood Pressure
Obsessiveness Increased Risk of High Cholesterol
  Increased Risk of Diabetes
  Increased Risk of Heart Attack
  Nausea
  Abdominal Pain
  Heartburn / Indigestion
  Diarrhea or Constipation
  Compromised Immune System

Effects on the Workplace Banner

Due to some of the debilitating symptoms of prolonged exposure to stress and anxiety, the effects can stretch beyond our bodies and minds and affect every other aspect of our lives.

Employment can often be a source of stress and anxiety.  From workload to deadlines, and coworker relationships to performance expectations, it is no surprise that levels of stress and anxiety have continued to be on the rise.  This increasing mental strain is not just felt in extreme work environments such as those in the labor industry, but also in businesses offices where sitting in front of computer screens for extended hours on a daily basis causes physical strain that mixes with mental fatigue.

There has been a major shift in focus towards mental health in the workplace, as more and more employers are beginning to realize the consequences of not addressing the stress and anxiety felt by their employees.

Some of the initially observable consequences of not addressing this issue include:

  • Reduced ability to cope with deadlines and responsibilities
  • Irritability and loss of social support
  • Loss of productivity, confidence, and integrity

As with any loss in employee productivity and performance, stress and anxiety can ultimately affect the financial security and stability of an industry if left unchecked.

Effects on Relationships Banner

Feeling stressed out and anxious can make us act in ways we normally wouldn’t.  The effects of stress and anxiety on the connections we have with coworkers, family, and friends should not be downplayed.  Some of the most common effects that can hinder, damage, or even end our relationships include:

  • Irritability, loss of patience, overreacting
  • Pressure resulting in conflict escalation
  • Lack of interest in socializing

Cover Page

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