Stress can be defined as a response resulting from an individual’s perception of a threat, whether real or imagined. Over the past decade, more than 80 studies have examined the impact of stress on the immune system.

A psychosomatic response to stress is the reaction that comes from your mind and not your body. Most skin problems, asthma, hair loss, ulcers, and miscarriages are psychosomatic disorders.

Common examples of psychosomatic response to stress

The mind and body responds to stress as physical symptoms that arise due to psychological stress. Here are some common examples:

  1. Headaches: Headaches can be caused by stress, anxiety, and depression.
  2. Gastrointestinal issues: Stress might lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and acid reflux (Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, allowing stomach acid to back up into your esophagus.).
  3. Skin problems: Stress can result in rashes, hives, eczema, and even psoriasis.
  4. Sleep disturbances: Excessive stress can also interfere with the pattern, quality and quantity of sleep. This leads to insomnia or other sleep disorders.
  5. Cardiovascular problems: Stress has been linked to an increased risk of heart diseases like high blood pressure, and stroke.
  6. Musculoskeletal problems: Psychosomatic response to stress might cause muscle tension and pain, leading to conditions like back pain, neck pain, and fibromyalgia.
  7. Respiratory problems: It is common for stress can trigger asthma attacks or worsen existing symptoms.
  8. Sexual dysfunction: Stressful situations might give arise to impotence in men. Decreased libido is detected in both men and women.
  9. Psychological symptoms: Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are already the results of stress.

psychosomatic response to stress - how stress affects the body
Image: Healthline

How severe is psychosomatic response to stress?

The severity of psychosomatic stress responses vary greatly depending on the individual and the type of stress they are dealing with.

Some people might only experience mild physical symptoms and might pass unnoticed. Some may experience more severe and persistent symptoms enough to impact their quality of life.

The factors that can influence the severity of psychosomatic responses to stress include:

  1. The individual’s coping mechanisms: Coping mechanisms come with exercise and healthy habits. People with healthy coping mechanisms, like exercise and mindfulness are less likely to receive such symptoms.
  2. Duration and intensity of the stressor: Chronic, long-term stress is more likely to lead to severe psychosomatic symptoms than occasional stressors.
  3. Pre-existing health conditions: People with pre-existing health conditions may experience more severe symptoms when exposed to stress.
  4. The person’s genetic predisposition: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to experience more severe psychosomatic symptoms in response to stress.

However, stress can cause a great deal of damage to your mind and body because and you can also get other forms of troubles and illness.

However, good news is that most people have quickly recovered. In many instances, people recover from stress with the help of friends and family. A few might however, need professional help like psychotherapy.

A psychosomatic stress response also elicits a large number of biopsychosocial changes that often lead to increased susceptibility to a wide array of diseases.

Remedies/ Prevention from psychosomatic response in stress

 

  1. Management of stress: Engagement in stress-management techniques in the community circle. Natural lifestyle such as exercise, meditation, and mindfulness practices can do a great deal..
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not only a key to prevention of the psychosomatic response, but for any form of disease. Eating balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in physical activity is mostly preferred by the elder.
  3. Care for yourself: If you don’t care for yourself, nobody else will. Identify and cultivate hobbies. Spend time with friends and family. Take breaks.
  4. Social support: Friends and families are best source of emotional support. Emotions play a vital role in person’s health. Social and family engagement keeps the stressful episodes away.
  5. Stress coping mechanisms: There are different ways to cope with the stress. A few of them are deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.
  6. Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation increases the symptoms of psychosomatic symptoms. It is a good idea to get least 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  7. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption: Caffeine sometimes work the opposite way. It might become a stressor for some. In excess, both caffeine and alcohol can increase stress levels and exacerbate the psychosomatic symptoms.
  8. Seek medical personnel: Sometimes, even with all the struggles and stress, we decide to keep quiet. Remember that it might only make your situation worse. It is a good idea to see a doctor/ psychiatrist right away and to follow advice.

It is a natural phenomenon that everyone reacts differently to stress. The measures that works  for one person may not work for another. The key is to discover your own strategy to relieve yourself of the stress. It should be the one that works best for you, and can be made a part of your daily routine.

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