Dr. Susie Gronski


The Painful Response to Stress


Stressful day getting you down?

Well, that stress may be taking its toll on a lot more than your mental state. Think PAIN. That’s right; stress can cause you physical and emotional pain.  

Mentally, stress can wreak havoc on your emotional state. Stress leaves you feeling irritable and depressed, often leading to a lack of motivation, focus, and even lowers your sex drive! Ouch!

However, from a physical standpoint, too much stress can affect a person’s cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, and muscular systems… Causing you PAIN!

Let’s dig a little deeper…



What is stress?

Coined by Hans Selye in 1936, stress is defined as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change.” Mostly, stress causes many different responses within your physical and emotional state. As a result to change. Ranging from minor to severe responses, depending on severity, frequency, and type of change. Every change promotes a response, and each change determines every response.

What’s the painful Effect?

Many people are familiar with the mental and emotional toll stress brings on. The irritability, sadness, and state of feeling overwhelmed are all common emotional responses to stress. However, many people might not realize that stress can cause your body physical pain.

Common pains of stress include:

  • Headaches

  • Muscle pain or tension

  • Upset stomach or irritable bowel syndrome

  • Fatigue

  • Chest pain

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Lower sex drive

  • Insomnia

  • Frequent colds or infections

  • Ringing in the ear

Any one of these symptoms, or a combination of these symptoms, can also contribute to the onset of addition, worsening health risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke. Chronic stress has even been linked to impotence and premature ejaculation in men! Yikes!

How to move past the pain of stress…

We all experience different responses to stress. Whether mild or severe, extended periods of stress also referred to as chronic stress, will inevitably break down your mental and physical state. Like these many responses, there are numerous ways we can help alleviate stress from our lives!

Simple stress relievers include:

  • Sex

  • Exercise

  • Dancing

  • Laughing

  • Music

  • Hiking

  • Taking a nap

  • Reading a book

  • Cooking

  • Going on vacation

  • Spiritual connection

  • Spending time with loved ones


This stress reliever list could go on and on! Whatever truly makes you happy, that is what will lead the pathway to the desired stress relief that your mind and body crave for. Additionally, frequently taking the time to reminisce over the positives of each day can help reduce the stressful responses to the ongoing changes in life. By understanding the effects of stress and ways to relieve stress, you will be well on your way to alleviating the many pains associated with our overall responses to stress.