Can stress physically hurt you?

canstressphysicallyhurtyouIt’s no surprise that nurses tend to neglect their own bodies when they’re so focused on the bodies of their patients. What you may not know is that, indirectly, your stress may even contribute to problems above and beyond the typical health risks such as hypertension.
When you’re stressed, your body tends to tune out its own needs. Stress may even lessen your ability to assess your personal GPS. For example, when under stress, you’ll be more likely to bang your thigh into a table or hit your head on a low-hanging cupboard. Furthermore, stress is one reason why many nurses engage in unhealthful habits like smoking or overeating.

Here’s how to determine whether stress is contributing to your physical harm:

  1. Are you considered the hospital klutz? Do you get distracted or overwhelmed and tend to bump into people or things?
  2. Do you find yourself at the vending machine multiple times daily, especially when you’re upset?
  3. Do you go outside for a breath of fresh air and find yourself tempted to smoke or, even worse, act on this urge?
  4. Do you have frequent headaches?
  5. Do you find yourself clenching your teeth without realizing you’re doing so?

You can reduce your stress in 60 seconds. Read “Real Nurses on Real Stress Relief: Gone in 60 Seconds” on this Website for tips on how to regroup during your busy workday.

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