How Stress Affects Your Health

I had the “pleasing disease” for awhile.

I wanted everyone to like me, not say no to others, over work, not get enough sleep, suppress my anger and resentment that I was feeling because I had overextended myself, and go on each day just like that.

Until I got sick for 2 years.

Then things changed.

Illness taught me to listen.

To listen to my body and what it was telling me. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the body never lies.

When you look at statistics, up to 90% of hospital and doctor visits are stress related.

That’s a huge number. Where does the stress come from? From not taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. From giving ourselves away over and over again, from not saying no to all the things we believe we “have” to do. From signing on to volunteer here, volunteer there.

From holding on to resentments because we believe we’re right in saying that we were “wronged.” From suppressing anger and expressing it in unhealthy ways because we believe anger is a “bad” emotion to have, or it scares us.

Dr. James Gordon, author of Unstuck, wrote: “Mental and spiritual health is often the lowest priority in health care, even though it may actually be the most important thing.”

From all that we suppress, all the doing and doing and doing, and just the normal stresses of life of loss and change, our bodies tell the story. 

Stress can cause a weakened immune system, heart strain, heart burn, ulcers, memory cell damage in the brain, depression, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, just to name a few.

According to Dr. Gabor Mate, author of When the Body Says No, “When not being able to say no, the body say’s no in the form of illness.”

Watch this great 13 min. interview with him where he explains the type of person who is more prone to illness. It’s really interesting stuff:


I don’t know if I got sick for 2 years because of mental/emotional stuff, but I do know for sure that when I feel stressed, within 3 days of it starting my hip bursa sacks flair up. When I relax and the stress goes away, the inflammation goes away.

There’s no question. 

So what do you do about stress?

Live a life in balance. Pay attention to what you’re feeling, take time for yourself, meditate (proven in stress reduction research), go to counseling, hire a coach, say no to some things so you’re not running from one thing to the next. Get angry when you feel it and let it pass through you.

This is a start. Take care of yourself, and listen to your body. It knows.

Categories: Stress & Anxiety

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

One response to “How Stress Affects Your Health

  1. Roxane Lessa

    Great interview and great article! I see my mother in this type, and myself in a different way. Thanks!

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