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12 Places Body Stores Stress And How It Affects You

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Don’t Store Stress In Your Body!

How many of us are guilty of pushing our feelings and emotions out of the way to appear normal? The answer would be most of us. Many of us repress our feelings of frustration, anger, sadness or fear as they make us feel hopeless or powerless.

How The Body Stores Stress?

To gain a semblance of control, we either deny ourselves our true emotions or repress them to deal with the situation at hand. However, this is not a healthy habit as the stress gets stored in our body and comes to light in the form of mysterious aches and pains. This is known as ‘somatization’.

Body Stores Stress

Experts suggest that we must accept and acknowledge our feelings and never disown what we are going through. The unwanted feelings create psychosomatic responses in our bodies leading to recurring pains and other mysterious ailments. Read on to find out about 12 places where your body stores stress and how it affects your health:

Stressors have a major influence on mood, our sense of well-being, behavior, and health. Seeking medical attention at the earliest appearance of the signs and symptoms of stress and the accompanied depression, anxiety and mood changes can help to cope up with the situation.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

12 Places Where Your Body Stores Stress

1. Lower Back

Our lower backs store most of our unexpressed anger. Many people develop severe and debilitating pain in the lumbar region of the back. Chronic stress activates the sympathetic nervous system that puts pressure on the spinal cord. To offer some relief to your tired body, learn to express your anger in clear, simple terms and articulate your frustration to the concerned people. Over a period of time, you will learn how to use your anger to fuel your personal and creative growth. Assert yourself to give yourself control over the situation. This will lead to healthier relationships and a healthier body, especially your back.

2. Your Gut

There is a reason why people lose control over their bladders or their bowels when they are scared. Our stomachs and intestines store our feelings of fear. The adage, ‘I am sick to my stomach’ justifies this. Fear is another negative emotion that has far-reaching repercussions on our health. It can cause digestion problems, pain in the gut, bloating, constipation and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Peppermint tea helps in calming the stomach. Also, accept your fear and the reasons why you are feeling it and talk to someone you trust to get a hold of yourself. Research believes that if you talk about your fears openly, it has lesser control over your health.

3. Your Torso

Our chests and our hearts store the hurt that we experience through the actions of others. Those who repress their feelings of hurt, usually complain of mysterious chest pains. In most cases, no physical cause of pain is diagnosed. Stress leads to shallow breathing and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Some people even experience panic attacks. Deep breathing exercises bring relief to chest tightness and reduce anxiety. Mourn your losses, and honour your feelings by experiencing them to the fullest, even if they are of sadness or hurt. Once you have allowed yourself to feel what demands to be felt, you will feel lighter, as will your chest and your heart.

Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences however Chronic stress can cause negative health effects on your mood, immune and digestive systems, and cardiovascular health and is the leading cause of Type 2 Diabetes nowadays.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

4. Your Head

Do you feel out of control and then immediately suffer from headaches? This is because any feelings that make us feel that we are losing control over our lives or the situation lead to affecting our heads. The problem becomes a recurring theme in the lives of those who are control-freaks and may even turn into a chronic problem of migraines.

5. The Respiratory System

Our breaths have a way of signalling our state of mind. If we are calm, our breaths are deep whereas if we are under stress, we have shallow breaths. Those who face too much stress over a period of time tend to suffer from breathing difficulties. Many people begin having panic attacks. Practice deep breathing exercises to train your mind to stay calm.

6. Your Shoulders

If you have been feeling overburdened, you will feel a tightening of the shoulders and the neck muscles. This is a natural psychosomatic response of the body to overwork and too many responsibilities. Try to share your work with someone else or ask for support to reduce pressure on yourself and your body.

7. Your Voice And Throat

Those who have faced an oppressive environment tend to have issues with their voices and throats. Many develop stammering problems. Some even lose their voice completely. Reading poetry aloud and keeping a journal have known to help those who suffer from voice and throat problems.

8. Your Sleep

Another area that gets affected by stress is our sleep cycle. Insomnia hits those who are dealing with intense personal growth or some life-impacting change, tend to lose their sleep. A long period of insomnia can cause serious health problems like diabetes, hypertension, and others.

9. Your Jaw

Many people clench their jaws and grind their teeth while responding to stress. This strains the neck muscles and tightens them as most people unconsciously push their necks forward. Frown lines on the forehead and the painful jaw are the side effects of this habit.

10. Your Pelvic Floor

Another body area that stores stress is the pelvic floor. This causes tight hips and a severed connection with the core muscles. The webbing in the pelvic region and the connective tissues respond negatively to the stress elements around us causing a stiffening which leads to various health problems.

11. The Hips

The hips are responsible for our feelings of security and physical freedom. They lose their tone and shape when they face stress in life. They help us keep our posture and tightened hips many times are the reason why people begin suffering from back pain. When we carry old disappointments, illusions of how lives could have shaped, and pain from the past, our hips bear the brunt of this emotional damage. Do hip-opening yoga poses and pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your body.

12. Your Lungs

Many of us store stress in the diaphragm as we hunch our backs and move forward without realizing it. This causes constriction in the chest region and stresses the lungs due to lack of space. This leads us to feel exhausted and causes breathlessness.

Also Read: How to Lose Butt Fat: Comprehensive Guide to a Toned Physique


The psychic stress of repressing our feelings leads to many physical problems in the body. Taking care of one’s feeling by talking to someone you trust forms an important part of psychotherapy. When we take care of ourselves better, we take care of those around us in a more rewarding manner. Know more about stress management.

Read More About: Stress Eating: Foods to Eat and Avoid

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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