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How to Use Aromatherapy to Manage the Impact of Stress

A woman leaning back in her chair, eyes closed, relaxing at home with a plant and bookshelves behind her

Stress does many damaging things to your body. Recognizing the symptoms can help you stop it in its tracks.

Key takeaways:

  • Stress is a common factor of life but left unchecked, it can cause several health issues.

  • Chronic health conditions such as lupus and heart disease get worse with stress.

  • Aromatherapy, yoga, and active hobbies can help counteract it.

We all know stress is bad for us. It affects our sleep, causes headaches, creates muscle tension, and interferes with productivity. Its symptoms are there if we pay attention but most people might not be aware of just how detrimental it can be.

On the other hand, short-term stress can be helpful. It serves as a motivator and keeps you striving to do your best. Too much stress, or chronic stress, is where the problems come in.

Chronic stress, or stress that lingers for several days or longer, can wreak havoc on the mind and body. Many factors cause it, from working to raising kids to having a perfectionist mindset, and sometimes we aren’t even aware we’re experiencing it. The symptoms can also mimic other illnesses and can be misleading.

While most of us know when we’re experiencing chronic stress, we might not be aware of all the ways it can manifest. Recognizing these symptoms is the first step to solving the issue.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways stress impacts your health and wellness and what you can do about it.

Muscle and joint pain

Our muscles tense up when we’re anxious and relax when we relax. This constant tensing and flaring can cause pain, spasms, and tightness in the muscles and joints. Stress can also cause flare-ups in illnesses such as arthritis and fibromyalgia and lowers your pain threshold. If you’re feeling sore muscles and tender joints and you haven’t just finished a grueling workout or a long bike ride, it could be a sign of chronic stress.

Cardiac and respiratory issues

Stress increases cortisol hormones which speed up your heart and can cause shortness of bre