10 Ways Stress Affects Women’s Health

Trying to balance it all, having kids, working, building and maintaining your career, paying the bills, and generally trying to organise your life, so you don’t let people down, is very tough.

Who would of thought, when you were at the top of the aisle, saying your vows on your wedding day, that such difficulties would be ahead.

Women have it tough now, and stress affects almost all of us, to the point that most women learn to live with stress.

But stress is a very dangerous thing.

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According to the American Institute of Stress, stress can lead to ”depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

In addition stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis, the gastrointestinal system (GERD, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis) and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.”

The symptoms of stress can vary hugely and it’s different for every woman, but we all know and feel the physical symptoms of stress, which include grinding teeth, headaches, heart palpitations, chest pains, trembling, stammering, and weight gain (not from diet).

The emotional symptoms from stress are less well known, but can stress can lead to depression, loneliness, anxiety, obsessive or compulsive behaviour. It can lead to constant tiredness, less interest in your appearance, frustration, irritability and so many other behaviour patters that there’s too many to list here.

Women have a huge responsibility to keep everything running like clockwork, while still maintaining a happy, bright, breezy exterior and it can become too much.

I want you to know that you’re not alone. So many women, almost all women, go through stress at different forms in their lives, especially after coming out of such a huge recession in Ireland.

The top two ways to reduce stress, is to exercise and get your diet right.

Working out consistently and eating well 80% of the time, are the two best ways at reducing stress and feeling more like yourself again.

If you can’t do it alone, if you’re too busy, not motivated enough,  get someone to hold you accountable.

Physical activity reduces stress by releasing endorphins, which are chemicals produced in the brain, and they  improve your mood and decrease tension.

Working with weights — anaerobic exercise — stresses and tears muscles, which increases endorphin production. You can maximise the stress reduction from endorphins doing a dynamic, full body weights workouts, hitting all the muscle groups, which will leave you feeling completely stress free, and more capable.

Cutting out caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and high sodium-foods would be a brilliant start on getting your diet right. Cutting out these four from your diet,  Monday to Friday, would be a huge start in reducing stress.

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, good fats, protein and non-starchy carbohydrates, regularly throughout the day, will also help hugely.

This will also have the huge added bonus of you feeling in control of your body, and a huge feeling of accomplishment that you fit into all your clothes. Your confidence will increase, and because of that, you’re mood will improve, so it’s a win-win situation.

I hope this blog post helps,

Committed to your success,

JessicaJessica Cooke

P.S Need accountability?



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Jessica Cooke

Jessica has inspired hundreds of women to achieve and maintain their health & fitness goals at her two private training studios in Galway City.

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