Aching Ears and Other Signs of Stress

Headaches, upset stomachs and accelerated heart rates were all things that I associated with stress. But, one night, as I was suffering from a pretty intense earache, I realized that stress can cause some unusual physical symptoms as well.

According to the National Library of Medicine, persistent elevated levels of stress hormones can lead to disease states, including various inner dysfunctions like tinnitus, vertigo and hearing loss.

It turns out, stress can look different at different times and for different people! So, if you are experiencing an unusual physical symptom, it could definitely be caused by stress (we are in the middle of a global pandemic, after all, and it’s election season!).

The Mayo Clinic lists many other effects of stress, some of which may surprise you. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Over or undereating
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Chest pain
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Drug or alcohol misuse
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Tobacco use
  • Change in sex drive
  • Irritability or anger
  • Social withdrawal
  • Stomach upset
  • Sadness or depression
  • Exercising less often
  • Sleep problems

The best way to combat these symptoms is to take care of the stress itself. Some proven stress-management strategies include working out, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, massage, laughing, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying your hobbies. You should also aim to sleep at least 7 hours a night, eat healthy foods and avoiding tobacco and excess caffeine and alcohol. If a job or a person is causing so much stress, you should consider making changes in your personal lives too. 

You don’t have to let stress take over your life! You’ll feel your best when you can manage your symptoms and get rid of stress for good.

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