12 Places Your Body Stores Stress and What They Reveal About Your Emotions

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Millions of people suffer from chronic pain, without being aware that one of its main cause can be stress.  Latest studies show that people who struggle with anxiety and stress constrict their muscles, which causes fatigue and cramps, headaches and IBS.

According to the American Institute of Stress:

“Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress.

For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.

Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. “


“Your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury when you’re stressed. They tend to release again once you relax, but if you’re constantly under stress, your muscles may not get the chance to relax. Tight muscles cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and body aches. Over time, this can set off an unhealthy cycle as you stop exercising and turn to pain medication for relief.”

Moreover, Dr. Susanne Babel claims:

“Many studies have proven that the chronic pain can not only be triggered from physical injuries but also it can be caused by emotional issues and stress as well. Often we experience physical pain, but that is only a sign our body sends that there is still some emotional work left, that must be done.”

Therefore, the area where you experience pain might reveal your emotional status, so here are the 12 body parts pained by stress:


Headaches are often a result of worrying about small things in life, and certain obstacles you face. Find a way to relax and not think about your everyday tasks and problems.


The pain in the neck is often linked to resentment or a grudge against you or others. Sometimes, it is too difficult to forgive, but find the strength to let go, in order to improve your own wellbeing.


You are probably indecisive, and the dilemma you face causes intense pressure. Find a person you can talk to, and even ask for advice, and you will find a solution easier.

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Upper Back

In most cases, this pain is caused by the fear of love or a feeling of being unappreciated. Yet, communication is the best way to ask for support from your loved ones.

Lower Back

Pain in the lower back can be caused by the fear of loss or obsession with money. Remember, wealth is not the key to happiness, so try to find love and joy, and the profits will eventually come.


Joint pain can be a result of illogical stubbornness. Try to let things happen in life, and do not resist to changes.


Pain in the hands is caused by loneliness. Try to go out more, meet new people, spend time in crowded places, and catch up with friends.


People who are afraid of change often develop hip pain. Life changes and you should go with the flow. Enjoy every single moment of it, since it can be a great adventure.


People with an inflated ego develop knee pain. Take a look at the world — it does not revolve around you. Show care for your loved ones, and be there when they need you.


Pain in the calves might indicate tension in the relationship, possessiveness, and jealousy. Learn to trust your friends and partner, relax and do not opt to control people. On the other hand, if someone forces you to lose yourself, it is time to move on alone. 


Our busy and hectic lifestyles often force us to neglect our needs and stop chasing our dreams. Yet, you need to take proper care of yourself and do things that make you happy and help you accomplish your goals in life.


The pain in the feet usually appears in the case of apathy, or when someone believes that everything is going wrong. Just take your time and find beauty in your life. Smile more, do fun things, and enjoy life to the fullest.

The Virtual Medical Centre suggests the following techniques to lower your stress levels:

Identify and change maladaptive ways of coping with stress: (e.g. sometimes people will notice that they smoke more cigarettes when they are stressed. While this may make them feel better in the short term, it is not a helpful way of coping with stress in the long term).

Sharing problems with friends or family who are willing to listen: It can often be helpful just to tell someone what problems you are having to deal with. They may be able to suggest a solution, support you or maybe just let you know that you are not alone.

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Organizing your time more effectively and establishing priorities: Stress often makes it difficult to get things done and to concentrate effectively. Managing your time and prioritizing can reduce some of the “extra” stress and make it a little easier for you to focus on the important things.

Set short term goals: Having a goal can help to improve motivation, makes it easier to prioritize and can help to improve your self-esteem (when you achieve it). Without goals, it is very easy to drift along and not do very much of anything!

Get involved in regular physical exercise and other healthy physical activities: Physical activity doesn’t just help by improving your fitness; it also results in the release of chemicals in your brain (endorphins) that make you feel better and less stressed. Thirty minutes of moderate activity is all it takes to get started.”


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