How Stress Affects Your Mental Health

I’ve always known that stress affects my body since I was a little girl. My mom was the first one to point it out to me. She would say: “Angela, I can tell something is bothering you, I can see it in your eyes.”

The stress I was feeling inside was clearly showing on my face. If was affecting me physically. My parents also noticed that instead of sharing my feelings when I was upset, I would stuff them down inside. They would say: “Angela, you’re stuffing. Come on, what’s going on.”

It was a simple encouragement, but it worked. Looking back I see that stress was also affecting me emotionally. I had to choose what I was going to do with it. Was I going to stuff my emotions, or learn to process them verbally?

What I didn’t realize was how that stress affects our mental health as well. When we feel stress, our bodies release cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to damage and kill cells in the hippocampus (the brain area responsible emotion, memory). So knowing that, it’s obvious that stress is having an impact on our mental health.  

It’s no wonder that when we’re feeling under tremendous stress, we lose our keys or feel really angry or sad.

Stress is something we all have in common—good stress and bad stress. So, how can we learn to manage it?

3 Ways to Manage Stress

  1. Acknowledge how it affects you. For me, it’s migraines. It doesn’t matter if I’m having happy stress or really overwhelming stress, I’m likely to get a migraine.
  2. Come up with a plan to respond. This might be exercise, hanging out with a friend who’s calming, spending time alone, taking some deep breaths, taking a nap, sitting by river, reading a good book, praying, meditating on scripture so you can remind yourself of the truth, or a few of the above—just make a plan.
  3. Talk to your doctor and/or counselor. Your stress might be affecting you in a profound way and you could need some outside consultation on how to take a proactive stance on how to manage it more effectively.



“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8

What stress is affecting you today? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Please subscribe for more videos. I’ll be sharing great tips and encouragement for whatever you’re facing—whether you’re struggling with mental illness or have a loved one who is.


See you next time!