Everything You Need to Know About Chronic Stress

January 31, 2022

Nue Life

Nue Life

Top points

  • Chronic stress contributes to mental and physical health issues, including an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Some research suggests that antidepressants may not help as much as previously thought.
  • Ketamine therapy is an innovative medical treatment for stress-related mental health conditions, including anxiety and PTSD.

Stress is a natural part of life. From time to time, everybody experiences stress from a relationship, work, or some other major life event. But when stress becomes chronic, it can hinder your life in more ways than one.

According to the American Psychological Association, it can negatively impact every system in our body. Chronic stress can cause disordered eating, problems conceiving, and can increase one’s susceptibility to heart attack and stroke.

The good news is you can overcome chronic stress and find healing. It just takes some knowledge and the right treatment and tactics.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a guide to tell you everything you need to know about chronic stress. Once you read it, you’ll learn how to take the first steps towards managing stress and experiencing the mental wellness that you deserve.

What Is Chronic Stress?

Understanding terms is the first critical step towards better handling your symptoms. Chronic stress is a persistent sense of feeling pressured and overwhelmed for an extended time.

The Stress Response

Chronic stress always begins with the body’s natural state of stress. Stress, in small amounts, is a healthy, normal function.

Stress is all a part of the necessary fight-or-flight response system in your brain. When you perceive a threat or experience a stressful event, your hypothalamus and adrenal glands release two stress hormones: adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline helps your body to react quickly and sharpens your senses. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, gets more energy to your brain and puts a hold on bodily functions that aren’t necessary for a fight or flight situation.

This response is necessary for survival in dangerous situations and also for helping your brain and body function optimally during stressful events.

A Failed Shut-Off

Typically, once the perceived threat has passed, the body can reduce the two hormones and return to normal. But occasionally, cortisol levels stay high for long periods, causing chronic, long-term stress.

These high cortisol levels can happen because of a constant, ongoing stressful event, because your body incorrectly perceives a long-term stressful event, or because a traumatic event caused acute stress that never subsided.

High levels of cortisol over long periods can cause a lot of harm to the body and could potentially lead to a variety of health problems, including:

• Anxiety
• Depression
• Irritability
• Increase in weight
• Changes in appetite
• Headaches
• Weakened immune system and increased risk of infections
• Muscle tension
• Digestive system issues
• Psychiatric disorders
• Increased risk for diabetes, heart attack, and stroke
• Issues with blood sugar and blood glucose levels
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Trouble sleeping, insomnia

The potential physical symptoms and emotional symptoms of chronic stress are serious, but you can help to prevent them by practicing a healthy lifestyle or seeking effective treatment.

Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Chronic stress is nothing to take lightly. But there are some lifestyle choices you can make that can help you handle your stress healthily and promote your mental wellness.

Diet and Exercise

You’ve probably heard it a million times for a million different reasons. Still, a healthy diet and proper exercise can truly help support your mental well-being, reduce stress, and combat low energy.

These benefits are especially true for exercise, an incredibly effective stress reducer. Rhythmic exercise helps you relieve built-up tension and start the relaxation process in your body.


The relationship between sleep and stress is a very close one. Often, problems with one will lead to issues with the other, which means that healthy sleep is essential for keeping stress away.

To help support healthy sleep, go to bed, wake up consistently, and start a nightly ritual with no caffeine, alcohol, or screen time. Then, make your sleep environment a relaxing one. Getting your body into this rhythm can help promote sleep and could help to keep stress at bay.

Yoga or Meditation

Other helpful relaxation techniques such as these can also be beneficial in reducing stress. Practicing mindfulness through meditation can help you replace your stressors with peace.

Yoga or Tai Chi are great ways to practice mindfulness and deep breathing while also getting your body moving. These rhythmic movements and stretches can promote a positive mindset.

The Standard Treatment

All of those lifestyle choices are important when you’re on the journey to mental wholeness, but they are only the first step of the process for many. For many people, chronic stress eventually turns into an anxiety disorder.

In these cases, medical treatment is often required to help you find the wholeness and peace you deserve. Let’s look at some of the standard medical treatments for anxiety.


Many different types of therapy available can assist you in overcoming chronic stress or anxiety. But finding the type that works for you can be tricky.

One common and effective therapy for anxiety is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In CBT, the therapist assists you in identifying negative thought patterns and behaviors and finding healthy coping mechanisms that can help you replace those thought patterns with positive ones.

By changing your thought patterns, CBT can prove to be effective at reducing stress and anxiety.

Therapy is an important part of the equation for any treatment plan for chronic stress or anxiety, but additional treatment is necessary for many.


Many people turn to antidepressants for their stress and anxiety. Although they are meant primarily for depression, antidepressants are also commonly used to treat anxiety or chronic stress.

Many people report that antidepressants have helped to reduce symptoms of anxiety. However, a recent study has shown that it may not be as effective as previously thought.

When patients receive placebos, they experience a similar benefit of around 80 percent as effective as antidepressants like SSRIs. These results indicate that antidepressants are not necessarily the solution you need.

Ketamine Therapy

Luckily, that’s not the end of the story. Science has brought us a new treatment for anxiety that shows great promise in helping those with anxiety. That treatment is the psychedelic therapy of ketamine.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine was originally an anesthetic. It has been used for decades by doctors for use in surgeries, and it has been wildly successful, even being of service for adolescents.

But recently, it has been discovered that ketamine is incredibly helpful at helping people find freedom from their depression, even more so than traditional antidepressants. These findings are especially true in cases of treatment-resistant depression.

Ketamine therapy has opened up new possibilities in medical treatment for mental health for other conditions, including PTSD, and anxiety.

Several studies have begun to look into ketamine as a treatment for anxiety, and the results have been incredibly promising. Ketamine has shown to be effective for both general anxiety and social anxiety.

It seems that this psychedelic ketamine therapy may be the key to healing for many people. It’s a revolutionary mental health treatment that can help to catalyze healing, growth, and change.

Consider Nue Life for ketamine therapy. Take back your mental wellness and experience the healing that ketamine offers.


Chronic stress is a very serious thing, and it can lead to significant mental health crises like anxiety or depression. So if you are struggling with chronic stress, make sure you do what you can to healthily cope with your stressors to find healing, whether that be exercise, better sleep, or therapy.

And if your chronic stress has turned into anxiety or depression, mental wellness is still available to you. Ketamine therapy offers new possibilities for mental health treatment. The future is bright, and the healing you deserve is right around the corner. Go and seize it!


Are You Taking SSRIs? Antidepressants For Anxiety | Anxiety.org

Chronic Stress | Fact Sheets | Yale Medicine

Exercise is an effective stress-buster | Harvard Health

Ketamine: A Review for Clinicians | FOCUS

Managing Stress: Sleep | Health Promotion | University of Georgia

Treatment for anxiety disorders | The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

Depression: How effective are antidepressants? | NCBI Bookshelf

Stress in The Body | The American Psychological Association

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