Calgon, Take Me Away! Women and Stress

Are you on of those women who have a stressful day, make it home and look forward to a bath or bubble bath to make it all better? You’re not alone! Millions of women look to the bubbles and water as a way to relieve stress after a long day of work, watching the kids or just having a plain old hard day! But does it work?

Stress can affect your body – especially a woman’s body – in many more ways than you realize. Stress can give a person aches and pains all over from clenching with worry, frustration, anxiety and even anger. Did you know you were holding your shoulders higher? Clenching your fists? Standing straighter? Your muscles know and will tell you at the end of the day when they are sore!

Stress can also cause headaches. This is probably the first sign for many women that they have had a bad day – a throbbing head. Worrying over something and stressing about something can affect the blood vessels going to the brain. When these vessels swell, that is what triggers the pain. Depending on the type of stress, you might have an ache behind a certain eye, at the front of your head or even at the base of your neck.

Headaches can also trigger another stress response – teeth grinding. Have you ever woke up with a headache AND a jaw ache? You were probably grinding the night away and didn’t know it until it was too late! Grinding teeth can cause sensitive teeth, thin enamel that can cause cavities and a host of other jawbone problems.

Prolonged stress can also make your body’s immune system weak and susceptible to colds and flu bugs, but also other diseases. Other diseases could include ones that are genetic based, but may be dormant until a stress trigger comes on and makes them acive. Some of those diseases include thyroid disorders, lupus and even MS. Stress is a big deal.

So, back to the original question. Does a bath help relieve stress? Researchers say yes, it can. The thought process of getting in the tub with warm water is relaxing to the brain. Hormones are triggered that combat against the stress hormones and even adrenaline. If those hormones can be relaxed, all of your systems “chill” out.

Taking a relaxing bath each night can keep cold and sicknesses at bay in the short term, so it can probably do good for the long term as well. There’s your answer – a bath can take your stress away, so suds up and enjoy.

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