By Meredith Sheldon

Sweat drips down your face, your heart pumps fast and your hands nervously twitch. You’re stressed. We’ve all been there. But with National Stress Awareness Day rolling around on April 16, it is important to know how stress can negatively impact your health.

Hurts your heart

Chronic stress exposes your body to unhealthy levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, according to This can lead to high blood pressure and is a factor in heart disease.

Leads to sickness

The more stressed you are, the weaker your immune system becomes, making it harder to ward off infection. According to Simply Psychology, stress is linked to headaches, diabetes, asthma, ulcers and the common cold.

Affects your emotions

Stress impacts your mind just as much as your body. Stress can cause depression, anger, anxiety and personality changes, and it can decrease some cognitive functions like memory, according to

Harms your gums

Who knew stress could hurt your teeth and gums? Those who are stressed tend to grind their teeth and have a weakened immune system. This combined effect can cause gum disease, according to a study published in the Industrial Psychiatry Journal.

More stress, more wrinkles

Increased stress levels can lead to faster aging. According to an article in Psychology Today, stress can affect your DNA, causing your cells to age faster.

Stress eating is a thing

The more you have on your plate, the more you tend to eat. A common coping mechanism for stress is binge eating, which can lead to weight gain. According to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, stress is one of the main causes of obesity.