Get help Get Help as I'm feeling Stress FAQs Why does stress affect me physically? You might find that your first clues about being stressed are physical signs, like tiredness, headaches or an upset stomach. This could be because when we feel stressed emotionally, our bodies release hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. This is the body’s automatic way of preparing to respond to a threat (sometimes called the 'fight or flight' response). If you’re often stressed then you’re probably producing high levels of these hormones, which can make you feel physically unwell and could affect your health in the longer term.