How Does Stress Affect Your Body?

The effects of stress on the body are caused by the emotional and physical (hormonal) response to demands placed upon an individual.  Demands great and small generate stress according to those levels.  Stress can be a good thing.  If you are in a life or death situation, it can jumpstart your body for exceptional demands – to run or jump to avoid danger, to give you “super human” strength to lift a car off of a loved one.  There are many stories of people doing seemingly impossible feats under extreme duress.

While stress can be helpful in dangerous situations, it strains the bodily systems.  It is essentially a fight or flight self preservation reaction with primordial origins.  The immediate bodily reactions are a release of adrenaline, cortisol, thyroxin, testosterone and other hormones, rise in blood pressure and directs bloodflow to the extremities for physical peak performance.  Long term stress inflicts strain and damage to the adrenal glands, creates free radicals as a byproduct that wreak havoc on every organ and cell of the body.  Damage from stress accumulates until something gives.

Stress has many sources; financial, career or job, relationships, health and mortality and imagined threats.  The mind is extremely powerful and can cause life or death stress levels from a perceived threat.  A phobia is a good example of this, an exagerated response to a threat or even non-threat will put your body through as much as a truly life ending experience.  A non-poisonous spider or snake for instance can cause a complete panic or anxiety attack that could cause a heart attack or stroke or aneurism in an individual with the phobia, where a non-phobia person’s reaction to the same situation is unaffected.  The difference is the person with the phobia has an unreal ”perception” or false belief (highly exagerated) and the “normal” person does not share this particular false belief with the individual with the phobia.

Demands an individual places upon themselves can be stressors.  The desire to achieve, be loved, acknowledged, appreciated, accepted, fame or other demands one places upon themselves (or others) creates stress.  The body doesn’t know if it is a real threat or an unreal expectation, it reacts the same stressful ways.  One’s outlook or mindset plays into how one perceives and reacts to these situations.

What are the Effects of Stress on the body?

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Nervousness (nerves are shot)
  • Increased blood presssure
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Weight Loss or Weight Gain
  • Declining Health
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • heart attack
  • Anxiety and panic attacks

The stress effects on physical and mental health are many more than are listed above.  Stress and disease go hand in hand.  It is an accumulating process that will eventually lead to major health and mental problems and even death.  Without any other predispositions, stress can manifest into any number of terminal health conditions.   Stress must have a release to stop the accumulating negative effects.

Stress reducer tools and stress management techniques are the best way to deal with stress.  Take action and relieve your accumulated stress levels.

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