The Effect of Stress on Your Body

Dealing with stress, either emotional or physical, is never easy and almost 60% of all diseases are caused by this condition. In order to prevent a chain reaction to stress and various diseases taking over your body, you must understand the way it works.

stress effects on your body

It doesn’t matter how much you stress, because your body has the same way of handling this situation. First of all, your brain detects the danger by receiving a message which is forwarded to the amygdala, the part dealing with emotional responses and decision-making. The same message is sent to the hypothalamus, the hormone producer. The two stress hormones – cortisol and adrenalin – will then be released in your blood, increasing your heartbeat and the blood sugar levels.

Differences between chronic and acute stress

Our bodies can handle both short-term and long-term stress. In fact, studies have shown that acute stress can improve health and immune system. The problems occur when your stress levels are high all the time. Exposure to constant stress leads to anxiety and fear, up to the point of a breakdown.

Here is what chronic stress does to your body and how it affects your organs:

  • Heart – having your heart beat at a high pace all the time can lead to increased blood pressure that is linked to stroke and heart attack. At the same time, you can develop type 2 diabetes.
  • Immune system – cortisol ruins your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to developing illnesses and infections.
  • Digestive system – hormones can lead to weight gain because your gut is not absorbing nutrients and foods the way it should. Stress can also cause an eating disorder.
  • Brain – being stressed all the time keeps you brain active, decreasing its relaxing time to almost 0. You can start suffering from insomnia, hormonal imbalance, anxiety, depression and you will most likely feel irritated all the time.
  • Muscles – the adrenaline will tighten your muscles and you might adopt an unnatural body posture, leading to pain. Shoulders and neck pain are the most common types of pain experienced by stressed people.
  • Sexuality and reproductive system – men might start having a decreased libido and women might have irregular periods because of constant stress.

Two people might interpret a situation in different ways. Therefore, what is stressful for someone can be relaxing to the other person. The best way to handle stress is to identify its cause and its signals, like neck pain, sweating palms and so on. Try to talk to yourself and calm down before you say something out of the ordinary. Take care of your breathing by slowing it down and making it deep. Quick and shallow breaths are the first signals of high stress that can lead to a panic attack. Try to talk to someone to relieve all the accumulated stress. At the same time, stay away from people that can cause you stress or from those who are stressed. Their tensions will become your tension.

Now that you know how to handle stress, you can reduce it and become more light weighted.

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