How Does Stress Affect The Body?

Many people wonder how stress can affect the body and the answer can be a little bit complex. For the short term, a little bit of stress can actually be a good thing, but in the long term, prolonged periods of stress can cause you pain and also have been found to be linked to problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as strokes. So, how does stress take a toll on the body and why should we find stress relief?

Stress In The Short Term

When you have a feeling of stress in the short term, your body reacts with the fight or flight reaction, in the same way as anxiety. This will trigger a burst of adrenaline through the body which can actually help to boost performance and help you to get through a stressful situation. For the short term, the effects on the body are actually good and many times, it is thought that stress can be related to excitement, so having a little bit of it in your life can help you to stay mentally and physically healthy.

This, of course is assuming that after each stressful situation, you are able to de-stress and come back down to a completely relaxed state of being. These moments of stress will help you to sleep more soundly and can even help you to maintain healthy weight control.

Prolonged Periods of Stress

When you begin to experience ongoing stress in your life, your body is constantly in fight or flight mode and this can cause you problems such as a racing mind, inability to focus and loss of sleep. You may lose or gain weight and suffer from headaches as well as irritability and mood swings. You might find that you feel as if you’re not functioning very well on any level and this can begin to eat away at both professional and personal relationships.

Prolonged periods of stress will also cause you to suffer from muscle tension and potentially sore muscles. When we are stressed for long periods of time, it can feel as if we hold our shoulders closer to the ears in a defensive posture which can affect the way our whole body feels and we may begin to suffer from bouts of extreme fatigue.

Other conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome are thought to be affected by how much stress we suffer and it is though that many people who suffer from ulcers find that they began during stressful times in their lives.

Stress In The Long Term

When we suffer from long term stress as a result of daily life, we can begin to suffer from problems such as depression and anxiety, as well as high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, it has been found that many women who suffer from extreme amounts of stress throughout their lives are more likely to wind up with heart disease than women who have been more relaxed through life.

Stress is no laughing matter and if you feel like you’re suffering from it, you should work to reduce your stress levels and the effects that it can have on your body.

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About Jennifer Johnson

I suffered with social anxiety and stress for years. I discovered what my triggers were and learned to control them. Hopefully some of the natural anxiety relief techniques I have tried, will also be your solution.

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