The Horrible Effects of Stress on Your Body

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At one point or another, everyone experiences stress, at least to some degree. And every time, that seemingly unavoidable emotion wreaks havoc on your body and, when experienced on a regular basis, can actually cause deterioration in health.

Stress is caused by the body reacting to a situation in which it perceives that there is a threat. This causes it to release steroid hormones to ramp up the natural processes and workings of your organs and overall body, increasing heart rate, breathing, bolstering the immune system, and causing a rapid expansion of the metabolism. Once this takes place, the brain then releases neurotransmitters that cause an emotional response (the actual feeling of being stressed), as well as chemicals that increase alertness, induce a feeling of anxiety, and lessen short term memory.

While all of this is a natural survival mechanism in humans, more often than not, the experience in question doesn’t require these responses. As faulty as it may seem, the stress you experience before giving a presentation is incredibly similar to the body’s response to being faced with a dangerous, wild animal. While the stress response is ideal for the latter, it doesn’t do much good for the former situation.

Over the long haul, stress can have some serious effects on your body, as it’s simply meant to be a short-term response rather than a long-term emotion. It can cause headaches and chest pains, alter your sex drive, and cause you to be overly tired, sad, restless, and anxious. These emotions and physical responses can result in social withdrawal, an unhealthy relationship with food, and potentially drug, alcohol, or tobacco abuse.

Stress has it’s time and place; however, in many situations, learning to take control of your stress can have a dramatic impact on your health and quality of life. There are also so effective breathing exercises to relieve stress that can be done quickly and effectively.