Stress can be defined as the state of mental tension or emotional stress due to adverse circumstances. In general, any situation or factor that causes a threat or challenge to your wellbeing can be termed as stress.
There are common sources of stress in normal life, including professional demands, familial obligations, lack of sufficient sleep and financial problems. However, all forms of stress are not intrinsically bad. In simple terms, a stress reaction can help you respond to a difficult situation that you would otherwise have been unable to handle.
Typically, a stressful situation forces the body to produce some biochemicals which facilitate self-preservation. The brain produces brain chemicals known as neurotrophins which increase personal productivity and concentration. Also, the body can prepare itself in physically harmful or stressful incident by boosting the immune system.
The body will produce more interleukins which are responsible for regulating the immune responses. In addition, some people are able to view stress-causing situations as a challenge which motivates them to succeed.
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Unfortunately, all the benefits of stress are short-term or temporary. These good responses are built into the body to provide a way for survival in dire circumstances. Simply speaking, in a desperate situation, the human mind and body will extend its limits in order to protect you.
Therefore, repeated incidents of stress or long-term mental strain will without a doubt result in negative repercussions. Moreover, the negative effects will not only result in mental tiredness.
The physical body will decline in performance and fail to perform normally.If you are unfamiliar with the effects of mental stress, consider this short discussion on the dangers of stress to the human body.
High Blood Pressure and Other Cardiovascular Problems The heart and blood vessels are critical for all the physiological functions of the body. Therefore, in a stressful situation, this system will have a reaction.
When you experience an incident such as a possible road accident, your body will produce stress hormones to promote faster reactions. These hormones include cortisol, noradrenaline, and adrenaline.
Consequently, your heart rate will rise, ensuring that more blood is pumped to the body.
The vessels and the heart chambers will dilate to increase the amount of blood being conveyed and the general pressure. This reaction is known as the fight or flight response and will help you overcome a difficult situation.
In most cases, the stress is acute which means that the strain or tension is momentary or short-term. Therefore, when the danger is passed, your blood pressure and other cardiovascular functions will become normal.
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If you are constantly stressed or suffering from chronic mental strain, your body will always be exposed to stress hormones. In turn, your blood pressure will be continuously high and the heart rate will be fast.
The body cannot keep performing above its normal capacity indefinitely. The stress will take a toll and result in an increased risk of hypertension as well as other cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart attack.
Digestive Problems and Obesity The nervous system has a distinct role in triggering the physical responses to stress, including creating the flight or fight response. In general, it is the nervous system which signals to the adrenal glands to produce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
As mentioned, these chemicals will boost the capacity of the cardiovascular system. They will also increase the amount of glucose in the body to provide energy.
If the stressors are short-term, the body will resume to its normal condition.
However, if you are experiencing chronic stress, the digestive system will sustain extensive damage. Stress causes a shift in the digestive processes when a person is experiencing adverse situations.
This is because the body is attempting to increase the blood sugar in order to generate sufficient energy to deal with the problem. Therefore, the body will be more selective about the nutrients absorbed. Glucose will be absorbed while alternatives will be ignored.
As a result, diarrhea and constipation is likely to develop.When you are stressed, you are more likely to eat more food than usual.
It is a common reaction among most people and is viewed as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, long-term stress will result in high-calorie consumption, increasing the risk of obesity.
You might also become more prone to reflux disease and heartburn. In some cases, stress can cause loss of appetite which translates into weakness in the body and more vulnerability to disease.
Other Dangers of StressThere are other common dangers of stress cause the accelerated wear and tear of the body. In general, stress makes you breath harder, and this can cause hyperventilation and panic attacks.
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The muscles in the body are often taut and tense if a person is stressed. This reaction is in readiness to react. Over time, the tension will take a toll on the body.
You can develop painful musculoskeletal disorders and stress related problems such as migraines and tension headaches. In addition, stress will affect the reproductive performance.
The stress hormones will interfere with the production and normal function of sexual hormones. For example, high-stress levels in men will lower testosterone generation, sperm production and sometimes, cause erectile dysfunction.