Why Stress Is So Bad For Your Health

Stress is a natural part of life. These days there are very few who don’t get  stressed over money, the economy, the housing market, jobs or even family. Our  bodies naturally react to stress through blood pressure, heart rate,  respiration, body temperature and muscle contractions. Everyone deals with  stress on different levels and in different ways.  However, if one is not  able to deal with stress it can ultimately lead to mental and physical  exhaustion.

stressedIt wasn’t until the 1930’s that the word stress was used to characterize a  condition where a stressor causes stimulus. Hans Selye, an endocrinologist,  witnessed an inappropriate physiological response to demand placed on a human or  animal.  Before coining the term stress was considered a normal part of  daily function and encounters that results in strain. Now, we know that stress  plays an important part in physical, emotional and mental well being.

Stress is defined as a failure to respond appropriately to emotional or  physical threats whether they are real or imagined. The signs of stress are  easily recognizable and can present themselves as cognitive, behavioral,  emotional or physical symptoms. Therefore when presented with stress one’s whole  demeanor, attitude and presence can change. Cognitive, emotional and behavioral  symptoms include poor judgment, negative outlook, anxiety, worrying, moodiness,  irritability, agitation, inability to relax, loneliness, isolation, depression,  lack of concentration and absentmindedness. Physical symptoms include increased  heart rate, breathing, energy, blood pressure, cholesterol and production of  sweat. Stress can also cause physical symptoms of aches and pain, diarrhea,  constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, chest pain, upset stomach and  headache. Chronic stress that occurs over a longer period of time consistently  can cause both physical and psychological damage to a person. Long-term stress  depresses the immune system leaving it susceptible to infections, disease, and  illness. Stress promotes the accumulation of visceral fat, which is a leading  cause of obesity. Additional chronic stress has been connected to ulcers,  cancer, heart disease, increased outbreaks of psoriasis, depression and diabetes. In children who  experience chronic stress a stunt to developmental growth is normally seen.

Stress is normally given a bad connotation, which implies it is  negative.  However, most people forget or don’t mention good stress. When  Hans Selye discovered stress, he studied all types of stress and realized that  stress even when its good is still a stress nonetheless. He developed eustress or good stress and distress or bad stress.  Eustress is a condition that enhances ones physical or mental function such as  exercise, marriage, having a baby or a promotion. Where as, distress is  persistent stress that is not resolved through coping or adaptation, which can  lead to symptoms of withdrawal or anxiety. The difference between good and bad  stress is based upon one’s past experiences, personal expectations, and the  resources to cope with stress.

Coping with stress is not an easy task. Everyone adapts to stress differently  and some people have an easier time dealing with stress than others. The way  that the body reacts to a stressor is understood through the General Adaptation  Syndrome (GAS), which describes the effects of stress on the body. Depending  upon the intensity and duration of the stressor will determine if the stress is  acute-short term or chronic-long term.  At the first sign of stress the  bodies stress response is in a state of alarm. The body reacts by producing  adrenaline which causes a fight or flight  response. Fight or flight is the body’s way of preparing to fight (cope, adapt)  or flee. The second stage is the resistance to stress. If a stressor persists  the body must find a means of coping with the stress.  Does the body have a  way to adapt to the strain or demands of the surrounding environment? As we cope  with stress, the body’s resources (nutrients, enzymes, proteins, amino acids,  vitamins, minerals) are gradually depleted. The final stage is exhaustion where  the body’s resources are completely used up, leading to inability to function  normally. Weakness, fatigue decreased energy, inability to concentrate or think  clearly are all signs of exhaustion. Long-term exhaustion can be detrimental to  ones health and can manifest disease. Although, these stages represent a model  of how stress affects the body, stress can manifest itself differently in every  person.

No two people will respond to the exact same stressor in the exact same way.  Life experience and social background play a role in determining ones ability to  cope with stress. Normal responses to stress include adaptation, coping, anxiety and depression. Coping mechanisms  include stress management. Stress management provides individuals with  techniques to handle stress on a daily basis. Learning to cope with stress will  help you live a happier, healthier life.

Sarah  Labdar –    About the Author:

Graduated with a BA in exercise science and have worked in the medical field  since.  My focus is alternative medicine however all aspects of health  interest me.  Check out my health website!

Everyday Health, Live  your Life to the fullest!

http://www.universalhealthinfo.com/Stress.html

 

About Joanne Wellington

Joanne is: Author, intuitive and founder of a network of sites and blogs dedicated to helping you define, refine and achieve your grandest dreams! For empowering tips, articles and resources, visit https://joannewellington.wordpress.com/ , http://mediumsworld.wordpress.com/ and begin your transformation today! Joanne always says...I don't care how much money you make, what colour your skin is, where you live, what you drive, whether you're gay or straight, fat or thin, tall or short, beautiful or average. If you're my friend, I love you dearly, and that is ALL that counts! Positivity is free for the taking, inspiration awaits only to be recognized and confidence is always encouraged, her mission at Mediums World ,World of Inspiration is to inform, to inspire and empower people to be their best, both personally and professionally.

Posted on September 17, 2011, in Family, Health, New age, Relationships, Society, Spiritual and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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