Physical Effects of Stress
Knowing the physical effects of stress is important for targetting stress-related illnesses. Knowing your physical symptoms of stress is also important for your stress relief.
Have you ever felt your mouth go dry before giving a speech or felt yourself sweating before meeting an important first date.
If so, then theses are some of the physical signs of stress.
When stressed there are a number of physiological changes that occur in your body to prepare you to fight or flee from the stressor.
Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released into the bloodstream which result in a number of stress symptoms.
Here we discuss some of the physical effects of stress and how stress affects health.
Physical effects of acute stress
You've probably read news stories of little old ladies lifting cars off trapped children...or other amazing feats of strength.
This can be put down to the stress response.
If you have ever been stressed in a job interview or before a speech, had a car accident or endured an earthquake, then it is likely you have experience acute stress.
When confronted with a stressful event the stress response is activated.
You may notice your heart pounding, muscle tenseness, and increased sweating as your body prepares to fight or flee from the stressful event.
If so, then you have experienced some of the physical effects of stress.
Some of the typical short-term physical symptoms of stress include:
Physical effects of chronic stress
There is no problem with the short-term effects of stress.
They have actually served a very important function in the human race.
But as you know, too much of a good thing can lead to F’s on an exam and is not great for your tennis game.
Too much stress can lead to distress.
Indeed chronic stress can lead to a number of stress-related illnesses, exhaustion, and even death.
Chronic stress is pervasive and deceptive.
You may think that you are adjusting to increaing levels of stress but you may really just be living with an unhealthy amount of stress.
The problem with today causes of stress is that whenever you may feel annoyed, pressured at work, frustrated with traffic, have lost your wallet or keys, the stress response is activated and the associated physical effects of stress ensue.
This unrelenting stress can lead to wear and tear on your body, and feelings of fatigue and exhaustion.
The general adaptation syndrome explains the short and long-term effects of stress and how stress affects health.
How does stress affect health?
The headache that you always get after stress, the asthma, the eczema or skin irritations, or the bad back and hair loss that you blame on old age.
These have all been attributed in some way to stress.
Prolonged stress has also been shown to impact on the body's immune system with your body becoming more susceptible to illnesses, such as the common cold.
Stress and the immune system are intimately related.
Other people find that stress results in a physical tightness in their chest and difficulty breathing.
Having an understanding of physical and emotional effects of stress helps to develop a rationale for your stress management. This maximizes your chances of mastery over your stress!
Search for more strategies for dealing with stress
Related stress management articles
Types of Stress: Not all Types of Stress are Bad for Your
Eustress: A Definition of Eustress
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.