The Negative Health Impact of Stress

We are all aware that stress is bad for us, but do we know the extent to which it can damage our physical health?

An unavoidable part of everyday life, stress is a feeling we all experience from time to time. There are many unpleasant physical symptoms, and these can vary from person to person. However, feeling stressed out too often puts a lot of pressure on your body and this can take a serious toll on your health.

This Is Your Body On Stress

To better understand how stress affects our physical health, you first need to gain some insight into the neuroscience of stress. In times of stress, the brain emits a distress signal which causes the body to be flooded with adrenaline. This, in turn, initiates the “fight or flight response” which puts the body into survival mode by prompting a number of physiological changes, such as:

  • Faster heartbeats that push blood to all of the vital organs
  • Rapid breathing to take in as much oxygen as possible
  • Extra oxygen sent to the brain to boost sensory alertness
  • Blood sugar and fats flood the bloodstream to energize all body parts

After this, the brain releases cortisol (aka the “stress hormone”) which can briefly modify or stop certain bodily functions which it deems to hamper survival. Current research indicates that the majority of the physical symptoms of stress are caused by this response which draws attention away from the usual bodily functions.

Learn More About How Stress Affects the Body

If you are keen to discover more about the science of stress, then you should certainly peruse the below infographic from Study Medicine Europe. This interesting guide goes over some key statistics about stress and health and offers a simple overview of the many ways in which stress can affect the body.

The Negative Health Impact of Stress

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