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The Impact of Stress on the Mind and Body

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Nowadays, even the smallest things can trigger stress in human beings. Something irks you and your hypothalamus quickly orders the brain to release the stress hormones throughout your system. Originally, these hormones are designed to ready your systems for evasive or lifesaving maneuvers in case of emergencies.  

If these hormones are released on a regular, and a daily basis, then this can prove fatal and harmful to the mind and the body alike. Following are some of the hazards of stress on the mind and the body:

  • Headaches 
  • Severe Depression 
  • Insomnia 
  • Quickened or Rapid Breathing 
  • High Risk of Heart Attack 
  • Deteriorated Immune System 
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Stomachache 
  • Tense Muscles 

 The Symptoms of Stress: 

Short-term stress can help you cope with dangerous and grave situations, such as the loss of a beloved relative. Long-term stress can be extremely harmful to your mind and body. The following symptoms will let you know if you are suffering from stress; 

  • irritability 
  • anxiety 
  • depression 
  • headaches 
  • insomnia 

 The Effects of Stress On Your Cardiovascular System: 

Our cardiovascular system is among the elemental systems of our body. The heart and connected blood vessels are responsible for a smooth flow of blood in our body, and they also provide oxygen to the organs of the body. When stress hormones are released, the heart quickens its pace, and the blood vessels dilate in order to supply more blood to the body. 

The prolonged stress can cause long-lasting and serious consequences in the human body. The continuous release of stress hormones can increase the chances of hypertension, heart attack or stroke. 

The Effects of Stress On Your Central Nervous and Endocrine Systems: 

Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is directly responsible for physical response to the release of stress hormones. Our entire nervous system is greatly affected by chronic stress. When the nervous system senses stress in the body, it diverts all of the energy from pivotal organs of the body to those organs which are responsible for acting in emergencies. 

This is fine in case of emergencies, but when your body is stressed on a daily basis, this can seriously damage and shatter the nervous system and leave you vulnerable to a rapid heartbeat, increased or shortened breathing, and tension in muscles. 

The prolonged stress can also cause the entire digestive process to change. It can affect the way food is absorbed and broken into forms of nutrients for the body. Furthermore, it can cause more glucose (sugar energy) to be introduced into the bloodstream, and over time, this can result in high blood sugar and diabetes. 

Even if it doesn’t result in any long-term difficulties, chronic stress can cause acid reflux, heartburn, and severe stomachache. If you are suffering from any ulcers, stress can cause them to act up and become painful for your body once again. 

 The Effects of Stress On Your Musculoskeletal System: 

The human body is capable of defending itself under stressful circumstances. When stress hormones are released, the muscles in the body tense up, in order to avoid any physical injury. Once the fear-inducing element is no longer a threat, the stress levels reduce, and the muscles relax back to their functioning positions. 

Chronic stress can keep muscles tense for a longer period of time, and this can induce stress-related disorders in the body. A Migraine is an example of a disorder caused by chronic stress. Chronic stress can also cause tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. 

 The Effects of Stress On Your Respiratory System: 

When facing stressful situations, your body increases the pace of breathing in order to provide more oxygen to the bloodstream. This rapid and quickened breathing can cause respiratory problems in individuals who suffer from chronic stress on a daily basis. 

Rapid breathing is also a primary indicator of panic attacks, which are a result of severe anxiety and stress. Under distress, your heart also begins pumping at a much faster rate than normal, which can result in a stroke or a heart attack. 

 The Effects of Stress On Your Reproductive System: 

The male and female reproductive systems are quite prone to chronic stress. The male reproductive system is primarily controlled by the nervous system and if the nervous system is under stress, the reproductive system is under stress. 

The testosterone level in males is increased under the effects of short-term stresses, while it can drop significantly if the stress is not alleviated. The stress causes the body to release cortisol into the bloodstream, and prolonged release of cortisol can seriously affect the biochemical functioning of male reproductive organs. 

The sex drive in both, male and female, is also deeply affected by the continuous exposure to stress hormones. In the beginning, when stress is considered short-term, it can increase the sex drive. Once the short-term stress is transformed into prolonged chronic stress, it can seriously lower the entire sex drive and desire in human beings. 

Additionally, with the passage of time, chronic stress causes infertility, erectile dysfunction, and impotence in males. It is also a cause of infertility among females. These are the irreversible effects of chronic stress and are long-lasting consequences. 

 The Effects of Stress On Your Mental State: 

Chronic stress can increase the risks of developing severe anxiety and depression. It can wear a human being down emotionally and slowly thrust them into the world of chronic depression. Chronic depression brings along many friends, such as insomnia, panic attacks, and anxiety attacks. 

Lack of proper sleep and lack of a satisfying REM cycle can cause frustration and a weakened immune system. It can also drag down a person’s ability to absorb information and perform tasks on time. Lethargy is an elemental component of chronic stress. 

Depression can also seriously harm the memory process in an individual. Early onset of dementia is a side effect of depression and chronic stress. It causes fatigue, lethargy, and a general sense of laziness in an otherwise healthy human being. 

The Impact of Stress on the Mind and Body
eeDee Qureshi

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