Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Effects Of Stress On The Body

Stress is a condition we can all relate to in an everyday sense. There is stress all around us, in the work place, at home and in emotional contexts. Stress, in all of these contexts, do not serve our bodies well. What do you know about the effects of stress on the body? Stressful situations usually have negative effects on our general health and bears a closer look.
Stress can take on many faces, with varying causes and resolutions. Much of the effects of stress on the body depend on your personality and emotions. While Joe may be able to deal with stress efficiently, you may find your threshold considerably lower. Where Joe thrives, you may be reduced to a bundle of nerves, unable to process information or think clearly. While Joe's calm personality can take an important deadline in stride, focusing clearly on the goal, others not so gifted may be overwhelmed by perceived demands they feel they are unable to meet.
Unfortunately, the physical effects of stress on the body can be enormously detrimental to our physical and emotional health.
Stress can most certainly affect our behavior, leading to disadvantages in a social context, as well as negative lifestyle behaviors, such as over-eating, smoking and drinking excessively. Others may manifest effects of stress on the body in less obvious ways.
Stress is also clearly implicated in anxiety and depression.
Although emotionally drained, over-stressed people may become obsessed with their work in an attempt to eradicate the source of their stress. Such people often spend undue amounts of time worrying, skipping meals and exercise, all in the hopes of eradicating the source of pressure. In fact, these strategies are counter productive to stress management. Generally, people who employ such strategies are only worsening the situation. If you focus your energies on meeting that deadline or else, to the exclusion of eating or sleeping, the end result is seen in the eventual physical effects of stress on the body.
Stress most commonly manifests in disease of the heart. This link is well known to your physician. High blood pressure and a high standing pulse rate are indicative of stress. The sheer tension of stress can damage arteries, while reducing healthy blood and oxygen flow. Your body attempts to heal the damaged arteries, forming scars and thickened artery walls. All of these factors can eventually lead to heart attack.
Another of the negative effects of stress on the body is marked depletion of immune system function, which results in frequent colds and flus. More serious effects of stress on the body include exacerbated arthritis, irritable bowel, ulcers and headaches. Studies conducted as early as the 1950's showed a link between cancer and stress.
With all of these dire consequences of the effects of stress on the body, we'd all do well to focus on positive changes in diet and lifestyle to eliminate undue stress. Listening to music, exercise and a more laid back perspective are keys to good health.