The Impact of Stress on Health
Stress is evil as it causes minor to major health problems for a person if not appropriately addressed. It causes mental, physical, social, economic, and emotional issues. Therefore, it is essential to send timely.
However, it is not all bad. Some stress can be useful for the health and well-being of a person (Scholz et al., 2009). The paper will discuss the symptoms, causes, and impact of stress on the human physical and mental health.
It will examine when stress is terrible for a person and how can it be suitable for a person when it causes so many problems.
- 1 Impacts of Stress
- 2 Emotional, Physical or Behavioural Symptoms
- 3 Effects of stress on the body
- 4 The new perspective of stress
- 5 Effects on Health
- 6 How to manage stress
- 7 Conclusion
Impacts of Stress
Stress is a way of responding to demand or threat kicked on situations of fight or flight. It is a way of protection that alerts the body and mind from the dangers. When threatened or demanded the nervous system releases stress hormones such as adrenaline or cortisol, which prepare the body for the emergency.
In stress, the heart beats faster, blood pressure increases, and sometimes palms feel sweaty. In stress response become sharper, and the focus increases. The stressors can cause stress, and it can be outside factors, or it can be internally generated.
It can be because of academic or professional workload, lousy relationship, high demand and job loss or divorce or death of a loved one. It can be caused by admission to the new school or college or a new relationship.
It can be due to positive factors such as marriage or adverse events such as death. The internal factors that generate stress are excessive worry about the small game or significant events, irrational thoughts or negativity. It can also be caused by inflexibility, high expectation and lack of self-esteem (Lupien et al., 2009; Thoits, 2010).
Emotional, Physical or Behavioural Symptoms
There can be cognitive, emotional, physical or behavioral symptoms. The symptoms can manifest singularly or combined. Cognitive symptoms include constant worrying, lack of concentration and poor judgment.
Emotional symptoms include depression, mood swings, irritability, isolation, and anxiety. Physical symptoms of stress are a headache, disturbed stomach, nauseous feelings, constipation or diarrhea, chest pain, flu or cold and blood pressure.
Behavioral symptoms of stress consist of insomnia or sleeping too much, eating too much or too little, and neglecting responsibilities. More so, stress could bring about drug abuse such as drinking, smoking, isolation from social life and nervousness.
If these symptoms persist for a more extended period, the person must seek help. When you neglect the signs, this might cause serious health, social and mental problems. And the symptoms can lead to other issues. For instance, lack of sleep can result in poor eating habits which can lead to heart and other diseases.
Chronic stress can interfere with daily life and become dangerous. It causes fatigue, lack of motivation and concentration. It can cause headaches, stomach problems, high blood pressure and heart rate, which lead to coronary problems and death.
It can also lead to depression that would cause social isolation with suicidal thoughts and tendencies. It limits the regular working habits leading to poor performance at school and a job that might lead to expulsion or financial problems.
Professional life demands a working attitude that is positive and detail-oriented with responsibility. But constant stress can contribute to a lack of attention and motivation to work, which will lead to absences and sloppy work.
Consequently, it negatively impacts the working habits of people. Stress results in irritability and anger, which might hamper relationships with friends and family. It will destroy rapport with colleagues leading to isolation which lead to a different set of problems at work.
For instance, most of the people prefer to befriend friendly and frank people. But relationships will be hampered when one person is continuously irritated and detached. Hence, the constant and regular stress with increased levels of cortisol in the blood impacts on the health and social well-being of a person (Lupien et al., 2009; Scholz et al., 2009).
Effects of stress on the body
When the normal body functions are disturbed, this is usually the main consequence of stress. This will always impact the ability of the body performing and quickening o the aging process. Here are some of the general effects of stress on the body;
Heart Disease and Stroke
Stress will affect the circulatory system and the heart as well. It will lead to an increased heartbeat and the restriction of the arteries. Over time, cardiac occurrences such as heart attack may result.
when one has prolonged stress, this could lead to disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome. On the secondary levels, one could experience diarrhea, nausea, stomach discomforts, constipation and lowered metabolism.
Digestive System Syndromes
when one has stress, this could interfere with the digestive system. It could lead to poor digestion, stomach upsets, and increased acidity.
Immune System Infections
Stress will impair the immune system, making the body vulnerable to colds and flu.
when one has stress, this could lead to skin disorders such as psoriasis, hives, and eczema. More so, this could lead to the standard skin inflammations and cold sores.
Periodontal (tooth and gum) Diseases
these diseases are not directly caused by stress. However, they are created by the behaviors that are triggered by stress such as smoking and alcohol drinking.
Weight gain and Weight Loss
when you have stress, this could affect eating habits as well. People have different ways of coping up with anxiety. Some people will always eat a lot while being stressed, thus gaining weight.
Although the increased appetite is always perceived to be emotionally motivated, experts say that cortisol, the stress hormone is the crucial cause of the increase in abdominal fat during stress. Other people will turn to eat disorders such as bulimia and anorexia that initiate weight loss.
most people when they have stress will be unable to relax physically and mentally prompting them to lose sleep. When you worry about all the problems you are confronted with, this could lead to sleep deprivation as well.
The other adverse effects of stress on the body include migraines and headaches. Also, mood swings, memory loss, irritability, baldness, sexual dysfunctions, tensions, muscle pains, and fatigue. Moreover, stress could also lead to psychological problems such as distress and anxiety.
Accordingly, these problems contribute to a person’s anti-social behavior, which may involve domestic and workplace hostilities.
Stress deprives people of the capability to enjoy life because of its significances which limits the quantity and quality of time we spend with our loved ones. The adverse effects of stress, though inevitable, are manageable by following procedures that can lessen anxiety.
The new perspective of stress
However, stress is not always bad. It is okay if the levels are mild. First of all, it is a response to danger. It is designed to alert the person when there is a danger. It makes the body ready to respond appropriately in time to save the person from embarrassment or insecurity.
It also sharpens the senses of a person and helps the person focus. It motivated to work hard and concentrate on achieving a goal. For instance, if a person is scared of exams, it pushes the person to study for the exam, which will ultimately help in getting a better grade.
It helps people to accept the challenges and meet them. The perspective of embarrassment or shame might push to work harder to achieve daily goals. It increases the focus levels of a person significantly, and it can help to sharpen the senses to work with improved insights.
It boosts brainpower by releasing a hormone called neurotrophins which improves the connection between neurons which enhances productivity (Dhabhar, 2009; Macmillan, 2014). Therefore, all stress is not bad. It can improve the perspective of success significantly if controlled or mild or moderate.
Effects on Health
Moreover, it increases immunity and resilience by increasing control in a person. As it prepares the body for responses to dangers such as injury or infections or attacks, it releases interleukins. This are chemicals to regulate an immune system that enhances immunity for the time being.
Also, it is crucial to generate a sense of control in a person. If a person regularly faces stressful events, the person will develop an understanding of physical and psychological control because the level of stress will make the person resilient to stressful circumstances. They will be able to improve their productivity without worrying or panicking about an event (Jaret, 2015; Melbourne Child Psychology, 2017).
Lastly, it helps in the development of a child even before they are born. If pregnant women are stressed mildly or moderately, it improves the motor skills of their babies’ before the age of two.
Therefore, stress can be advantageous for the people, and it must not be mistreated when it enhances the abilities and senses of people in society.
How to manage stress
Stress can be beneficial if managed properly. Moderate to mild anxiety is useful for enhancing the focus and productivity of a person. But it is terrible if it is severe.
Nonetheless, a person can control and manage their stress levels most of the time. A person who believes that they can control and manage stress is less likely to be impacted by it. But those who perceive the level of stress is unmanageable will have problems in dealing with it as well.
Hence, it depends on the person and their confidence levels regarding stress to be able to handle it. A person with a positive attitude is less likely to develop stress-related issues compared to a person who has low self-esteem and considers that the stress is harmful (Jaret, 2015; Macmillan, 2014; Melbourne Child Psychology, 2017).
Thus, the management of stress is essential for positive results. A person can change and control their productivity as well as a sense of control to handle any situation. It is necessary in cases of stress to be able to have a positive result and suppress the negative consequences.
Stress is a normal response to stressful situations. We often confuse it as some form of mental pressure caused due to our own inability to deal with things. But that’s not what it is. Stress is not an action; it’s a reaction. Stress is our reaction to various external factors.
Therefore, stress is not always bad. It can boost productivity, focus, immunity and response levels, but the person must be able to handle it. But if it is unmanaged and severe, it can have debilitating effects on the person.
Therefore, a person must have a sense and perception of control to be able to handle it and minimize the harmful consequences of stress.