The Effects of Stress

In our fast-paced society, there are many things that bring stress into our lives.

When you are stressed, your body may respond in several ways. In most cases, we tend to favor one way over the others. For example, when I get really stressed, my stomach becomes tense and I feel somewhat nauseated. I have a friend whose heart would race when he became stressed. While we may all act a bit differently, knowing the signs of stress can help us recognize that our body is trying to tell us something; it’s time to slow down!

Stress causes the release of chemicals in your bloodstream. These chemicals may result in the following symptoms:

  • Pounding heart
  • Rising blood pressure
  • A tense stomach
  • Muscle tightnessOver time, continued stress can have quite a negative effect on your well – being.
  • You may show some of the following symptoms:
  • Physical effects: frequent colds or flu, headaches, trouble sleeping, tense muscles, skin problems or digestive problems.
  • Mental effects: trouble concentrating or remembering. Difficulty learning, and you may have frequent negative thoughts.
  • Emotional effects: increased anxiety, depression, anger, or irritability.
  • Behavioral effects: eating poorly, driving recklessly, or indulging in substance abuse. Increased aggression or irritability toward others.

Know how your body responds to stress, and when you see the signals, pay attention.  Take the time to work on reducing your stress.  Your body will thank you for it!

(Adapted from the Veterans Health Library)

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