Physical Effects of Stress

The physical effects of stress are triggered by the fight or flight mechanism.

Your body-mind perceives a threat to your well being and responds in a protective mode - either getting ready to fight or to run away from the threat. Both require energy and your body summons up this energy by manufacturing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

This is a healthy state of affairs under normal circumstances. However, if you are frequently stressed and your body is required to respond in this way often, it becomes taxing and even debilitating.

Some effects of stress produced by this response are easy to recognize. They include a quickness of breath and a tightening of various muscles in preparation to respond. A tightening of neck and shoulder muscles is often common. You may also notice a sharpening of your senses and a quickening of your heart beat.

What is probably not noticeable is an increase in your blood pressure and a changes in your body chemistry.

Remember in the short run these changes in your body are of little consequence and it will return to normal once the threat has passed. However, over a long period of time they can trigger serious health problems.

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