The Effects of Stress on Our Health - Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-11
The Effects of Stress on Our Health - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare Stress Mental health
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1827 words
16 min read


Stress refers to mental and physical reactions to various life experiences (Shankar). Different people experience stress at varying times. Anything from daily responsibilities such as work, family issues, and some serious life issues like passing on of loved ones, war, and new diagnosis can generate stress. In some situations, stress can be beneficial to our health. Stress can be displayed from different situations and the thoughts which cause a person to experience nervousness, anger, and frustration, while anxiety refers to the feeling of apprehension and fear. For instance, different people manage stress exceptionally well as they experience psychological and physical symptoms. Limited amounts of stress can aid us in coping with new situations. Our bodies respond to stress by releasing hormones that increase breathing and heart rate, which, in turn, activate our muscles to retaliate (Shankar). Stress has different effects on our bodies, behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. Thus, in this paper, the different effects of stress on physical and mental health and how stress can be managed will be analyzed.

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Effects of Stress on Mental Health

Stress symptoms have many different effects on the mental health of people. They can affect a person's body, behavior, feelings, and thoughts. Different researchers in the psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) field investigate how the nervous system and immune system communicate amongst themselves and their effects on emotional and mental health (Shankar). According to these researches, chronic stress can exacerbate or lead to mood disorders like anxiety, bipolar disorder, personality changes, depression, behavior problems, cognitive or thinking problems. Different effects of stress on mental health are as follows.

Stress causes depression in different people. Stress hormones byproducts act as sedatives. The chemical matter causes an individual to become tired or calm. When these hormone byproducts transpire in more significant volumes, they happen due to chronic stress conditions; they can result in or lead to sustained feelings of depression or low energy. Habitual schemes of thought impact increase or appraise the likelihood that an individual will encounter negative stress. These influences include own low efficacy and a conviction that you are unable to managing stress. Thus the chronic stress increases the chances of an individual becoming depressed.

It is normal to experience various moods, such as low and high, in daily life. For instance, some lowliness in the dumps feelings are the portion of life; sometimes individuals enter into depressing feelings which persist or begin to interfere with their capacity to undertake daily activities, enjoy relationships, and complete jobs. The term major depression describes these feelings. Its symptoms include feeling worthless, fatigue, guilt, sleep problems, inability to concentrate, self-hate, agitation, irritability, hopelessness, inability to make sound decisions, helplessness, and relentlessness (Shankar). Depression resulting from stress is linked with increased suicidal thinking and actions and can make an individual vulnerable to mental disorders.

In many cases, the stressed individual experiences relatively mild anxiety symptoms like tapping feet, biting figures, and fidgeting. Besides, others ' chronically activated stress hormones can lead to severe anxiety, such as sweaty palms, nausea, and a racing heartbeat. Thought sequence may result in stress and make the person vulnerable to greater anxiety feelings (Shankar). Dread or anxiety feelings that persist for a prolonged period make individuals worry a lot about potential or future situations. Thus this stress may result in avoidance, and different male people have problems while coping with daily situations. Thus, stress can make people have difficulties in conducting everyday daily life.

Effects of Stress on Physical Health

The human body is situated to encounter stress and react to it from time to time. Stress can positively affect a person's physical body, like when someone is being promoted or securing a job (Shankar). Stress affects people negatively when they face challenges without relaxation or relief between the difficulties. Stress can physically affect the body by impacting systems such as reproductive, nervous, respiratory, muscles, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and endocrine.

When someone is stressed, the body muscles tense up. Muscle tension is nearly a reflex stress reaction (Shankar). That is the body's method of guarding against pain and injury. When the body encounters sudden stress onset, all muscles tense at once and let go of the tension when the stress is over. Chronic stress makes the body muscles to be in a less or more continuous guardedness state. When the muscles are tense and taut for an extensive time, they may cause other body reactions and lead the other stress disorders.

The respiratory system provides cells with oxygen and takes carbon dioxide from them. Intense emotions and stress may present the respiratory system with symptoms like breathing rapidly, breath shortness as the air passage between the lungs and nose constricts. Persons without respiratory problems can control their additional work and breathe with ease. The psychological causes of stress may exacerbate breathing difficulties in individuals with respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis and asthma.

The cardiovascular system provides oxygen and nourishment to the body organs. The operations of this system are synchronized with the body's reaction to stress (Shankar). Acute stress, which is short term or momentary such as avoiding an accident by braking instantly, slamming suddenly, meeting deadlines, stuck in the traffic, cause vigorous heart muscle contraction and increase heart rate with the hormones associated with the stress such as adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline play as senders for these effects.

Chronic stress or continuous stress encountered over a long period can result in prolonged-term problems for blood vessels and the heart (Shankar). The ongoing and continuous heart rate increase and the elevated stress hormones level and blood pressure may take a toll on the person's body. The long term and continuous stress may increase the risk of getting hypertension, stroke, or heart attack.

Consistent acute stress and continuous chronic stress can lead to circulation system inflammation specific in the coronary arteries (Shankar). Therefore, this is among the primary ways that are believed to tether stress to the heart attack. Besides, it appears that the way people respond to stress may also affect their levels of cholesterol.

When a person thinks something to be uncontrollable, threatening, or challenging, the brain triggers a cascade of events incorporating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This is the main initiator of the endocrine stress reaction. This will ultimately lead to increased generation of steroid hormones known as glucocorticoids, which are famously known as stress hormones. This stress makes a person act or does things abnormally.

Ways of Managing Stress

There are many different ways of managing stress that applies to different people. Avoiding the use of nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine is helps people reduce stress levels. Nicotine and caffeine are stimulants that will significantly increase an individual's" stress level (Beliatte 47). Alcohol will lead to depression when consumed in large amounts and act as a stimulant when taken in small amounts. Thus using alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and any other stimulant will never reduce the stress level experienced by a person. Instead of using these stimulants, a person can use drinks such as herbal teas, diluted juices, or water to keep the body hydrated. This way will aid the body to cope well with the stress.

Additionally, people should also avoid taking refined sugars. These sugars are found in many processed foods and may initiate crashes in energy. When consumed, they make someone feel irritable and tired hence leading to stress. To avoid these conditions, stress, consume a well-balanced, nutritious, and healthy diet.

Another to avoid stress is to take part in physical activities actively. Situations that are stressful increase stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in someone's body (Beliatte 50). These are the fight hormones situated to guard against immediate bodily harm when someone is under threat. Nevertheless, in the modern age, stress is hardly remedied through fight reaction. Physical exercise is highly used as a surrogate, metabolizes the larger volumes of stress hormones in the body, calms the mind, and ensures a relaxed state.

When someone feels tensed and stressed, it is advisable to go for a brisk walk to get fresh air. Always make sure to involve physical activity regularly or in a daily routine (Beliatte 56). This can be done after or before work or at lunchtime. Doing physical activities regularly will improve a person's sleep quality and reduce stress levels.

Another way of managing stress is by having enough time to sleep. Insufficient sleep is among the leading causes of stress. Even though stress interrupts people's sleep as thoughts continue whirling via our brains, halting individuals from relaxing sufficiently to fall asleep (Beliatte 59). Apart from seeking medication, people should focus on maximizing relaxation before they go to sleep. Every time ensure that your bedroom has anything thing that may remind you about the stress-causing agents. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine in the evening hours since they both disturb someone when sleeping. Avoid taking mentally demanding tasks for many hours without going to bed. This will give the brain time to relax and calm down. Again, read the calm, less demanding book for a short period and take a warm bath to rest the body. When managing stress, it essential to tire eyes since this aids in forgetting anything that worries or stresses you. It is also advisable to go to slumber regularly as this will make the body and mind to be used to a predictable sleep time.

Another way to manage stress is to put relaxation approaches into practice. Every day try relaxing with a stress-reducing method. Different stress reduction techniques have been tested and found helpful hence individuals should only take methods that fit them well. An individual may take self-hypnosis that is very simple and can be practiced at any place (Beliatte 63). It is focused on the simple technique of aiming at a phrase or word, baring a positive meaning to the person. Words like calm, peace, and love or phrases such as give me serenity can be used. Always focus on the phrase of the chosen word whenever you feel stressed or tensed. It is also essential not to worry if it is hard to relax. Relaxation is a skill that requires to be studied and improves with time and practice.


Stress means a mental and physical response to different life encounters by people. Different persons experience stress in varying periods. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work, family issues, and some severe life issues such as passing away of loved ones, war, and new diagnosis can create stress to persons. On different occasions, stress can be beneficial to someone's health, and in other situations, stress can be risky. Therefore it is essential to avoid stress at all costs since it can impact our lives negatively. People can assimilate the mentioned stress management ways to avoid it from causing a menace to them.

Works Cited

Shankar, Nilani L., and Crystal L. Park. "Effects of stress on students' physical and mental health and academic success." International Journal of School & Educational Psychology 4.1 (2016).

Beliatte, Metteyya. "Application of Teachings in the Sabbasavasut".

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