Nov. 21st, 2010
The Dangers of Stress on Physical Health
Stress exists in almost every unpleasant situation, whether it is a divorce, finding a new job, or meeting a deadline. It is the body’s reaction to cope with it, and it has been around since man first walked on the earth. Some theorize that stress is a self-preservation technique that was developed through evolution. When the topic first came up, an endocrinologist coined the term “eustress”. It is stress that is “healthy”, and enhances functions in the body to handle itself in stressful circumstances. However, distress is the opposite of eustress, which can be just as tolling on the body. It is the most common type of stress, mostly leading to ailments and psychological illness. While eustress can be healthy for you and helps explore potential gains in your life, distress can lead to many diseases and ailments that could ultimately lead to your death.
“Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you sense danger – whether it’s real or imagined – the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the stress response.”(Segal,Jaffe-Gill,Smith 1) This is how your body protects you, while it ironically causes bodily harm. There is a certain limit where stress stops helping you and instead starts to negatively affect your body. “It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. Long-term stress can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.” (Segal,Jaffe-Gill,Smith 1)
Why are we stressed? Individually, we all have different reasons as to why we are stressed. Mostly it depends on how you perceive it and life in general. Your attitude greatly affects the power that stress can have over...