Stress and How It Affects Your Body

what is stress - depressed woma
  • Are your teeth or your fists clenched ?
  • Do you feel tense or irritable ?
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate ?
  • Do you feel a pain in the back of your neck ?
  • Do you find that your heart is beating faster than normal ?
  • Wondering why that annoying headache won’t go away?

Chances Are, You Are Stressed !!

photo courtesy of downing.amanda

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense; a difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension; a force that produces strain on a physical body.

According to Danzae Pace, it is the "trash of modern life - we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life."

The Fight or Flight Response

Your body reacts to emotional or physical strain by fighting or fleeing. It has its own defense mechanism that when triggered, charges you with a boost of energy and strength that enables you to protect yourself in times of emergency (fight or flight).

But your body can't tell the difference between physical and psychological threats, so when you are :

  • challenged by pressing deadlines at the office
  • frustrated because you are stuck in traffic
  • faced with overdue bills
  • trying to soothe a screaming baby
  • rushing to prevent the food from burning on the stove
  • trying to quickly sop up spilt juice on your new carpet

your body reacts by releasing these same chemicals into your blood.

Here is a short animated clip depicting the fight or flight response courtesy of CRM Learning

... Since there is no physical danger there is no outlet for all this pent up energy and it results in meltdowns or illnesses.

How Stress Affects Your Body 

Its effects are varied and can affect the way you feel in your body, the way you think and the way you act.

Pay close attention to your body, your moods, your energy level. The quicker you make the connection with how you feel and what's going on in your life, the faster you will be able to manage the effects of the emotional or physical strain.

For me, it’s the tension in my neck and shoulders, nagging headaches and inability to sleep restfully that gives it away.  Then, I know that I have to do something about it fast.

Watch this short video that shows how stress can affect every part of our body.