When stress doesn’t last long, it fills you with energy and excitement, and you feel ready to fight. But when stress lasts longer than necessary, you start to get tired of feeling in battle all the time and the effects on your body can be very dangerous .
How does our body react?
“Fight or flight” is the name of our body’s most common reaction to a stressful situation. The body is designed so that when perceiving a threat or a risk, it is prepared to literally fight and get away from danger.
How is the body prepared? The hypothalamus, a small part of your brain, activates an alarm that combines nerve and hormonal signals. On the one hand, the nervous circuits are responsible for increasing your alertness, focusing your attention, reducing the sensation of pain, controlling hunger, sleep and even sexual desires.
On the other hand, your adrenal glands are ordered to release hormones: Cortisol and Adrenaline. Cortisol, which is the stress hormone, sharpens your immune system and increases the amount of fuel in the blood (carbohydrates, glucose and fats) needed to react to stress. Adrenaline increases the heartbeat, raises blood pressure and increases energy production and utilization.
The body’s reaction to short-term stress can be beneficial since it maintains the internal balance or self-regulation of the body (homeostasis), in addition to strengthening the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). It is even said that the feeling of stress can be exciting, so there are many “adrenaline fans”. This is because during this process a feeling of physical well-being is generated by concentrating all the energy of the body in being ready to act quickly.
Usually, this reaction is regulated automatically. When the body stops perceiving a threat, the alarm goes off, the body relaxes, stops generating hormones, your heart beats normally again, etc.
But when your body is permanently facing stressful situations, the alarm remains active and your body works on alert all the time. Imagine it: it’s as if you prepare for a fight that never happens. Finally, your body ends up accumulating energy and working unnecessarily, and that makes you tense, anxious or worried.
Some health problems arising from stress
Constant nerve activation and hormonal overproduction wears and deteriorates the body, and can generate different health problems such as the following:
- Weakening of the Immune System, increase your vulnerability to infections
- Heart diseases
- Digestive problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Depression or anxiety and
- Obesity affects us
How does it affect us?
Stress can also make other symptoms and other diseases such as cancer and diabetes worse . In addition, you can make the person adopt compulsive behaviors such as drug use, excess alcohol or cigarettes, and eat more than necessary. These behaviors not only do not relieve your stress, but also put you in a vicious circle that costs a lot of work to break.
Therefore, it is a good idea to seek help to manage stress levels and find a midpoint so that it does not seriously affect your health.