Stress is a daily reality for most of us. We live with it and sometimes it is silently killing us without us realizing it. It is not a question of does stress affect a person, it is a question of how and how much does stress affect a person. Let's look at how it can affect you.
MedSearch defines stress as, “The sum of the biological reactions to any adverse stimulus, physical, mental or emotional, internal or external, that tends to disturb a person's normal state of well-being. "
I like this definition because it emphasizes the fact that stress is actually the effects that we experience in our bodies due to adverse stimuli.
That brings it much closer to home and makes it easier to understand how stress affects a person.
The biological reactions can include one, more than one, or all of the following:
1. Physical effects on your body.
2. Changes in your emotional state.
3. Disturbances in your mental state.
4. Deviations from your normal behavior.
Physical effects of stress can include tenseness in the muscles, an increased heart rate, more rapid breathing, increase in blood pressure, and many other adverse conditions.
When subjected to circumstances that induce stress, the body reacts in a similar way that it would react under dangerous situations. It releases chemicals that prepare the body for defense.
Under normal dangerous situations these bodily reactions lasts for a very short period of time, until the danger has passed.
Stress inducing conditions tend to prevail day after day, month after month. The body was not designed to be in a constant state of high alert.
That is why stress can be a killer.
It is basically synonymous with running a car's engine constantly at red line revolutions. Sooner or later it is going to break because it was not designed to do that.
There is a normal level of operation that your body can easily cope with. The effects of stress take your body beyond those limits.
These additional pressures of stress on the bodily systems result in major effects on a person that can ruin your emotional state, cause depression and a general negative state of mind, and cause you to act completely out of character.
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