Causes and Effects of Stress

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By Alicia Miller

 

Modern times are filled with stressful situations, whether it's deadlines at work, difficulties with family members and friends or health and financial issues. Stress is a normal response to any of these and many other anxiety and stress-provoking situations and it's something everyone experiences on a regular basis.

 

Causes

According to HelpGuide.org, your body experiences a stress response whenever a real or perceived threat occurs. The stress response, otherwise known as the "fight-or-flight" instinct activates whenever you feel threatened. This may result in response to an actual threat, such as someone stealing your purse on the subway or a perceived threat, such as imagining that someone at work has gossiped about you, even if they actually haven't. The stress response occurs when your body releases the stress hormones known as adrenaline and cortisol, causing a mental and physical reaction that prepares you to fight or flee from the stress stimulus.

Some of the common external causes of stress include noise, crowds, and physical feelings such as hunger or lack of sleep, pressure at work, trouble in your relationships, financial concerns or medical issues. According to Help Guide, internal causes of stress include an inability to accept imperfection, pessimism and negative self-talk.

 

Effects

The stress response results in mental and physical symptoms. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, all of your bodily systems are geared up to face the real or perceived danger when the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline release. Your heart rate speeds up, you may begin to sweat or tremble, you start breathing more rapidly and you feel ready to face whatever threat is coming.

If you don't learn to properly manage stress, its long-term effects can become damaging to both your mental and physical health. Chronic stress can cause serious mental disorders such as anxiety or panic disorders, depression or sleep problems like insomnia. According to HelpGuide.org, physical symptoms that commonly exacerbated or caused by stress include heart and digestive problems, obesity and skin disorders like eczema.

 

About the author

Alicia Miller is a licensed social worker and psychotherapist who began writing in 2008. She is a certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist who specialises in mental health, aromatherapy and holistic healing articles. She holds a Master of Social Work from New York University.


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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

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Quotes

"Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose."

Maureen Killoran

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