Stress is a natural byproduct of today’s rushed lifestyles. Unfortunately, stress that is unchecked over the long haul can permanently damage the body in a variety of ways. In some cases, the physiological effects of stress persist long after the stressful event is over.
In these situations, it may require medical intervention to treat the physiological effects of stress, from medication to counseling. If you are feeling the effects of stress, read on to see what that tension and anxiety might be doing to your body and what you can do to manage it.
The physiological effects of stress are immediate, short term and long term. At the initial outset, stress might result in heart palpitations, quickened breathing and a heightened state of awareness. This is known as the “flight or fight” response, and it is a naturally programmed reaction in our bodies to emergency situations.
However, “flight or fight” responses are designed to be temporary and the body should be allowed to return to a state of calm after the stressful event. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Short Term Effects
When the stress is more than momentary, physiological effects of stress change somewhat. Symptoms of short term stress might include headaches, difficulty concentrating and digestive upset. Many in stressful situations will encounter difficulty sleeping and may experience some symptoms of anxiety or depression.
In many cases, relief from the stress will also bring reprieve from the physiological effects of stress. However, if there is no relief, the symptoms might evolve into long term conditions that will be more challenging to treat.
Long Term Effects
When the stress doesn’t go away easily, the physiological effects of stress might be harder to manage as well. The long term health effects of stress can include a compromised immune system that makes a person more vulnerable to a host of illnesses.
It might also result in increased blood pressure, which creates a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack. Digestive troubles may also become chronic, in the form of irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive disorders. Anxiety and depression may progress to mental disorders that will require professional treatment to overcome.
If you are feeling stressed out, managing your tension and anxiety is the first step in keeping physiological effects of stress under control. Talking to someone about your troubles and finding effective methods of relaxation can go a long way in managing stress and keeping stress symptoms to a minimum.