When we feel threatened or endangered, our body prepares for two quick solutions: fight or flight. This causes our brain to respond by sending a series of signals that ultimately cause our adrenal glands to release a surge of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline, on the one hand, increases our heartbeats, makes us sweat, and dilates our pupils and bronchi. Cortisol, on the other hand, increases the levels of sugar in our bloodstream and suppresses our immune system’s activity. This all happens for only a brief moment, though, until our system makes sure everything goes back to normal.
Then, just imagine what happens when this is a common occurrence. The situations that trigger this response have changed from what they used to be ages ago, and now they come up as what we consider everyday stressful events, such as arguing with your partner, struggling to make ends meet, or dealing with a difficult task at work.
Work is one of the major causes of stress in modern life. with 6 in 10 workers in major global economies experiencing increased workplace stress in recent years. What most people ignore is that the accumulation of stress brings forth several problems that can become detrimental to their health in the long run.
Read ahead to find out what can happen when you’re under constant stress!
Since energy is constantly being used to maintain a state of survival and cortisol keeps suppressing your immune responses, the body has very little focus on healing itself. This causes you to be more prone to catch diseases and it makes your recovery process slower than under normal conditions.
Stress can make pre-existing gut conditions worse, leading to digestive diseases, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. It has an impact on how nutrients are absorbed during digestion, which can also cause several other problems due to the lack of certain resources for your body.
Over or undereating are very common consequences of being stressed. On the one hand, overeating has even been linked to obesity, due to the high amounts of “comfort food” being consumed in an attempt to compensate for the struggles your body is facing.
On the other hand, eating too little may also lead to anemia and make you susceptible to other illnesses due to the lack of essential vitamins and minerals being absorbed by your body.
Stress can affect your short-term memory and make it difficult for you to concentrate on the tasks at hand. This is a vicious cycle, because having problems recollecting certain situations and making mistakes only gives you more reasons to be stressed.
Mood and Disposition
If you are constantly under stress, you are usually not in a good mood and you’ll think everything and everyone is in the way. To no surprise, this mindset can easily lead to depression if left untreated.
As you can see, stress affects almost every system in the body, causing terrible consequences in the long run. Don’t underestimate it. Do something about it before it’s too late, so you can change your life for the better.