How Does Stress Affect Health?

How does stress affect health? It seems many of us have little idea how much stress we put our bodies through!

Stress triggers the body to react through the fight or flight syndrome - our body’s great protection against any perceived threats.

In this sense stress is useful to us – protecting us from danger and helping us to find safety. Our brain is hot wired to prepare us to fight or to flee.

how does stress affect health

When stress is triggered, our heart rate accelerates as does our breathing. It’s as if our whole being goes into a hyper alert state.

All our muscles tighten up while our body prepares either for battle or to make its escape. The fight or flight syndrome is our natural safeguard.

In every day life however, this response can work against us by perceiving situations that challenge us as supposed threats to our safety.

This can mean that our body goes onto the alert and we live in a state of continually heightened anxiety which can have a significant impact on our health.

How Does Stress Affect Health? Here's How!

How Does Stress Affect Health? Here's How!

Our body is designed to ‘switch off’ the stress reaction when the perception of danger has passed and a state of relaxation then takes place. The problem to our health comes about when the switch off doesn’t occur and we remain in a continual stressed state.

Because of life events, this can literally just creep up on us. Many people appear unaware of the level of stress they expect their body to carry and are often startled when events such as a heart attack, panic attack, or high blood pressure indicate just how stressed they really are.

how does stress affect health

Often, being really stressed is similar to banging your head against a brick wall. It’s not until you stop that you realize how painful it is and has been, especially since stopping is often brought about through physical collapse.

Many of us really have no idea how stressed we are – it simply builds up slowly and often the signs of poor health which should be our first wake up call are hardly noticed.

Maybe it begins with a series of minor mishaps – accidents, cuts, scrapes and other small injuries. Then a run of colds and flu, a sense that headaches seem more constant, a collection of uneasy aches and pains.

All these are signs that answer the question, how does stress affect health. Our bodies are speaking to us, telling us of the extra wear and tear they are experiencing. If we are not awake to the messages, the knocking needs to become louder and louder until we no longer have control and ill health brings us to a stand still.

how does stress affect health

Holiday times are ideal opportunities to allow us to release our physical, mental and emotional tension and move away form stress into a deeper state of relaxation which is so beneficial for our continuing good health.

However, for this to occur, enough time has to take place for us to actually relax. Unfortunately, many people choose holiday times to explore, accelerate and endure, rather than to unwind.

Often this is because the level of adrenalin that is pumping them to action continues needing to be fed, requiring greater and more vigorous ‘food’ then they already experience, prohibiting them from slowing down.

How Does Stress Affect Health and How Can We Hear The Message Before It's Too Late?

A very simple, but profoundly useful tip is to attend to our breathing and our posture. By attend I mean by paying regular attention - being aware.

how does stress affect health

Pay more attention to your stance – this includes both posture and attitude!

  • How are you holding yourself?
  • Where are you gripping all your tension?
  • Have you tightened the muscles in your jaw, your abdomen, your buttocks or your calves?
  • Are you slumped forward because of the load you are carrying on your shoulders?
  • Has this tightened the muscles in your neck making it feel rigid and locked into place?
  • When did you last move your body freely and with the enjoyment of a dancer?

How Does Stress Affect Health?
Become An Observer and You Will See!

how does stress affect health

A really interesting and informative exercise is observing how others move.

Sit, for example, in a shopping mall and watch people as they pass by. It soon becomes clear that they wear their stress signs clearly in their posture.

How many older people do you see bent forward, their life’s loads as clearly present as if they were in a rucksack on their shoulders?

How many young people show their wariness and lack of self esteem in the way they hold themselves, slouching and covering their chests, not prepared to show their sense of self to the world yet?

how does stress affect health

Watch that confident young women strutting past in her high heels, her head erect, her posture strong and tall. You can almost read the details of her happiness in the way she holds her body.

If you look at children, what emerges is their wonderful straight spines and erect carriage. Their bodies aren’t old enough yet to hold the imprint of stress as clearly as it can be observed in adults.

So how does your posture compare?

What would we observe about your stress levels if we saw you walking by?

When did you last stop to think about the message you are strongly sharing with others by the way you hold yourself, by stress signals emanating from your posture?

How Does Stress Affect Health?

We look here at how both posture and breathing are affected by stress and how they have a marked effect on your health, your attitude and your emotions.

Do you have an adequate definition of stress? One that helps you to assess how stressed you really are?It’s always useful to know what our own definition of any subject is in order to understand how we would best deal with it.

Read about how stress causes jaw problems and what you can do about it.
Simple TMJ Treatment Dr. Spainhower describes to TMJ sufferers, how to quickly relieve jaw pain, headaches, and Tinnitus with the same TMJ treatment his private practice patients use.

These stress quotes also show us how others have defined stress for themselves.

What are the Biggest Causes of Stress?
One of the biggest causes of stress in our lives is our beliefs, our attitudes, and our thoughts - our very selves! How we handle life's various challenges is very much determined by the way we think - by our unconscious thoughts and by our underlying attitudes towards challenges and changes.

Living A Healthy Life
When you look at the phrase – living a healthy life – do you immediately think of a good diet and plenty of regular exercise? Does it make you think of slim attractive people with glowing skin, glossy hair and gleaming teeth, brimming with vitality? This is the media concept of a healthy life style and it's my belief that most people see it exemplified in this way.
But is that really all living a healthy lifestyle means? is a place where you can find plenty of information about how stress affects our health and tested stress management techniques that really work free of any charges. Let's live this life happily.

Until you make the unconscious conscious,

it will direct your life and you will call it fate ~
Carl Jung

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