November 26, 2013
How Does Stress Affect the Physical Body?
Stress is a term that is highly difficult when it comes to defining it. Scientists say the term itself defies its definition. There are many ways in which stress can be defined as; the difficult part is to know which definition you are looking for. Hans Selye, a Hungarian endocrinologist, is the man who discovered the theory of stress. Selye defines stress as, "the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change (Goldberg, The Effect of Stress on Your Body)." Many individuals feel that an event might be threatening to them and this is where the human body kicks into defense mode known as the “fight-or-flight” response (the stress response). Have you ever felt your heart racing or your legs shaking right before an exam? Then you know you can feel stress on the inner and outer parts of your body. “When you perceive a threat, your nervous system, responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol (Smith, Stress Symptoms, Signs, & Causes: Effects of Stress Overload).” Stress can be positive or negative depending on the situation at hand. Stress affecting the physical body is known as a negative stress factor. Stress can also be long term or short term. Financial problems would be long term stress. Arguing with a family member or a spouse would be short term stress. Where does stress come from? Stress can arise from many different areas in an individual's life. Family, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend’s, work, home, and/or school are perfect examples of stress factors. Relationships can be very difficult to deal with and hard to balance out. School and work can definitely be frustrating. There are many long term and short term physical effects on the human body due to stress.
One effect symptom of stress is body aches and pains. Such as, headaches, back pains (muscle aches), stomachaches, and so on. When it comes to headaches caused by stress,...
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