Stress & Your Body
Stressful situations may be unavailable, but how you react to them could have a big impact on your day
When stressed, you may contract your muscles, causing stiffness. Muscle contractions in the neck or head can cause tension headaches, which are common and can range in severity and duration
When you’re feeling stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol. Cortisol increases oil production on the skin, which in turn increases the likelihood of acne breakouts. Stress can also trigger the brain to halt nonessential tasks, resulting in hair loss. Stress-induced nervous habits like hair twirling can also cause hair loss.
Stress is linked to depression and anxiety. In a recent study, researchers found that stress inhibits the growth of new brain cells neurogenesis) in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. In mice, this caused sustained stress responses and depression.
- Blood Pressure
Stress can trigger high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease by producing surplus Adrenalin and cortisol hormones. This can cause an increased or irregular heart rate, constrict blood flow and increase the need for oxygen and the likelihood of blood clots, which can cause heart attacks. If you have disease, stress may cause chest pain, called angina.
When the fight or flight response is triggered, the body slows or stops digestive functions to focus its energy on slow or stops digestive function to focus its energy on possible danger. In periods of moderate or fleeting stress, a partial pause in digestive function can cause plain, discomfort and other gastrointestinal problems.
Spiked cortisol levels from stress can suppress the appetite and slow digestion functions. This can affect metabolism by changing the way glucose is released into the bloodstream
When your body releases too much cortisol (during periods of extreme stress, for instance), the brain puts reproductive functions on hold. Cortisol signals your body to stop producing estrogen and progesterone. This causes irregularities or cessations in your menstrual cycle