Among immediate effects of stress in emergency situation is that your whole body starts an alarm reaction. Your heart pounds, your lungs expand, your muscles contract. This is the reaction of your body to enable you to greater than normal speed and strength.
The same physical reaction occurs when you are in chronic stress – worried about your job, stuck in traffic, dealing with your kids. The difference between the two is that in emergency situation the stress response will resolve itself very quickly, but in the second case it might not.
One of the main effects of stress on body is the production of hormone called cortisol by your adrenal glands. In case of chronic stress, your body is subjected to high levels of cortisol for extended periods of time, which may damage your entire nervous system and suppress the immune system. Thus the effect of stress could be heart damage, raised blood pressure and digestive problems. It could also damage the brain leading to premature brain cell aging. It could also influence your body tissue, bones, muscles, nerves and cause toxicity in your body. Persistent muscular tension can precipitate soluble calcium from bloodstream into the joints, which could result in rheumatism and lumbago.
There could be many triggers of stress. This includes jealousy, loneliness, unhappy marriage, problems at work, financial problems, anxiety and depression. All these are emotional factors that could affect you physically and manifest in weakness, restlessness, dizziness, cramps, insomnia, lack of energy, headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, trembling and ringing in the ears. This could also lead to serious problems like addictions, drug use, compulsive behavior and aggressiveness. Mentally, stress could cause memory problems, distorted perception, which in turn can affect your health with headaches, migraines, heart attack, angina, asthma, ulcers, skin problems, stomach disorders – the list goes on.
From here we conclude that effects of stress on body are not only mechanical, but also mental and emotional. You get caught up in situation where stress causes stress. The result is the enormous increase in cases of cancer, osteoporosis and degenerative diseases.
The effects of stress range from mild to severe. In some cases, persistent anxiety and stress interfere with daily life. Generalized Anxiety Disorder causes its sufferers to worry constantly and always expect the worst to happen. They feel tense all the time. These people need medical help, because this disorder is caused by imbalance of chemicals in the brain. But the good news is that alternations in the immune system and in the central nervous system can be reversed if the stress is removed. The key is to learn how to cope with stress to allow the body to return to its normal state.