Top 7 Side Effects of Stress

by Adam Harriss

Many people live stressful lives. While stress can cause one to feel nervous and edgy, it is also a very real concern for the health and well being of the individual. The side effects of high stress can cause one to be more prone to illness as well as psychological disorders. Although scientists have asked what makes some people seem to be more tightly wound than others, the only explanation found thus far is the person's capacity in handling everyday stressors. Some are able to remain calm in trying situations, while others may become upset over the smallest of details. Consider some of the following ways stress can affect a human body.

The effects of stress on the cardiovascular system has only recently been explored in the past couple of decades. Elevated anxiety for a prolonged period can lead to hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Stress often causes the heart to work harder than normal. Additionally, it elevates the heart rate and can cause blood vessels to constrict leading to several other health issues.

Life at full speed without giving the body a chance to relax can cause individuals to be more likely to suffer from psychological issues. Stress can cause anxiety disorders as well as severe depression. Individuals who worry about everything experience a compromised state of mind as they never give the brain a chance to relax and live with their guard down. In chronic cases, stress is debilitating, but with the onset of more serious psychological issues, the best of therapists may find treatment a big challenge in one who is unable to handle his or her stressors. Many are initially prescribed anti-anxiety medication, and at least half will eventually experience more serious conditions if the initial treatment provided is not effective at overcoming the stressors.

People have many ways to deal with extreme worry, causing many to experience extreme fluctuations in their weight. Individuals who are stressed out may eat too much, to the point of gaining massive amounts of body fat. On the other hand, there are individuals who, when stressed, have little to no appetite. The health of these people may suffer due to a lack of proper nutrition. They may also cause negative changes to the metabolism of their bodies. Additionally, high levels of stress has been shown to increase one's storage of belly fat due to the brain's release of the hormone called cortisol. Such weight problems may lead to even more serious issues, including eating disorders.

Insomnia has been linked to difficulty in handling stressors. In fact, the two seem to go together as the lack of sleep makes it more difficult to handle stressors. Studies suggest addressing the anxiety problem is often the best way to treat the sleep disorder. Many doctors have learned to ask their patients experiencing sleep problems about the number of stressors
in their life and how they deal with them. When the patient does not receive enough sleep he or she can be endangered in everyday activities such as driving a car. In addition, the lack of sleep can also be detrimental to one's health. The body needs this down time to heal the cells that are damaged in the normal course of the day's activities. As one's health deteriorates because of a lack of sleep due to anxiety, dealing with the anxiety becomes more difficult and the individual can continue the downward spiral.

Chronic anxiety can make it difficult for the individual to stay on task or concentrate. This can also cause a downward spiral like that seen with the lack of sleep. Lack of concentration can affect one's performance in school. In addition, those who work in certain occupations can bring harm to themselves or others due to a lack of concentration. Bus drivers, airplane pilots and heavy machine operators are just a few examples of the people that must be able to focus on the task at hand. Even if one's job is not dependent on the ability to concentrate, continual forgetting details of life can be troubling. An over abundance of stressors may cause one to forget appointments, due dates of bills, or when to take dinner out of the oven.

Individuals who suffer chronic pain, whether from arthritis or back injuries will note that on stressful days there is an increased sensitivity to pain. The condition is made even worse with a chronic inability to deal with these stressors. Other conditions may include tension headaches and migraines. The stressors cause muscles to tense up leading to neck pain, joint pain or lower back pain.

Individuals may suffer ulcers and disorders that affect their gastrointestinal tract. Anxiety can increase the release of gastric acids and interfere with digestion of food. Even elimination of waste can be affected through conditions such as diarrhea or constipation.

The side effects of high stress is linked to a great number of symptoms. Although there is no direct cure, there are some things one can do to reduce the number of stressors in their life. Sometimes the process will involve eliminating certain relationships or stopping communication with persons that cause the problem. If the job is causing problems it may be time to take a vacation. In addition, a person may want to speak with his doctors about mental exercises to alleviate the brain. Sometimes a long soak in the tub with relaxing aromatherapy can be helpful. At other times, the individual may need to remove himself from a certain situation. If simple methods do not reduce one's anxiety, it may be time to speak with a doctor to discuss available options to help one to deal with the problem.

This article was written by Adam Harriss, owner of

Comments for Top 7 Side Effects of Stress

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 24, 2015
by: Mary

Sprru Kebede we dont understand your comment please explain further. we are sorry for the late response to your comment but the site was off line for several months for reasons beyond our control. Editorial team

Oct 28, 2015
nice post
by: jeniffer

I don't generally commentary on blogs but as I see this blog I completely motivated to make one praise that I understand that not enough for the significant context on your writing as one that could understand easily.

Mar 31, 2013
by: kebede

it is interesting.but what is its management?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Stress Stories.