This article comes from a site called psychcentral.com which has several quick resources on stress, what it can do to the body and different ways to cope with it. Stay tuned later this week for an article from this same site on stress management techniques.
The Impact of Stress
By Steve Bressert, Ph.D.
Stress often is accompanied by an array of physical reactions. These symptoms can be characteristic of other physical or mental disorders. A health care professional can rule out other causes after you have undergone a physical examination. Signs of stress can include the following:
Stress also has been linked to suppression of the immune system, increasing your chances of becoming ill or altering the course of an illness if you already have one. In particular, it has been implicated as playing a role in cancer and gastrointestinal, skin, neurologic and emotional disorders, and even the common cold. Some studies have shown that relaxing while listening to soothing music can improve immune system functioning and, we can assume, help with our long-term health.
Elevated blood pressure is another response to stress. Too much stress with little or no coping skills keeps the body “revved up.” Learning to relax can help lower your blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure always should be discussed with your family physician, who can help you sort out whether your elevated blood pressure is due to a medical or genetic condition or a reaction to uncontrolled stressors.
If you do not end up identifying a method to handle your stress then it eventually can lead to a heightened sense of dysfunction. This may result in increased anxiety or a sense of depression because you’re not mastering your world. Feeling depressed (for example, sad, pessimistic, hopeless or helpless) is a common reaction to stress. When these symptoms are temporary, they may simply be a reflection of life’s normal ups and downs. But if they persist for long periods of time, especially after the stressful situation has passed, you may have a problem that could benefit from professional help.
When stress and anxiety escalate without a means to cope with the stress, they often are linked to many troublesome psychological and physiological conditions. Oftentimes, psychological distress accompanies and/or produces these conditions, which include:
Bressert, Steve. "The Impact of Stress." Psych Central. Psych Central, 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.
I write articles based on my experience as a therapist or a training or conference attendee. Many of these articles are written by others who are experts in their field and I share their information as resources for others.