The modern life is different from the one a decade or two older greatly in many ways. One side of the difference is positive. Compared to older times, today’s life is easier because of technological developments.
Many different inventions have made tasks which previously required effort and time have been simplified. Preparing food, for example, has become easier with kitchen tools such as blenders, juicers, and mixers.
Traveling, connecting, and performing daily activities have generally become much easier with minimum physical efforts included now. Mental and analytical skills are now at rising demands in the developed parts of the world.
Where technological advancements in everyday life, medical and production industries have significantly improved the lives of people, it has raised other challenges. Operation of such machinery can sometimes be hard to learn.
But that is not a bigger problem such as keeping up with the mental skills and capabilities required to keep with the demands of different parts of life with the technology use. School and colleges require concentration and great educational performance to succeed.
Getting grades to enter college, maintaining GPA and having an excellent extracurricular list is fundamental to many people. All of these have concentration, mental dedication and time management as prerequisites.
The same mental pressure usually continues throughout the lifespan. The will to be the best at everything and overcoming every challenge is common in people. Hence, stress can be an expected effect of perpetual mental pressure and challenges.
The intensity of stress varies from person to person. Some people do not feel a thing in even the biggest events of their lives such as finals week in college or job interview.
On the other hand, the majority of the people feel stressed in what the first group would term as ‘trivial problems’ of life.
For these people, stress from exams then turns into stress for results. Even getting ready and reaching somewhere especially an event or ceremony can at times be extremely stressful for people such as these.
Stress from modern life may be doing things to your body you may not be aware of. Most people take stress as a temporary mental force.
However, too much stress can have negative effects on your body and health in the long term. Symptoms of chronic stress should not be ignored as they may lead to conditions like:
What Are the Effects of Stress On the Body?
Even though both the prevalence and rise in the level of stress can be termed as a characteristic of modern times but the human body has built-in mechanisms to cope with mental, physical and emotional effects of stress.
However, chronic stress surpasses the body’s ability to deal with stress. In this condition, stress can show immediate effects on organs, bodily processes, and overall health. Following are some of the affected areas of perpetual stress:
Endocrine and Central nervous system
While having a stress attack, the body turns into an emergency mode. For your central nervous system, this situation is a ‘flight and or fight’ and it responds immediately by triggering the adrenal glands.
The triggered adrenal glands then release the stress hormones like cloistral and adrenaline.
These hormones are responsible for circulating blood at a faster pace around the body. During the time of stress, the body requires more stress in some parts of the body such as the heart, muscles, and other organs.
The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls such reaction of the body. These changes in the body continue and later go way when the perceived trigger is successfully seen as gone. The nervous system then turns back to normal.
However, in cases of stress continuing to affect the body, the changes last long enough to start causing complications in the body. The end result of this is at times, the breakdown of the central nervous system.
The Cardiovascular system
The stress hormones released by the hypothalamus in the brain have effects on the other organs and systems in the body such as the cardiovascular system. When you are considerably stressed, you might feel your heart beating faster than usual.
The reason behind your heartbeat rising is simple. Since more blood is required to reach places at a faster speed, the heart will also start pumping blood faster. This blood will then make way to organs through the arteries.
Just like organs, the muscles also need extra blood reaching them at this time. To make the blood reach the muscles along the way, the blood carrying arteries constrict and leave more oxygenated blood to muscles.
The muscles, as a result, will be more strengthened to face the possible situation that is the reason behind your stress. Consequently, in comparison with the normal strength of muscles, the stressed muscles have higher endurance.
However, where muscles might be prepared to tackle whatever challenge you are facing, this situation will also increase your blood pressure. The blood pressure can be so high that it can be too hard on the arteries.
Chronic stress can make your heart overwork and place pressure on the arteries with rising blood pressure. All these occurring one by one can increase your likelihood of getting a heart attack or a stroke.
The respiratory system
In an effort to distribute more oxygen to the organs and muscles along with the blood, the lungs will work faster than usual.
You might have noticed you breathe faster when you are stressed. In case you having breathing problems such as asthma, chronic stress can send you to the hospital because it will get difficult to breathe.
The muscles harden up to prevent any injuries from any of the event followed by extreme stress. This makes them rigid and strong enough to endure injuries you normally are not really able to. Once the danger is gone, the muscles relax but if it goes on for too long it can result in pains.
Hardened muscles cause body aches and headaches which might not be treated without prescribed medication.
The digestive system
Nausea, diarrhea or pain in the stomach is common in people who suffer from constant stress. Why is this so? The movement of food can be disturbed by the stress levels, forcing you to throw up your eaten meal.
But this is not the worst effect of chronic stress on your digestive system. The constant surge of sugar during a stressful situation may be hard for the body to manage. This can cause weakness and increase the chances of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, diseases related to the stomach such as ulcers also have a higher chance of developing under stressful conditions. Similarly, the heartburn and acid reflux you feel in a busy week is all linked to stress.
The immune system
For the time being, stress is actually good for the immune system. It stimulates the system for higher immunity and recovery from possible injuries from the expected danger.
However, in the long run, the effects are reversed. The immune system is then not only weakened but gets deprived of the capability to fight any foreign bacteria and other foreign invaders. This is why stressful lifestyles have to lead to poor health.
You are more likely to get a viral infection or catch any other disease when you are constantly stressed.