Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Stress, Physiological
Stress is a normal physiological response to challenging situations, such as meeting deadlines, financial issues or health concerns. When a person perceives a threat, their body activates the ““fight or flight”” response, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help the body to respond quickly to the perceived threat by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, and diverting blood flow away from non-essential functions such as digestion.
In small doses, stress can be beneficial as it can help a person to perform better in demanding situations. However, chronic stress, which is stress that persists over an extended period of time, can have negative effects on a person’s physical and mental health.
Chronic stress can lead to a variety of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety and gastrointestinal disorders. It can also increase the risk of infections and cancer, and can make existing health problems worse.
To manage stress, healthcare professionals recommend regular exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and engaging in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Seeking support from friends and family, as well as professional counseling can also help.
It is important to remember that not all stress is bad, and that there are ways to manage it and prevent negative effects. It is also important to be aware of the signs of chronic stress, and seek help if it is affecting a person’s physical or mental health.