While modest stress can be beneficial and productive — it can improve academic or occupational performance — chronic stress is extremely detrimental and can lead to a variety of health problems.
From migraines to heart attacks, from fatigue to forgetfulness, digestive issues to depression, and more, stress can cause a variety of illnesses. Medical professionals discuss the physical and psychological effects of stress.
Chronic tension affects the functioning of the brain. Dr. P V Ramana, director and neurosurgeon at Pinnacle Hospital’s Institute of Neurosciences, explains, “Due to stress, the body releases cortisol and adrenaline, which induce physiological changes in the brain. Chronic stress has been associated with a reduction in the volume of grey matter in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and amygdala.
These regions regulate memory, learning, and emotions. Studies have demonstrated that chronic stress can alter the connectivity between various brain regions, thereby influencing cognitive and emotional processing. It can also affect the ability of the brain to adapt and change over time.”
“Chronic stress has been linked to decreased neuroplasticity, which can ultimately impact learning and memory,” he elaborates. Additionally, stress can activate inflammatory responses in the brain, resulting in damaged brain cells, impaired cognitive function, and impaired learning ability. Chronic stress also alters the equilibrium of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norephedrine, which impacts mood, behavior, emotion, motivation, and cognitive function.
Stress has been discovered to negatively affect virtually every organ. According to Dr. Bharat Vijay Purohit, a senior interventional cardiologist at Yashoda Hospitals, “stress is the root cause of a variety of ailments, including depression, insomnia, impaired concentration and memory, headaches, and hair loss.” It accelerates wrinkling and aging of the skin, intensifies acne and psoriasis, and aggravates sinusitis, cold, cough, and allergies.
Chronic tension affects the digestive system, leading to acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. It contributes indirectly to obesity and diabetes. It also affects the lungs, causing asthma, breathing difficulties, and a sensation of suffocation, among other symptoms. It can result in musculoskeletal issues such as back pain, neck pain, fatigue, body pain, arthritis, etc. It will also cause infertility and a lack of libido.”
Stress can cause a cardiac attack.
“There’s more. Chronic stress has devastating effects on the heart. Both blood pressure and heart rate increase. Patients develop irregular heartbeats, heart muscle insufficiency, or cardiomyopathy. Chronic stress can increase the risk of cardiac attacks. It hastens the deterioration of cells.
It could entice people to live an unhealthy lifestyle, adopt unhealthy eating patterns, smoke and drink more, and sleep less, all of which raise cholesterol levels. Stress can also set the stage for the formation of blood clotting and thus precipitate a heart attack
As part of life lessons, prepare your children to manage stress more effectively. Instead of criticizing children, encourage them to manage with stress and assist them in distinguishing between positive and negative stress.
- Accept that tension exists and causes a variety of physical and psychological problems, which in some cases necessitate psychological counseling and anti-anxiety medication.
- Change your lifestyle by adopting a healthier diet and sleep schedule.
- Identify the causes of tension and address them as necessary.
- Meditate, exercise.
- Engage in interests such as music or art.
- Spend time with nature or in a tranquil environment, and get sufficient rest.
- Spend time with cherished ones, including family, children, and pets.
Chronic stress has been linked to diminished neuroplasticity, which can have a negative effect on learning and memory. Stress can also induce inflammatory responses in the brain, resulting in brain cell injury and impaired cognitive function and learning ability.
Stress is the underlying cause of a variety of maladies, including depression, insomnia, impaired concentration and memory, headaches, and hair loss. It accelerates wrinkling and aging of the skin, aggravates existing skin diseases such as acne and psoriasis, and aggravates sinusitis, cold, asthma, and allergies.”