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 Health & You:
Jul 08, 2014
By: Eze Nkeiruka Perpetua

Nigeria: -

Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize or we can say it is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. When you perceive a threat, your nervous systems respond by releasing stress of hormones which are adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones arouse the body for emergency actions, your heart beats faster, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises, breath quickens and senses becomes sharper. These physical changes increase your strength and stamina, speeds your reaction time and enhances your focus.


The stress response is a reaction that occurs when you sense danger (either real or imagined) the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process. This stress response of the body is way of protecting you when in danger, it gives extra strength to defend yourself, when working properly it helps you stay focused energetic and alert, helps you meet challenges. Beyond certain point, stress turns around to cause damage to your health, mood, productivity, relationships and quality of life.


Stress affects the mind, body and behavior in many ways and different ways for individuals.


  • Constant worrying
  • Loss of concentrations
  • Poor judgment
  • Anxious
  • Memory problems


  • Depression
  • Sense of loneliness
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability

  • Headaches and pain
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Loss of sexual drive
  • Chest pain, Rapid heart beat
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Frequent cold


  • Nervous habit( pacing, nail biting)
  • Using of alcohol, cigarettes to relax
  • Sleeping too much or little
  • Isolation
  •  Procrastination

The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors .it can be negative or positive events in other words anything that puts high demands on you or forces you to adjust can be stressful. What causes stress depends on your perception about it. Common external causes are:

  • Work
  • Financial problems
  • Being too busy
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Children and family
  • Major life changes.

The body cannot distinguish between physical and psychological threats, when you are stressed over a busy schedule, an argument with a friend, a traffic jam or heap of bills, your body reacts just as strongly as if you were facing a life threatening situation. The more your body’s stress system is activated, the harder it is to shut off.

Long term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problem; it disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, speed up aging process and rewires the brain leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.                                 











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