Serious effects of stress on human health

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Stress is a common occurrence in our everyday lives. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress is defined as a state of mental tension or worry.  Stress is used by the human body to handle difficult or life-threatening situations. Despite stress being a natural part of the human psyche, excessive stress should be taken seriously as it could lead to anxiety, irritability, and worsen health complications such as addiction. 

One common attribute of stress is anxiety. According to the American Psychiatric Association (Psychiatry), anxiety is caused by stress and is meant to help us handle difficult situations. Although excessive anxiety may develop into an anxiety disorder, making one constantly wary of everything in their lives. This constant wariness stimulates hormones meant to be produced in life-threatening situations on a daily basis which could further stress your body. The UK Mind suggests that anxiety may hinder everyday life, living in constant distress and being prone to panic attacks. The presence of constant anxiety worsens your mental health and strains your body. 

Besides anxiety, stress can cause several things. They range from fueling addictions, the inability to concentrate, difficulty sleeping, chronic fatigue, and a constant state of irritability. The WHO’s studies have shown that chronic stress worsens health problems and increases susceptibility to abusing substances such as drugs or alcohol. Fatigue and sleeplessness brought upon by stress negatively impacts a person’s functionality in their everyday life, hindering their ability to work or participate in academics. Stress could cause people to become easily irritated or snappy, which could ruin friendships, close relations with family, or acquaintanceship with peers. Severe cases of stress could lead to depression, self harm, or suicide if left untreated. 

Despite the negative impact stress may have on your body, it’s a natural part of human life. Stress is a natural human response meant to trigger “fight or flight” instincts when faced with a difficult situation. Although the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH) states that there is no “cure” for stress, our bodies have a relaxation response to combat stress. The body reduces the amount of hormones produced, lowers heart rate and blood pressure to calm itself down. Stress varies from person to person and cannot be measured exactly. 

Stress and anxiety are a part of life. Although it may cause negative effects on human health in severe cases, it is meant to trigger survival instincts within the body. Stress shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it could lead to an unhappy lifestyle, constant worry, strained relationships, or death. 

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