The impact of stress on our bodies

Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works – from how well you sleep to your immune system.  In the short-termthat's not really a bad thing, but long-term stress puts your health at risk.

Central Nervous and Endocrine Systems - Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response - In the brain, the hypothalamus tells your adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol. If the stressor doesn’t go away, it can take a toll on your body.

Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems - Stress hormones affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems, making you breathe faster to distribute oxygen and blood quickly, causing your blood vessels to constrict and raise your blood pressure. 

Digestive System - Under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. The rush of hormones, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate can upset your digestive system, affecting the way food moves through your body, leading to diarrhea or constipation.

Muscular System - Under stress, your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury. Tight muscles cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and body aches. 

Reproductive System - Stress can affect the menstrual cycles you might have irregular or no menstruation, or heavier and more painful periods. The physical symptoms of menopause may be magnified under chronic stress.

Immune System - Stress stimulates the immune system. Over time, cortisol compromises your immune system, inhibiting histamine secretion and inflammatory response to foreign invaders.