Impact of stress on health

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Health

Stress affects our basic physical, mental and emotional capabilities, and makes us feel unhappy and dissatisfied with ourselves. Its effects can be felt both in the short term and over the long term. In the short term the signs and symptoms of stress may not be that severe. You might suffer from anxiety, anxiousness and a lack of concentration. Sometimes people develop a phobia against things that is causing them mental and emotional turmoil.

A person feels vulnerable and is unsure of his actions. This often results in alienation of the person from his friends or within an official circle. It is not uncommon that such things result in a complete shattering of a persons confidence and capabilities. He becomes withdrawn and falls into acute depression. Suicidal intentions can also manifest themselves in such situations.

Long term stress or chronic stress is extremely damaging to our body or mind. This is because most of the time we are unaware of the havoc chronic stress is causing. Over a period of time we start taking stress as part of our personality making it even more difficult to get rid of it.

More than the physical impact of stress on our health it is the psychological aspects that are more traumatic. Almost 70-80% of people who report stress related problems suffer from intense psychological disorders.

A common way to find out if we are stressed out or near burnout is by examining our sleep patterns. Any change in our sleep patterns can be associated with the functioning of our brain. With no rest, our mind tends to function overtime resulting in various sleep disorders. These are sleep apnea, oversleeping and restless sleep in which case you wake up a number of times during the night and find going back to sleep difficult. Insomnia is a worst case scenario and requires immediate medical attention.

Yogic experts and acupressure specialists believe that stress results when the energy channels of the body are blocked by negative feelings of hate, jealousy, revenge and dissatisfaction. This disrupts the energy flow causing emotional trauma. Sometimes the person feels spiritually bankrupt, and finds it difficult to deal with simple issues.

A study of stress and its effect on children suffering from ADHD found that stress tends to intensify the ADHD symptoms to a great degree. Children suffering from ADHD inattentive type were found to more withdrawn and distracted. Their concentration and focusing ability were near minimal. Increased degree of carelessness and forgetfulness were also observed. In the case of children suffering from ADHD hyperactive type they were found to be more aggressive and sometimes even irrational. Other than that there was a marked increase in their impulsiveness and hyperactivity levels.

Most people take to drinking or smoking as a means to relieve stress without realizing that they are adding to their problems. The best way to fight stress is through healthy exercise and organization of ones life. One should also seek the emotional support of friends and family members to overcome the negative effects of stress.