Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Biological Causes Of Stress

          What are the Biological Causes of Stress?

Everyone experiences stress and situations that cause rapid heartbeats and feelings of panic. The causes of stress and reactions to it are natural in all living beings; its evolutionary purpose was to keep their ancestors alive during times of danger. Your nervous system regulates your stress response and your rest response to keep your body balanced. However, many people live with too much stress, which can affect their health.

Stress Triggers

  • Stress can be caused by many things: too much going on at work or school, problems at home or a dramatic change in your life.

    Small doses of stress can be good---stress can provide the motivation to get work done. Regardless of the cause of stress, the body acts the same way through the response of the nervous system.

Biological Causes

  • When your body perceives a threat, its autonomic nervous system responds. The autonomic nervous system is made up of two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response, which is the body's stress response. The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, controls the "rest-and-relaxation" response, which returns the body to a resting state after a stress response. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated by a perceived threat, it releases the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which are responsible for the physical responses to stress.

Physical Reactions

  • After the sympathetic nervous system responds to the stressor, and adrenaline and cortisol are released, the body physically reacts. Physical reactions to stress include a faster heart rate, tightening of the muscles, a rise in blood pressure, sharper senses and quicker breath. The duration of these physical reactions depends on how long the stress lasts.

Chronic Stress

  • Too much stress can compromise your health. Conditions associated with chronic stress include pain, heart disease, digestive problems, sleep problems, depression, obesity, autoimmune diseases and skin conditions. If chronic stress continues, these health problems can grow increasingly worse.

Warning Signs

  • Your body will give off signs when it experiences too much stress. If you notice changes in your cognitive abilities, emotions, physical well-being and behavior, you may be under too much stress.


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