What are the Effects of Stress?

Ron Marr

Stress is one of the most insidious maladies that can affect a person. While some stress can actually serve a beneficial purpose, giving one the impetus to achieve a goal or realize a dream, more often the effects of stress include a variety of mental, emotional, and physical problems. One of the worst things about undue stress is the fact that a person might not realize he is stressed, assuming instead that he is suffering from an illness, or that feelings of depression are simply a part of normal life.

Stress can often cause insomnia.
Stress can often cause insomnia.

The negative and harmful effects of stress are numerous, coming in most any variety imaginable. Side effects might include insomnia, headaches, a consistent feeling of tiredness, or a short temper. Many people at first assume that these side effects are caused by dissatisfaction with a job or relationship, money woes, or even allergies or illness. While such is sometimes the case, it is very likely that stress is the primary culprit.

People who are under continual stress may adopt unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to cope with the problem.
People who are under continual stress may adopt unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to cope with the problem.

The effects of stress are often contradictory, and depend on one's personality, situation, and ability to deal with pressure. Stress can lead to both overeating and undereating. One might be angry, irritable, or restless, but the effects of stress could also manifest as sadness, depression, or a withdrawal from contact with others. Stress can cause a person to be restless and unfocused, or it might lead him being tired and hyper.

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Chest pain is a serious side effect of stress.
Chest pain is a serious side effect of stress.

Some of the effects of stress are more serious in nature, and can lead to, or exacerbate, dangerous health problems. Links have been proven between stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease. While one should always seek medical help if he begins to experience chest pains, in many cases, physicians will discover that the root cause of the ailment lies in one’s stress level. Those who find themselves engaging in alcohol or drug abuse, when such behavior has not been a chronic condition, might be subconsciously attempting to escape from the ravages of stress.

Stress at work can contribute to professional burnout.
Stress at work can contribute to professional burnout.

A litany of aches and pains can also result due to the effects of stress. Headaches, stomachaches, and backaches have all been noted as symptoms of stress. Those who seem to frequently suffer from an illness might have experienced stress to such a degree that they now suffer from a lowered immune system. It is imperative that people prone to stress speak with a physician or psychological counselor. There are many effective methods to deal with and relieve stress, and failure to do so will generally only lead to a worsening of the problem.

The effects of stress can vary by individual.
The effects of stress can vary by individual.
Some people use smoking as a stress reliever.
Some people use smoking as a stress reliever.
Stress can often motivate a person to try harder at work or in their studies.
Stress can often motivate a person to try harder at work or in their studies.
People who are unable to deal with stress might turn to alcohol or other substances.
People who are unable to deal with stress might turn to alcohol or other substances.

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