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Body content

How it affects us

Every human is programmed to recognise stress, and respond with
‘fight or flight’. But does that really do us any harm? Is it really worth
worrying about?


The Stress Management Society says 'Yes'. Study after study shows that prolonged
severe stress has a negative impact on health. It it implicated in everything from high
blood pressure to infertility.

Links between stress and poor health include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hay fever
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Indigestion
  • Menstrual difficulties
  • Migraine
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin Disorders
  • Tuberculosis

*Source: Cary Cooper. Stress and employer liability

Some stress is good

 

The research shows that some stress is good. Stress ‘revs up’ the body thanks to naturally-occurring performance enhancing chemicals like adrenalin and cortisol. This heightens ability in the short term.

 

 

But there is a limit

 

If severe stress is allowed to go unchecked in the longer term, performance will ultimately decline. Not only that, the
constant bombardment by stress related chemicals and stimulation will weaken a person's body. And ultimately that leads to degenerating health.

In extreme cases, it can cause psychological problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Cumulative Stress Disorder.

Remember it is physically impossible to be anxious and relaxed at the same time.