How Stress Is Literally Making You Sick

Katie Sweeney

Have you ever been so stressed out that you felt sick to your stomach? Well, that’s because stress causes the brain to respond differently to your body. A recent Atlantic article explains how “when you’re stressed, the adrenal glands ramp up the release of the hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. Adrenaline speeds up your heart rate and can raise blood pressure. Cortisol causes changes in the blood vessels that can, over time, increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Meanwhile, the brain relays the stress signals to the gut, which changes up its routine to allow your body to focus on the stressor.”

If this happens once in a while, you should be fine, but if you experience chronic stress, from a job or other aspect of your life, the stress will eventually cause lots of damage. Some of the horrible side effects of stress include acne, hair loss, muscle tension, fatigue, irritability, and even years off your life. A new study released by Harvard and Stanford found that a demanding job can shorten your life by six months to three years. The best way to combat work stress is to take a quick break. Go on a short walk to clear your mind and take some deep breaths.

Learn more about fighting stress by reading Making Your Life Easier.

Has stress ever made you sick? 

Opening Image:  Greg Kadel for Vogue Italia

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