What Stress does to Us

Marriage. A new house. A death in the family. Some of these events are happy and some are tragic. But one thing that they all have in common is the stress that can result when you experience them. These major life changes are all quite high on the stress scale. However, even less significant happenings can greatly impact your tension level, especially when they come fast and furious.

For example, let's say that tomorrow morning you run late for work. As you get ready to dash out the door, you realize that your keys are nowhere to be found. You finally locate them and jump into your car, only to spill your coffee mug on your freshly washed suit. On the way to work, you receive a speeding ticket, putting you farther and farther behind for the day. You know how this scenario will end up, because we've all been there. Your blood pressure rises and your head begins to pound. Stress is taking its toll.


The symptoms of stress are almost too many to count, since this phenomenon can affect your body in many negative ways. One of the reasons for this is that stress can wreak havoc with your immune system, making you more vulnerable to a number of illnesses and conditions. Some of the more common symptoms of stress include headaches, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, insomnia, mental fuzziness and low libido. Yuck, right? And this is just the beginning of the physical, mental and emotional problems that you can experience as a result of tension and anxiety.

There is also the emotional and social impact of stress. This can include a strain on relationships and a general condition of moodiness. You might feel like a walking time bomb; ready to explode at the slightest provocation. Your productivity might go down, and you find that you want to spend more time alone. Stress can bring on abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol. All of these factors can affect those that are closest to you and impair your relationships with those people. If your job performance suffers, your relationship with your boss can as well.

These are just a few of the reasons that it is essential to get a handle on your stress before it gains control over you. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it might be worth discussing with your doctor. The good news is that there are many ways to effectively manage stress, but identifying the issue is the first step on the road to wellness.