Psychology Discussion

Essay on stress: it’s meaning, effects and coping with stress.


Essay on Stress: It’s Meaning, Effects and Coping with Stress!

Stress is a very common problem being faced today. Every individual will experience stress in one or the other time.

The term stress has many definitions, Lazarus and Folkman (1984) have defined stress as “an internal state which can be caused by physical demands of body or by environmental and social situations, which are evaluated as potentially harmful, uncontrollable, or exceeding our resources for coping”.

According to David Fontana “stress is a demand made upon the adaptive capacities of the mind and body”.

These definitions indicate that stress represents those conditions under which individuals have demand made upon them, that they cannot physically or psychologically meet, leading to breakdown at one or other of these levels.

Stress is usually thought of in negative terms. But ii can manifest itself in both positive and negative way. It is said to be positive when the situation offers an opportunity for one, to gain something.

Eustress (the Greek word ‘eu’ means good) is the term used to describe positive stress. It is often viewed as motivator, since in its absence the individual lacks the spirit necessary for peak performance. Distress is the term used to indicate negative stress.

Almost any change in the environment- even a pleasant change such as a joyful trip- demands some coping, and a little stress is useful in helping us to adapt. But beyond some point, stress becomes a ‘distress’.

What acts to produce distress varies from person to person, but some events seem to be stressors for every person.

Examples of stressors are:

1. Injury or infections of the body, dangers in environment, major changes or transitions in life which force us to cope in new ways.

2. Physical stressors like noise, pollutions, climatic changes, etc.

3. Hustles of everyday life centering on work, family, social activities, health and finances.

4. Frustrations and conflicts.

The physical, environmental and social causes of the stress state are termed stressors. Once induced by stressors the internal stress state can then lead to various responses. On the other hand, psychological responses such as anxiety, hopelessness, depression, irritability, and a general feeling of not being able to cope with the world, can result from the stress state.

Stress cycles:

Stress has a number of immediate effects. If the stressors are maintained, long-term behavioural, physiological, emotional and cognitive effects occur. If these effects hinder adaptation to the environment or create discomfort and distress, they themselves become stressors and, tend to perpetuate a ‘cycle’ of distress.

Example, a patient spends more money on treatment, may experience continued stress even after the cure of the disease, because repayment of debt cause stress for long time in him or a patient whose leg is amputated after accident may continue to worry about it.

On the other hand, many people have developed ways of coping with stressors, so that they are able to respond adaptively. This is the ‘wellness cycle’. Teaching people adaptive ways of handling stress, so as to promote the wellness cycle is an important part of the newly emerging field of behavioural medicine.

Effects of stress:

Stress is not always harmful. In fact, it is recognised that low levels of stress can even helps for better performance. For example, a student can prepare well for forthcoming examination only if he has some stress. However, excess level of stress is undoubtedly harmful.

The effects of stress are divided into three categories:

a. Physiological effects:

Commonly appearing stress related bodily disorders are-peptic ulcers, hypertension, chronic fatigue, hormonal changes, increased heart rate, difficulty in breathing, numbness of limbs, heart disease and reduction in immunity, etc.

b. Psychological effects:

Anxiety, depression, hopelessness, helplessness, anger, nervousness, irritability, tension and boredom may be experienced.

c. Behavioural changes:

Decreasing efficiency, making mistakes, inability to take decisions, under eating or overeating, sleeplessness, increased smoking, develop addiction to alcohol and drugs, forgetfulness, hypersensitivity or passiveness, accident proneness and interpersonal difficulties are seen.

Stress is linked to disorders such as cancer and heart disorders. There are several mediating variables that determine whether stress becomes dangerous or not. For example, good coping mechanisms which can help to reduce stress, having good social support, often help in reducing stress.

Perception of stress or how a person views stress is also very important. For example, a person may not perceive a situation as stressful whereas the same situation may be perceived as highly stressful by some other person.

People with personality type ‘A’ are more prone to be affected by stress related disorders like cardiovascular diseases. Personality character like hardiness or emotional stability helps to withstand effects of stress.

Hans Selye, a renowned biological scientist defines stress as the nonspecific response of the body to any demand upon it. He termed the body’s response to stressors the “General Adaptation Syndrome” (GAS).

The GAS consists of 3 stages:

1. Alarm reaction:

It is an emergency response of the body. In this stage prompt responses of the body, many of them mediated by the sympathetic nervous system, prepare us to cope with the stressor here and now.

2. Stage of resistance:

If the stressor continues to be present, the stage of resistance begins, wherein the body resists the effects of the continuous stressor. During this stage certain hormonal responses of the body are an important line of defence in resisting the effects of stressors (For example, release of ACTH).

3. Stage of exhaustion:

In this stage, the body’s capacity to respond to both continuous and new stressors has been seriously compromised. The person will no longer be able to face stressor and he will finally succumb to it. The person may develop psychosomatic illness.

The stress leads to many psychosomatic diseases. Treatment for such diseases involves medical help for the physical problems and, at the same time, attention to the psychological factors producing the stress.

Coping with Stress :

There are different ways of coping with stress such as: confronting (facing), distancing (remoteness), self-control, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, escape or avoid (from the stressor), plan a problem solving strategy and positive reappraisal.

Usually two broad type of coping types are seen- Instrumental coping and Emotional coping.

In instrumental coping, a person focuses on the problem and tries to solve it. In emotional coping, the focus is more on the feelings generated by the problem.

Today, self- help remedies, Do to yourself approaches, weight loss clinics and diets, health foods and physical exercise are being given much attention in mass media. People are actually taking more responsibility to maintain good health.

However, some specific techniques to eliminate or to manage more effectively the inevitable, prolonged stress are as follows:

Good physical exercise like walking, jogging, swimming, riding bicycle, playing soft ball, tennis are necessary to cope with stress.


Whether a person simply takes it easy once in a while or uses specific relaxation techniques such as bio-feedback, or meditation, the intent is to eliminate the immediately stressful situation or manage a prolonged stressful situation more effectively.

Taking it easy may mean curling up with a good book on an easy chair or watching some light programme on television or listening to a light music. Meditation is scientifically proved to be very useful, both physically and mentally to cope with stress.

Behavioural self-control:

By deliberately managing the antecedents and the consequence of their own behaviour, people can achieve self-control. Besides managing their own behaviour to reduce stress, people can also become more aware of their limits and of ‘red flags’ that signal trouble ahead. They can avoid people or situations that they know will put them under stress.

Maladaptive strategies, rigid strategies or relying on one type of coping method lead to increase in the stress. Social support helps reduce the effect of stress. People may provide help, advice, material support or moral support that helps to reduce stress.

In addition to the above, psychotherapy (Beck’s cognitive therapy, Ellis’s rational emotive therapy and Meichenbaum’s stress- inoculation training), skill training, environmental changes, Bio-feedback (control of physical signs such as Blood pressure, headache, etc), family therapy, group therapy, hypnosis, yoga, are found to be very useful. Finally, uses of drugs are some of the other strategies adopted in coping with stress.

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What Is Stress?

Your Body's Response to a Situation That Requires Attention or Action

Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

essay on stress and its effects

  • Identifying
  • Next in How Stress Impacts Your Health Guide How to Recognize Burnout Symptoms

Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical , emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body's response to anything that requires attention or action. 

Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way you respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to your overall well-being.

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

Sometimes, the best way to manage your stress involves changing your situation. At other times, the best strategy involves changing the way you respond to the situation.

Developing a clear understanding of how stress impacts your physical and mental health is important. It's also important to recognize how your mental and physical health affects your stress level.

Watch Now: 5 Ways Stress Can Cause Weight Gain

Signs of stress.

Stress can be short-term or long-term. Both can lead to a variety of symptoms, but chronic stress can take a serious toll on the body over time and have long-lasting health effects.

Some common signs of stress include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Clammy or sweaty palms
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Digestive problems
  • Feeling anxious
  • Frequent sickness
  • Grinding teeth
  • Muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Racing heartbeat

Identifying Stress

What does stress feel like? What does stress feel like? It often contributes to irritability, fear, overwork, and frustration. You may feel physically exhausted, worn out, and unable to cope.

Stress is not always easy to recognize, but there are some ways to identify some signs that you might be experiencing too much pressure. Sometimes stress can come from an obvious source, but sometimes even small daily stresses from work, school, family, and friends can take a toll on your mind and body.

If you think stress might be affecting you, there are a few things you can watch for:

  • Psychological signs such as difficulty concentrating, worrying, anxiety, and trouble remembering
  • Emotional signs such as being angry, irritated, moody, or frustrated
  • Physical signs such as high blood pressure, changes in weight, frequent colds or infections, and changes in the menstrual cycle and libido
  • Behavioral signs such as poor self-care, not having time for the things you enjoy, or relying on drugs and alcohol to cope

Stress vs. Anxiety

Stress can sometimes be mistaken for anxiety, and experiencing a great deal of stress can contribute to feelings of anxiety. Experiencing anxiety can make it more difficult to cope with stress and may contribute to other health issues, including increased depression, susceptibility to illness, and digestive problems.

Stress and anxiety contribute to nervousness, poor sleep, high blood pressure , muscle tension, and excess worry. In most cases, stress is caused by external events, while anxiety is caused by your internal reaction to stress. Stress may go away once the threat or the situation resolves, whereas anxiety may persist even after the original stressor is gone.

Causes of Stress

There are many different things in life that can cause stress. Some of the main sources of stress include work, finances, relationships, parenting, and day-to-day inconveniences.

Stress can trigger the body’s response to a perceived threat or danger, known as the fight-or-flight response .   During this reaction, certain hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are released. This speeds the heart rate, slows digestion, shunts blood flow to major muscle groups, and changes various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength.

Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger, the fight-or-flight response is now activated in situations where neither response is appropriate—like in traffic or during a stressful day at work.

When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function via the relaxation response .   But in cases of chronic stress, the relaxation response doesn't occur often enough, and being in a near-constant state of fight-or-flight can cause damage to the body.

Stress can also lead to some unhealthy habits that have a negative impact on your health. For example, many people cope with stress by eating too much or by smoking. These unhealthy habits damage the body and create bigger problems in the long-term.  

Mental Health in the Workplace Webinar

On May 19, 2022, Verywell Mind hosted a virtual Mental Health in the Workplace webinar, hosted by Amy Morin, LCSW. If you missed it, check out  this recap  to learn ways to foster supportive work environments and helpful strategies to improve your well-being on the job.

Types of Stress

Not all types of stress are harmful or even negative. Some of the different types of stress that you might experience include:

  • Acute stress : Acute stress is a very short-term type of stress that can either be positive or more distressing; this is the type of stress we most often encounter in day-to-day life.
  • Chronic stress : Chronic stress is stress that seems never-ending and inescapable, like the stress of a bad marriage or an extremely taxing job; chronic stress can also stem from traumatic experiences and childhood trauma.
  • Episodic acute stress : Episodic acute stress is acute stress that seems to run rampant and be a way of life, creating a life of ongoing distress.
  • Eustress : Eustress is fun and exciting. It's known as a positive type of stress that can keep you energized. It's associated with surges of adrenaline, such as when you are skiing or racing to meet a deadline. 

4 Main Types of Stress:

The main harmful types of stress are acute stress, chronic stress, and episodic acute stress. Acute stress is usually brief, chronic stress is prolonged, and episodic acute stress is short-term but frequent. Positive stress, known as eustress, can be fun and exciting, but it can also take a toll.

Impact of Stress

Stress can have several effects on your health and well-being. It can make it more challenging to deal with life's daily hassles, affect your interpersonal relationships, and have detrimental effects on your health. The connection between your mind and body is apparent when you examine stress's impact on your life.

Feeling stressed over a relationship, money, or living situation can create physical health issues. The inverse is also true. Health problems, whether you're dealing with high blood pressure or diabetes , will also affect your stress level and mental health. When your brain experiences high degrees of stress , your body reacts accordingly.

Serious acute stress, like being involved in a natural disaster or getting into a verbal altercation, can trigger heart attacks, arrhythmias, and even sudden death. However, this happens mostly in individuals who already have heart disease.

Stress also takes an emotional toll. While some stress may produce feelings of mild anxiety or frustration, prolonged stress can also lead to burnout , anxiety disorders , and depression.

Chronic stress can have a serious impact on your health as well. If you experience chronic stress, your autonomic nervous system will be overactive, which is likely to damage your body.

Stress-Influenced Conditions

  • Heart disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Tooth and gum disease

Treatments for Stress

Stress is not a distinct medical diagnosis and there is no single, specific treatment for it. Treatment for stress focuses on changing the situation, developing stress coping skills , implementing relaxation techniques, and treating symptoms or conditions that may have been caused by chronic stress.

Some interventions that may be helpful include therapy, medication, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Press Play for Advice On Managing Stress

Hosted by therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast featuring professor Elissa Epel, shares ways to manage stress. Click below to listen now.

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Some forms of therapy that may be particularly helpful in addressing symptoms of stress including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) . CBT focuses on helping people identify and change negative thinking patterns, while MBSR utilizes meditation and mindfulness to help reduce stress levels.

Medication may sometimes be prescribed to address some specific symptoms that are related to stress. Such medications may include sleep aids, antacids, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Some complementary approaches that may also be helpful for reducing stress include acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, yoga, and meditation .

Coping With Stress

Although stress is inevitable, it can be manageable. When you understand the toll it takes on you and the steps to combat stress, you can take charge of your health and reduce the impact stress has on your life.

  • Learn to recognize the signs of burnout. High levels of stress may place you at a high risk of burnout. Burnout can leave you feeling exhausted and apathetic about your job.   When you start to feel symptoms of emotional exhaustion, it's a sign that you need to find a way to get a handle on your stress.
  • Try to get regular exercise. Physical activity has a big impact on your brain and your body . Whether you enjoy Tai Chi or you want to begin jogging, exercise reduces stress and improves many symptoms associated with mental illness.  
  • Take care of yourself. Incorporating regular self-care activities into your daily life is essential to stress management. Learn how to take care of your mind, body, and spirit and discover how to equip yourself to live your best life.  
  • Practice mindfulness in your life. Mindfulness isn't just something you practice for 10 minutes each day. It can also be a way of life. Discover how to live more mindfully throughout your day so you can become more awake and conscious throughout your life.  

If you or a loved one are struggling with stress, contact the  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline  at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our  National Helpline Database .

Cleveland Clinic. Stress .

National institute of Mental Health. I'm so stressed out! Fact sheet .

Goldstein DS. Adrenal responses to stress .  Cell Mol Neurobiol . 2010;30(8):1433–1440. doi:10.1007/s10571-010-9606-9

Stahl JE, Dossett ML, LaJoie AS, et al. Relaxation response and resiliency training and its effect on healthcare resource utilization [published correction appears in PLoS One . 2017 Feb 21;12 (2):e0172874].  PLoS One . 2015;10(10):e0140212. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140212

American Heart Association. Stress and Heart Health.

Chi JS, Kloner RA. Stress and myocardial infarction .  Heart . 2003;89(5):475–476. doi:10.1136/heart.89.5.475

Salvagioni DAJ, Melanda FN, Mesas AE, González AD, Gabani FL, Andrade SM. Physical, psychological and occupational consequences of job burnout: A systematic review of prospective studies .  PLoS One . 2017;12(10):e0185781. Published 2017 Oct 4. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0185781

Bitonte RA, DeSanto DJ 2nd. Mandatory physical exercise for the prevention of mental illness in medical students .  Ment Illn . 2014;6(2):5549. doi:10.4081/mi.2014.5549

Ayala EE, Winseman JS, Johnsen RD, Mason HRC. U.S. medical students who engage in self-care report less stress and higher quality of life .  BMC Med Educ . 2018;18(1):189. doi:10.1186/s12909-018-1296-x

Richards KC, Campenni CE, Muse-Burke JL. Self-care and well-being in mental health professionals: The mediating effects of self-awareness and mindfulness .  J Ment Health Couns . 2010;32(3):247. doi:10.17744/mehc.32.3.0n31v88304423806.

American Psychological Association. 2015 Stress in America .

Krantz DS, Whittaker KS, Sheps DS.  Psychosocial risk factors for coronary heart disease: Pathophysiologic mechanisms .  In R. Allan & J. Fisher,  Heart and mind: The practice of cardiac psychology. American Psychological Association; 2011:91-113. doi:10.1037/13086-004

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

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The impact of stress on body function: A review

Habib yaribeygi.

1 Neurosciences Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Yunes Panahi

2 Clinical Pharmacy Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Hedayat Sahraei

Thomas p. johnston.

3 Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Amirhossein Sahebkar

4 Biotechnology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Any intrinsic or extrinsic stimulus that evokes a biological response is known as stress. The compensatory responses to these stresses are known as stress responses. Based on the type, timing and severity of the applied stimulus, stress can exert various actions on the body ranging from alterations in homeostasis to life-threatening effects and death. In many cases, the pathophysiological complications of disease arise from stress and the subjects exposed to stress, e.g. those that work or live in stressful environments, have a higher likelihood of many disorders. Stress can be either a triggering or aggravating factor for many diseases and pathological conditions. In this study, we have reviewed some of the major effects of stress on the primary physiological systems of humans.


ACTH: Adrenocorticotropic hormone

CNS: Central nervous system

CRH: Corticotropin releasing hormone

GI: Gastrointestinal

LTP: Long-term potentiation

NMDA : N-methyl-D-aspartate

VTA: Ventral tegmental area

Stress and the Brain Function Complications

For a long time, researchers suggested that hormones have receptors just in the peripheral tissues and do not gain access to the central nervous system (CNS) (Lupien and Lepage, 2001[ 63 ]). However, observations have demonstrated the effect of anti-inflammatory drugs (which are considered synthetic hormones) on behavioral and cognitive disorders and the phenomenon called “Steroid psychosis” (Clark et al., 1952[ 16 ]). In the early sixties, neuropeptides were recognized as compounds devoid of effects on the peripheral endocrine system. However, it was determined that hormones are able to elicit biological effects on different parts of the CNS and play an important role in behavior and cognition (De Kloet, 2000[ 22 ]). In 1968, McEven suggested for the first time that the brain of rodents is capable of responding to glucocorticoid (as one of the operators in the stress cascade). This hypothesis that stress can cause functional changes in the CNS was then accepted (McEwen et al., 1968[ 74 ]). From that time on, two types of corticotropic receptors (glucocorticosteroids and mineralocorticoids) were recognized (de Kloet et al., 1999[ 23 ]). It was determined that the affinity of glucocorticosteroid receptors to cortisol and corticosterone was about one tenth of that of mineralocorticoids (de Kloet et al., 1999[ 23 ]). The hippocampus area has both types of receptors, while other points of the brain have only glucocorticosteroid receptors (de Kloet et al., 1999[ 23 ]).

The effects of stress on the nervous system have been investigated for 50 years (Thierry et al., 1968[ 115 ]). Some studies have shown that stress has many effects on the human nervous system and can cause structural changes in different parts of the brain (Lupien et al., 2009[ 65 ]). Chronic stress can lead to atrophy of the brain mass and decrease its weight (Sarahian et al., 2014[ 100 ]). These structural changes bring about differences in the response to stress, cognition and memory (Lupien et al., 2009[ 65 ]). Of course, the amount and intensity of the changes are different according to the stress level and the duration of stress (Lupien et al., 2009[ 65 ]). However, it is now obvious that stress can cause structural changes in the brain with long-term effects on the nervous system (Reznikov et al., 2007[ 89 ]). Thus, it is highly essential to investigate the effects of stress on different aspects of the nervous system (Table 1 (Tab. 1) ; References in Table 1: Lupien et al., 2001[ 63 ]; Woolley et al., 1990[ 122 ]; Sapolsky et al., 1990[ 99 ]; Gould et al., 1998[ 35 ]; Bremner, 1999[ 10 ]; Seeman et al., 1997[ 108 ]; Luine et al., 1994[ 62 ]; Li et al., 2008[ 60 ]; Scholey et al., 2014[ 101 ]; Borcel et al., 2008[ 9 ]; Lupien et al., 2002[ 66 ]).

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Stress and Memory

Memory is one of the important functional aspects of the CNS and it is categorized as sensory, short term, and long-term. Short term memory is dependent on the function of the frontal and parietal lobes, while long-term memory depends on the function of large areas of the brain (Wood et al., 2000[ 121 ]). However, total function of memory and the conversion of short term memory to long-term memory are dependent on the hippocampus; an area of the brain that has the highest density of glucocorticosteroid receptors and also represents the highest level of response to stress (Scoville and Milner, 1957[ 107 ]; Asalgoo et al., 2015[ 1 ]). Therefore, during the past several decades, the relationship between the hippocampus and stress have been hotly debated (Asalgoo et al., 2015[ 1 ]; Lupien and Lepage, 2001[ 63 ]). In 1968, it was proven that there were cortisol receptors in the hippocampus of rats (McEwen et al., 1968[ 74 ]). Later, in 1982, by using specific agonists of glucocorticosteroid and mineralocorticoid receptors, the existence of these two receptors in the brain and hippocampus area of rats was proven (Veldhuis et al., 1982[ 119 ]). It should also be noted that the amygdala is very important to assessing the emotional experiences of memory (Roozendaal et al., 2009[ 91 ]).

The results of past studies have demonstrated the effect of stress on the process of memory (Ghodrat et al., 2014[ 32 ]). Various studies have shown that stress can cause functional and structural changes in the hippocampus section of the brain (McEwen, 1999[ 72 ]). These structural changes include atrophy and neurogenesis disorders (Lupien and Lepage, 2001[ 63 ]). Also, chronic stress and, consequently, an increase in plasma cortisol, leads to a reduction in the number of dendritic branches (Woolley et al., 1990[ 122 ]) and the number of neurons (Sapolsky et al., 1990[ 99 ]), as well as structural changes in synaptic terminals (Sapolsky et al., 1990[ 99 ]) and decreased neurogenesis in the hippocampus tissue (Gould et al., 1998[ 35 ]). Glucocorticosteroids can induce these changes by either effecting the cellular metabolism of neurons (Lawrence and Sapolsky, 1994[ 58 ]), or increasing the sensitivity of hippocampus cells to stimulatory amino acids (Sapolsky and Pulsinelli, 1985[ 98 ]) and/or increasing the level of extracellular glutamate (Sapolsky and Pulsinelli, 1985[ 98 ]).

High concentrations of stress hormones can cause declarative memory disorders (Lupien and Lepage, 2001[ 63 ]). Animal studies have shown that stress can cause a reversible reduction in spatial memory as a result of atrophy of the hippocampus (Luine et al., 1994[ 62 ]). In fact, high plasma concentrations of glucocorticosteroids for extended periods of time can cause atrophy of the hippocampus leading to memory disorders (Issa et al., 1990[ 45 ]). Additionally, people with either Cushing's syndrome (with an increased secretion of glucocorticosteroids), or people who receive high dosages of exogenous synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs, are observed to have atrophy of the hippocampus and associated memory disorders (Ling et al., 1981[ 61 ]). MRI images taken from the brains of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have demonstrated a reduction in the volume of the hippocampus along with neurophysiologic effects such as a weak verbal memory (Bremner, 1999[ 10 ]). Several human studies have suggested that even common therapeutic doses of glucocorticosteroids and dexamethasone can cause problems with explicit memory (Keenan et al., 1995[ 49 ]; Kirschbaum et al., 1996[ 53 ]). Thus, there is an inverse relationship between the level of cortisol and memory (Ling et al., 1981[ 61 ]), such that increasing levels of plasma cortisol following prolonged stress leads to a reduction in memory (Kirschbaum et al., 1996[ 53 ]), which improves when the level of plasma cortisol decreases (Seeman et al., 1997[ 108 ]).

Stress also has negative effects on learning. Results from hippocampus-dependent loading data demonstrate that subjects are not as familiar with a new environment after having been exposed to a new environment (Bremner, 1999[ 10 ]). Moreover, adrenal steroids lead to alteration in long-term potentiation (LTP), which is an important process in memory formation (Bliss and Lømo, 1973[ 7 ]).

Two factors are involved in the memory process during stress. The first is noradrenaline, which creates emotional aspects of memories in the basolateral amygdala area (Joëls et al., 2011[ 47 ]). Secondly, this process is facilitated by corticosteroids. However, if the release of corticosteroids occurs a few hours earlier, it causes inhibition of the amygdala and corresponding behaviors (Joëls et al., 2011[ 47 ]). Thus, there is a mutual balance between these two hormones for creating a response in the memory process (Joëls et al., 2011[ 47 ]).

Stress does not always affect memory. Sometimes, under special conditions, stress can actually improve memory (McEwen and Lupien, 2002[ 71 ]). These conditions include non-familiarity, non-predictability, and life-threatening aspects of imposed stimulation. Under these specific conditions, stress can temporarily improve the function of the brain and, therefore, memory. In fact, it has been suggested that stress can sharpen memory in some situations (Schwabe et al., 2010[ 105 ]). For example, it has been shown that having to take a written examination can improve memory for a short period of time in examination participants. Interestingly, this condition is associated with a decrease in the level of cortisol in the saliva (Vedhara et al., 2000[ 118 ]). Other studies have shown that impending stress before learning occurs can also lead to either an increase in the power of memory (Domes et al., 2002[ 27 ]; Schwabe et al., 2008[ 102 ]), or decrease in the capacity for memory (Diamond et al., 2006[ 26 ]; Kirschbaum et al., 1996[ 53 ]). This paradox results from the type of imposed stress and either the degree of emotional connection to the stressful event (Payne et al., 2007[ 83 ]; Diamond et al., 2007[ 25 ]), or the period of time between the imposing stress and the process of learning (Diamond et al., 2007[ 25 ]).

The process of strengthening memory is usually reinforced after stress (Schwabe et al., 2012[ 103 ]). Various studies on animal and human models have shown that administration of either glucocorticosteroids, or stress shortly after learning has occurred facilitates memory (Schwabe et al., 2012[ 103 ]). Also, it has been shown that glucocorticosteroids (not mineralocorticoids) are necessary to improve learning and memory (Lupien et al., 2002[ 66 ]). However, the retrieval of events in memory after exposure to stress will be decreased (Schwabe et al., 2012[ 103 ]), which may result from the competition of updated data for storage in memory in a stressful state (de Kloet et al., 1999[ 23 ]). Some investigations have shown that either exposure to stress, or injection of glucocorticosteroids before a test to assess retention, decreases the power of memory in humans and rodents (Schwabe and Wolf, 2009[ 104 ]).

In summary, it has been concluded that the effect of stress on memory is highly dependent on the time of exposure to the stressful stimulus and, in terms of the timing of the imposed stress, memory can be either better or worse (Schwabe et al., 2012[ 103 ]). Moreover, recent studies have shown that using a specific-timed schedule of exposure to stress not only affects hippocampus-dependent memory, but also striatum-dependent memory, which highlights the role of timing of the imposed stressful stimulus (Schwabe et al., 2010[ 105 ]).

Stress, Cognition and Learning

Cognition is another important feature of brain function. Cognition means reception and perception of perceived stimuli and its interpretation, which includes learning, decision making, attention, and judgment (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]). Stress has many effects on cognition that depend on its intensity, duration, origin, and magnitude (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]). Similar to memory, cognition is mainly formed in the hippocampus, amygdala, and temporal lobe (McEwen and Sapolsky, 1995[ 73 ]). The net effect of stress on cognition is a reduction in cognition and thus, it is said that any behavioral steps undertaken to reduce stress leads to increase in cognition (Scholey et al., 2014[ 101 ]). In fact, stress activates some physiological systems, such as the autonomic nervous system, central neurotransmitter and neuropeptide system, and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, which have direct effects on neural circuits in the brain involved with data processing (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]). Activation of stress results in the production and release of glucocorticosteroids. Because of the lipophilic properties of glucocorticosteroids, they can diffuse through the blood-brain barrier and exert long-term effects on processing and cognition (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]).

It appears that being exposed to stress can cause pathophysiologic changes in the brain, and these changes can be manifested as behavioral, cognitive, and mood disorders (Li et al., 2008[ 60 ]). In fact, studies have shown that chronic stress can cause complications such as increased IL-6 and plasma cortisol, but decreased amounts of cAMP responsive element binding protein and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is very similar to what is observed in people with depression and mood disorders that exhibit a wide range of cognitive problems (Song et al., 2006[ 114 ]). Additionally, the increased concentrations of inflammatory factors, like interleukins and TNF-α (which play an important role in creating cognitive disorders), proves a physiologic relationship between stress and mood-based cognitive disorders (Solerte et al., 2000[ 113 ]; Marsland et al., 2006[ 68 ]; Li et al., 2008[ 60 ]). Studies on animals suggest that cognitive disorders resulting from stress are created due to neuroendocrine and neuroamine factors and neurodegenerative processes (Li et al., 2008[ 60 ]). However, it should be noted that depression may not always be due to the over activation of the physiological-based stress response (Osanloo et al., 2016[ 81 ]).

Cognitive disorders following exposure to stress have been reported in past studies (Lupien and McEwen, 1997[ 64 ]). Stress has effects on cognition both acutely (through catecholamines) and chronically (through glucocorticosteroids) (McEwen and Sapolsky, 1995[ 73 ]). Acute effects are mainly caused by beta-adrenergic effects, while chronic effects are induced in a long-term manner by changes in gene expression mediated by steroids (McEwen and Sapolsky, 1995[ 73 ]). In general, many mechanisms modulate the effects of stress on cognition (McEwen and Sapolsky, 1995[ 73 ]; Mendl, 1999[ 75 ]). For instance, adrenal steroids affect the function of the hippocampus during cognition and memory retrieval in a biphasic manner (McEwen and Sapolsky, 1995[ 73 ]). In chronic stress, these steroids can destroy neurons with other stimulatory neurotransmitters (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]). Exposure to stress can also cause disorders in hippocampus-related cognition; specifically, spatial memory (Borcel et al., 2008[ 9 ]; Sandi et al., 2003[ 96 ]). Additionally, stress can halt or decrease the genesis of neurons in the dentate gyrus area of the hippocampus (this area is one of the limited brain areas in which neurogenesis occurs in adults) (Gould and Tanapat, 1999[ 34 ]; Köhler et al., 2010[ 54 ]). Although age is a factor known to affect cognition, studies on animals have demonstrated that young rats exposed to high doses of adrenal steroids show the same level of decline in their cognition as older adult animals with normal plasma concentrations of glucocorticoids (Landfield et al., 1978[ 57 ]). Also, a decrease in the secretion of glucocorticosteroids causes preservation of spatial memory in adults and has also been shown to have neuroprotective effects (Montaron et al., 2006[ 78 ]). Other studies have shown that stress (or the injection of adrenal steroids) results in varied effects on cognition. For instance, injection of hydrocortisone at the time of its maximum plasma concentration (in the afternoon) leads to a decrease in reaction time and improves cognition and memory (Lupien et al., 2002[ 66 ]).

In summary, the adverse effects of stress on cognition are diverse and depend on the type, timing, intensity, and duration (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]). Generally, it is believed that mild stress facilitates an improvement in cognitive function, especially in the case of virtual or verbal memory. However, if the intensity of stress passes beyond a predetermined threshold (which is different in each individual), it causes cognitive disorders, especially in memory and judgment. The disruption to memory and judgment is due to the effects of stress on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]). Of course, it must be realized that factors like age and gender may also play a role in some cognitive disorders (Sandi, 2013[ 95 ]). Importantly, it should be emphasized that different people may exhibit varied responses in cognition when exposed to the very same stressful stimulus (Hatef et al., 2015[ 39 ]).

Stress and Immune System Functions

The relationship between stress and the immune system has been considered for decades (Khansari et al., 1990[ 50 ]; Dantzer and Kelley, 1989[ 21 ]). The prevailing attitude between the association of stress and immune system response has been that people under stress are more likely to have an impaired immune system and, as a result, suffer from more frequent illness (Khansari et al., 1990[ 50 ]). Also, old anecdotes describing resistance of some people to severe disease using the power of the mind and their thought processes, has promoted this attitude (Khansari et al., 1990[ 50 ]). In about 200 AC, Aelius Galenus (Galen of Pergamon) declared that melancholic women (who have high levels of stress and, thus, impaired immune function) are more likely to have cancer than women who were more positive and exposed to less stress (Reiche et al., 2004[ 88 ]). This may be the first recorded case about the relationship between the immune system and stress. In an old study in the early 1920's, researchers found that the activity of phagocytes in tuberculosis decreased when emotional stress was induced. In fact, it was also suggested that living with stress increases the risk of tuberculosis by suppressing the immune system (Ishigami, 1919[ 44 ]). Following this study, other researchers suggested that the probability of disease appearance increases following a sudden, major, and extremely stressful life style change (Holmes and Rahe, 1967[ 41 ]; Calabrese et al., 1987[ 12 ]).

Over the past several decades, there have been many studies investigating the role of stress on immune system function (Dantzer and Kelley, 1989[ 21 ]; Segerstrom and Miller, 2004[ 109 ]). These studies have shown that stress mediators can pass through the blood-brain barrier and exert their effects on the immune system (Khansari et al., 1990[ 50 ]). Thus, the effect of stress on the immune system is now an accepted relationship or association.

Stress can affect the function of the immune system by modulating processes in the CNS and neuroendocrine system (Khansari et al., 1990[ 50 ]; Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser, 1991[ 51 ]). Following stress, some neuroendocrine and neural responses result in the release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and other stress mediators (Carrasco and Van de Kar, 2003[ 13 ]). However, evidence suggests that the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system, also plays a role in releasing these mediators (Khansari et al., 1990[ 50 ]). For instance, thymus peptides, such as thymopentine, thymopoietin, and thymosin fraction-5, cause an increase in ACTH production (Goya et al., 1993[ 36 ]). Additionally, the existence of CRH in thymus has been proven (Redei, 1992[ 87 ]). It has also been proven that interleukin-1 released from phagocytes has a role in ACTH secretion (Berkenbosch et al., 1987[ 4 ]). On the other hand, natural or synthetic glucocorticosteroids (which are the final stress operators) are known as anti-inflammatory drugs and immune suppressants and their role in the inhibition of lymphocytes and macrophages has been demonstrated as well (Elenkov et al., 1999[ 28 ]; Reiche et al., 2004[ 88 ]). Moreover, their role in inhibiting the production of cytokines and other immune mediators and decreasing their effect on target cells during exposure to stress has also been determined (Reiche et al., 2004[ 88 ]).

In addition to adrenal steroids, other hormones are affected during stress. For example, the secretion of growth hormone will be halted during severe stress. A study showed that long-term administration of CRH into the brain ventricles leads to a cessation in the release of growth hormone (Rivier and Vale, 1985[ 90 ]). Stress also causes the release of opioid peptides to be changed during the time period over which the person is exposed to stress (McCarthy et al., 2001[ 70 ]). In fact, stress modifies the secretion of hormones that play a critical role in the function of the immune system (Khansari et al., 1990[ 50 ]). To date, it has been shown that various receptors for a variety of hormones involved in immune system function are adversely affected by stress. For example, ACTH, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P, growth hormone, prolactin, and steroids all have receptors in various tissues of the immune system and can modulate its function (De la Fuente et al., 1996[ 24 ]; Gala, 1991[ 30 ]; Mantyh, 1991[ 67 ]). In addition, active immune cells are also able to secrete several hormones; thus, some researchers believe that these hormones, as mediators of immune system, play a significant role in balancing its function (Blalock et al., 1985[ 6 ]).

Severe stress can lead to malignancy by suppressing the immune system (Reiche et al., 2004[ 88 ]). In fact, stress can decrease the activity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells and lead to growth of malignant cells, genetic instability, and tumor expansion (Reiche et al., 2004[ 88 ]). Studies have shown that the plasma concentration of norepinephrine, which increases after the induction stress, has an inverse relationship with the immune function of phagocytes and lymphocytes (Reiche et al., 2004[ 88 ]). Lastly, catecholamines and opioids that are released following stress have immune-suppressing properties (Reiche et al., 2004[ 88 ]).

Stress and the Function of the Cardiovascular System

The existence of a positive association between stress and cardiovascular disease has been verified (Rozanski et al., 1999[ 93 ]). Stress, whether acute or chronic, has a deleterious effect on the function of the cardiovascular system (Rozanski et al., 1999[ 93 ]; Kario et al., 2003[ 48 ]; Herd, 1991[ 40 ]). The effects of stress on the cardiovascular system are not only stimulatory, but also inhibitory in nature (Engler and Engler, 1995[ 29 ]). It can be postulated that stress causes autonomic nervous system activation and indirectly affects the function of the cardiovascular system (Lazarus et al., 1963[ 59 ]; Vrijkotte et al., 2000[ 120 ]). If these effects occur upon activation of the sympathetic nervous system, then it mainly results in an increase in heart rate, strength of contraction, vasodilation in the arteries of skeletal muscles, a narrowing of the veins, contraction of the arteries in the spleen and kidneys, and decreased sodium excretion by the kidneys (Herd, 1991[ 40 ]). Sometimes, stress activates the parasympathetic nervous system (Pagani et al., 1991[ 82 ]). Specifically, if it leads to stimulation of the limbic system, it results in a decrease, or even a total stopping of the heart-beat, decreased contractility, reduction in the guidance of impulses by the heart stimulus-transmission network, peripheral vasodilatation, and a decline in blood pressure (Cohen et al., 2000[ 17 ]). Finally, stress can modulate vascular endothelial cell function and increase the risk of thrombosis and ischemia, as well as increase platelet aggregation (Rozanski et al., 1999[ 93 ]).

The initial effect of stress on heart function is usually on the heart rate (Vrijkotte et al., 2000[ 120 ]). Depending upon the direction of the shift in the sympatho-vagal response, the heart beat will either increase or decrease (Hall et al., 2004[ 38 ]). The next significant effect of stress on cardiovascular function is blood pressure (Laitinen et al., 1999[ 56 ]). Stress can stimulate the autonomic sympathetic nervous system to increase vasoconstriction, which can mediate an increase in blood pressure, an increase in blood lipids, disorders in blood clotting, vascular changes, atherogenesis; all, of which, can cause cardiac arrhythmias and subsequent myocardial infarction (Rozanski et al., 1999[ 93 ]; Vrijkotte et al., 2000[ 120 ]; Sgoifo et al., 1998[ 111 ]). These effects from stress are observed clinically with atherosclerosis and leads to an increase in coronary vasoconstriction (Rozanski et al., 1999[ 93 ]). Of course, there are individual differences in terms of the level of autonomic-based responses due to stress, which depends on the personal characteristics of a given individual (Rozanski et al., 1999[ 93 ]). Thus, training programs for stress management are aimed at reducing the consequences of stress and death resulting from heart disease (Engler and Engler, 1995[ 29 ]). In addition, there are gender-dependent differences in the cardiovascular response to stress and, accordingly, it has been estimated that women begin to exhibit heart disease ten years later that men, which has been attributed to the protective effects of the estrogen hormone (Rozanski et al., 1999[ 93 ]).

Studies have shown that psychological stress can cause alpha-adrenergic stimulation and, consequently, increase heart rate and oxygen demand (Rozanski et al., 1998[ 92 ], 1999[ 93 ]; Jiang et al., 1996[ 46 ]). As a result, coronary vasoconstriction is enhanced, which may increase the risk of myocardial infarction (Yeung et al., 1991[ 124 ]; Boltwood et al., 1993[ 8 ]; Dakak et al., 1995[ 20 ]). Several studies have demonstrated that psychological stress decreases the microcirculation in the coronary arteries by an endothelium-dependent mechanism and increases the risk of myocardial infarction (Dakak et al., 1995[ 20 ]). On the other hand, mental stress indirectly leads to potential engagement in risky behaviors for the heart, such as smoking, and directly leads to stimulation of the neuroendocrine system as part of the autonomic nervous system (Hornstein, 2004[ 43 ]). It has been suggested that severe mental stress can result in sudden death (Pignalberi et al., 2002[ 84 ]). Generally, stress-mediated risky behaviors that impact cardiovascular health can be summarized into five categories: an increase in the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, initiation and progression of myocardial ischemia, development of cardiac arrhythmias, stimulation of platelet aggregation, and endothelial dysfunction (Wu, 2001[ 123 ]).

Stress and Gastrointestinal Complications

The effects of stress on nutrition and the gastrointestinal (GI) system can be summarized with two aspects of GI function.

First, stress can affect appetite (Bagheri Nikoo et al., 2014[ 2 ]; Halataei et al., 2011[ 37 ]; Ranjbaran et al., 2013[ 86 ]). This effect is related to involvement of either the ventral tegmental area (VTA), or the amygdala via N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors (Nasihatkon et al., 2014[ 80 ]; Sadeghi et al., 2015[ 94 ]). However, it should also be noted that nutrition patterns have effects on the response to stress (Ghanbari et al., 2015[ 31 ]), and this suggests a bilateral interaction between nutrition and stress.

Second, stress adversely affects the normal function of GI tract. There are many studies concerning the effect of stress on the function of the GI system (Söderholm and Perdue, 2001[ 112 ]; Collins, 2001[ 18 ]). For instance, studies have shown that stress affects the absorption process, intestinal permeability, mucus and stomach acid secretion, function of ion channels, and GI inflammation (Collins, 2001[ 18 ]; Nabavizadeh et al., 2011[ 79 ]). Stress also increases the response of the GI system to inflammation and may reactivate previous inflammation and accelerate the inflammation process by secretion of mediators such as substance P (Collins, 2001[ 18 ]). As a result, there is an increase in the permeability of cells and recruitment of T lymphocytes. Lymphocyte aggregation leads to the production of inflammatory markers, activates key pathways in the hypothalamus, and results in negative feedback due to CRH secretion, which ultimately results in the appearance of GI inflammatory diseases (Collins, 2001[ 18 ]). This process can reactivate previous silent colitis (Million et al., 1999[ 76 ]; Qiu et al., 1999[ 85 ]). Mast cells play a crucial role in stress-induced effects on the GI system, because they cause neurotransmitters and other chemical factors to be released that affect the function of the GI system (Konturek et al., 2011[ 55 ]).

Stress can also alter the functional physiology of the intestine (Kiliaan et al., 1998[ 52 ]). Many inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn's disease and other ulcerative-based diseases of the GI tract, are associated with stress (Hommes et al., 2002[ 42 ]). It has been suggested that even childhood stress can lead to these diseases in adulthood (Schwartz and Schwartz, 1983[ 106 ]). Irritable bowel syndrome, which is a disease with an inflammatory origin, is highly related to stress (Gonsalkorale et al., 2003[ 33 ]). Studies on various animals suggest the existence of inflammatory GI diseases following induction of severe stress (Qiu et al., 1999[ 85 ]; Collins et al., 1996[ 19 ]). Additionally, pharmacological interventions, in an attempt to decrease the response of CRH to stress, have been shown to result in an increase in GI diseases in rats (Million et al., 1999[ 76 ]).

Altering the permeability of the mucosal membrane by perturbing the functions of mucosal mast cells may be another way that stress causes its effects on the GI system, since this is a normal process by which harmful and toxic substances are removed from the intestinal lumen (Söderholm and Perdue, 2001[ 112 ]). Also, stress can both decrease the removal of water from the lumen, as well as induce sodium and chloride secretion into the lumen. This most likely occurs by increasing the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system (Barclay and Turnberg, 1987[ 3 ]). Moreover, physical stress, such as trauma or surgery, can increase luminal permeability (Söderholm and Perdue, 2001[ 112 ]) (Table 2 (Tab. 2) ; References in Table 2: Halataei et al., 2011[ 37 ]; Ranjbaran et al., 2013[ 86 ]; Mönnikes et al., 2001[ 77 ]; Collins, 2001[ 18 ]; Nabavizadeh et al., 2011[ 79 ]; Barclay and Turnberg, 1987[ 3 ]; Million et al., 1999[ 76 ]; Gonsalkorale et al., 2003[ 33 ]).

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Stress also affects movement of the GI tract. In this way, it prevents stomach emptying and accelerates colonic motility (Mönnikes et al., 2001[ 77 ]). In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, stress increases the movement (contractility and motility) of the large intestine (Mönnikes et al., 2001[ 77 ]). Previous studies have revealed that CRH increases movement in the terminal sections of the GI tract and decreases the movements in the proximal sections of the GI tract (Mönnikes et al., 2001[ 77 ]). A delay in stomach emptying is likely accomplished through CRH-2 receptors, while type 1 receptors affect the colon (Mönnikes et al., 2001[ 77 ]). The effects produced by CRH are so prominent that CRH is now considered an ideal candidate for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (Martinez and Taché, 2006[ 69 ]). When serotonin is released in response to stress (Chaouloff, 2000[ 14 ]), it leads to an increase in the motility of the colon by stimulating 5HT-3 receptors (Mönnikes et al., 2001[ 77 ]). Moreover, it has also been suggested that stress, especially mental and emotional types of stress, increase visceral sensitivity and activate mucosal mast cells (Mönnikes et al., 2001[ 77 ]). Stimulation of the CNS by stress has a direct effect on GI-specific nervous system ( i.e. , the myenteric system or plexus) and causes the above mentioned changes in the movements of the GI tract (Bhatia and Tandon, 2005[ 5 ]). In fact, stress has a direct effect on the brain-bowel axis (Konturek et al., 2011[ 55 ]). Various clinical studies have suggested a direct effect of stress on irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal inflammation, and peptic ulcers (Konturek et al., 2011[ 55 ]).

In conclusion, the effects of stress on the GI system can be classified into six different actions: GI tract movement disorders, increased visceral irritability, altered rate and extent of various GI secretions, modified permeability of the intestinal barrier, negative effects on blood flow to the GI tract, and increased intestinal bacteria counts (Konturek et al., 2011[ 55 ]).

Stress and the Endocrine System

There is a broad and mutual relationship between stress and the endocrine system. On one hand, stress has many subtle and complex effects on the activity of the endocrine system (Sapolsky, 2002[ 97 ]; Charmandari et al., 2005[ 15 ]), while on the other hand, the endocrine system has many effects on the response to stress (Ulrich-Lai and Herman, 2009[ 117 ]; Selye, 1956[ 110 ]). Stress can either activate, or change the activity of, many endocrine processes associated with the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, the adrenergic system, gonads, thyroid, and the pancreas (Tilbrook et al., 2000[ 116 ]; Brown-Grant et al., 1954[ 11 ]; Thierry et al., 1968[ 115 ]; Lupien and McEwen, 1997[ 64 ]). In fact, it has been suggested that it is impossible to separate the response to stress from the functions of the endocrine system. This premise has been advanced due to the fact that even a minimal amount of stress can activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which itself is intricately involved with the activation of several different hormone secreting systems (Sapolsky, 2002[ 97 ]). In different locations throughout this article, we have already discussed the effects of stress on hormones and various endocrine factors and, thus, they will not be further addressed.

Altogether, stress may induce both beneficial and harmful effects. The beneficial effects of stress involve preserving homeostasis of cells/species, which leads to continued survival. However, in many cases, the harmful effects of stress may receive more attention or recognition by an individual due to their role in various pathological conditions and diseases. As has been discussed in this review, various factors, for example, hormones, neuroendocrine mediators, peptides, and neurotransmitters are involved in the body's response to stress. Many disorders originate from stress, especially if the stress is severe and prolonged. The medical community needs to have a greater appreciation for the significant role that stress may play in various diseases and then treat the patient accordingly using both pharmacological (medications and/or nutraceuticals) and non-pharmacological (change in lifestyle, daily exercise, healthy nutrition, and stress reduction programs) therapeutic interventions. Important for the physician providing treatment for stress is the fact that all individuals vary in their response to stress, so a particular treatment strategy or intervention appropriate for one patient may not be suitable or optimal for a different patient.

Yunes Panahi and Amirhossein Sahebkar (Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran, P.O. Box: 91779-48564, Iran; Tel: 985118002288, Fax: 985118002287, E-mail: [email protected], amir_sa[email protected]) contributed equally as corresponding authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that have no conflict of interest in this study.


The authors would like to thank the "Neurosciences Research Center of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences" and the “Clinical Research Development Center of Baqiyatallah (a.s.) Hospital” for providing technical supports.

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  • Stress management

Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior

Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not know it. You may blame sickness for that annoying headache, your sleeping troubles, feeling unwell or your lack of focus at work. But stress may really be the cause.

Common effects of stress

Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Knowing common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that's not dealt with can lead to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

Act to manage stress

If you have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have many health benefits. Check out many possible stress management tips. For example:

  • Get regular physical activity on most days of the week.
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Try deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage.
  • Keep a sense of humor.
  • Spend time with family and friends.
  • Set aside time for hobbies. Read a book, listen to music or go for a walk. Schedule time for your passions.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Stay away from tobacco and alcohol use, and use of illegal substances.

Aim to find active ways to manage your stress. Idle ways to manage stress that don't get you moving may seem relaxing. But they may make your stress go up over time. Examples are watching television, going on the internet or playing video games.

When to ask for help

If you're not sure if stress is the cause, or if you've taken steps to control your stress but you keep having symptoms, see your health care provider. Your health care provider may want to check for other potential causes. Or think about seeing a counselor or therapist, who can help you find the sources of your stress and learn new coping tools. And if you are concerned about harming yourself, call 911 or a suicide hotline.

Also, get emergency help right away if you have chest pain, especially if you also have shortness of breath; jaw, back, shoulder or arm pain; sweating; dizziness; or nausea. These may be warning signs of a heart attack and not simply stress symptoms.

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  • How stress affects your health. American Psychological Association. Accessed Jan. 25, 2023.
  • Stress and your health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed Jan. 24, 2023.
  • Manage stress. Accessed Jan. 25, 2023.
  • Warning signs of a heart attack. American Heart Association. Accessed Jan. 25, 2023.
  • Seaward BL. Essentials of Managing Stress. 5th ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2021.
  • Creagan ET (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Feb. 14, 2023.

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Let’s Talk About Stress—and Stress Research

Director’s Page Helene M. Langevin, M.D.

July 26, 2022

Stress is a part of life for everyone, and when it comes in short bursts, it’s not necessarily bad. Our natural “fight-or-flight” response can help us mobilize our resources to meet a challenge. But when stress persists (chronic stress), it can lead to both mental and physical health problems. In fact, longstanding evidence from multiple areas of research demonstrates that chronic stress acts like a toxin, permeating our organs and cells and triggering a negative cascade on our hormones, sleep, muscles, metabolism, immune system, and inflammatory responses. And chronic systemic inflammation is emerging as a key factor underlying more than half of all deaths from chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver.

Chronic stress has long been a focus of research for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), and the interplay between the effects of stress on the mind and the body is an important area of research to me, personally. Many NCCIH-supported studies have looked at the potential role of complementary and integrative health interventions in helping people manage stress and its consequences. Let’s look at one area of research—the effect of stress management interventions on people who are living with a long-term health condition.

With funding from NCCIH, a group of researchers led by Dr. Lori Scott-Sheldon, who was then with The Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island, performed a series of systematic reviews on stress management for people with chronic diseases. The reviews looked at both psychological and physical effects of the interventions, and their findings were promising. For example:

  • A review of studies on stress management interventions for adults with heart failure showed improvements in anxiety, depressive symptoms, quality of life, and exercise capacity in people who participated in these interventions. 
  • A review on mindfulness-based interventions for people living with HIV/AIDS showed reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms and improved quality of life. 
  • A review of the evidence on yoga interventions for people living with HIV/AIDS showed improvements in perceived stress, positive affect, and anxiety. 
  • A review on mindfulness-based interventions for adults with cardiovascular disease showed improvements in anxiety, depression, distress, perceived stress, and systolic blood pressure. 
  • And finally, a review of yoga interventions for people with type 2 diabetes linked participation in yoga with improvements in measures of glycemic control (HbA1c and both fasting and postprandial [after eating] blood glucose) and in several risk factors for complications of diabetes—blood lipids, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, and cortisol levels (a measure related to the body’s stress response). 

The diabetes review doesn’t give us final answers about the value of yoga, though, for two reasons: First, all the studies included in the review were performed outside the United States (most of them in India), and findings obtained in one population may not apply to another. Second, the studies were of only low-to-medium methodological quality, and some important study details were not available.

Fortunately, new research supported by NCCIH may help fill these gaps. Dr. Beth Bock, also of The Miriam Hospital, is leading rigorous NCCIH-funded studies to evaluate the potential role of yoga in diabetes management in U.S. populations, and this work is in progress now. An earlier pilot study showed that the yoga intervention Dr. Bock is testing was highly feasible and acceptable among people with diabetes and that it produced improvements in both psychosocial measures and blood glucose.

Whether or not we face major challenges in our lives the way that people with diabetes or other chronic health problems do, we all need to recognize the importance of stress and the impact it may be having on us. Addressing stress isn’t just about feeling better; it’s about fundamentally promoting health. We can all benefit from learning methods to mitigate stress that have well-documented beneficial effects on inflammation, oxidative stress, stress hormones, blood pressure, blood sugar, and sleep. Some of these tools, such as deep breathing and relaxation techniques, are easy to learn and can help “press reset on stress” —anytime, anywhere.   And doing so can have cumulative effects — preventing stress from building up during the day, and giving us a better night’s sleep and more energy the next day for physical activity, which itself helps relieve stress.   Think of it as a “positive snowball” effect, leading to better health. 

And for those of us in the research community, including NCCIH, learning more about how to prevent, manage, and mitigate stress—and how best to put existing stress management tools into practice—will continue to be a high priority.  

essay on stress and its effects

Additional Resources

  • Stress Fact Sheet
  • Feeling Stressed? Ways To Improve Your Well-Being  (NIH News in Health)
  • Stress Reset Video (The Healthy US Collaborative)

Helene M. Langevin, M.D.

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Stress - List of Essay Samples And Topic Ideas

In our fast-paced and demanding world, stress has become an ever-present companion in our lives. It affects us mentally, physically, and emotionally, leaving a lasting impact on our well-being. By digging deeper into the field of psychology, we can unravel the tangled web of factors that contribute to stress. That’s why stress topics for essays can be interesting to write. To understand the true essence of it, you should first delve into different paper examples. You can also read someone’s free argumentative essays about stress. This is a good tool for understanding, but you shouldn’t copy information from the source. Selecting intriguing stress topics for a research paper on stress writing requires considering the various dimensions of this phenomenon. The essay can use various analyses of the impact on mental health, physical well-being, and overall quality of life. In an essay on stress, you can also provide examples of chronic stress. It is related to health problems such as high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and increased vulnerability to mental illness.

Stress is an ever-present companion, affecting students and individuals alike. Stress management helps us overcome difficulties in life. Highlighting this opinion can serve as a good thesis statement in your paper. It is also a good idea to create a meaningful outline before writing. This way, you will be sure what exactly you want to cover and what arguments you need to provide. It’s better to think about an intriguing introduction and a thought-provoking essay conclusion in advance.

Reasons of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Development

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder that develops after an individual has contact to a shocking, terrifying occurrence.  In most traumatic circumstances, it is very normal to feel terrified during and after it transpires.  The fight-or-flight response automatically comes out as a reaction to protect one from any harm.  Most people experience varieties of reactions after trauma; nonetheless, others may experience unbearable stress from it even if they're not at risk. Trauma such as actual or threatened […]

Psychotherapy Treatments of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Talking to a friend, family member, loved one or even a professional may help with a stressful situation in life, and is very common. Psychotherapy is one of the most popular and a very effective treatment for someone suffering from PTSD. Most people suffering from PTSD do some type of psychotherapy, usually one-on-one therapy, group therapy, or a combination of the two. (Cohen, H. 2017). A psychotherapist approach to help someone with PTSD is time-limited and can be successful in […]

Business Communications

Introduction Students are affected by stress in multiple ways. Demands placed by parents or guardians to the students on attaining top grades or poor performance can be a cause of stress. As a result, students can accumulate stress if they are not able to properly act on this pressure from the set demands. Stress can result in poor grades, low self-esteem, aggression and poor concentration in class. It has both direct and indirect effects on the students. This paper will […]

Managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Traumatic events can often have a lasting impact on the mind and may result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. The symptoms they entail can include depression, anxiety, and hypervigilance. Despite being around for over a century, PTSD was not placed on the official psychiatric list until 1980 under "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." Essentially, it is a disorder that a traumatic injury or psychological shock has caused. PTSD can have a variety of effects on those who suffer from it. […]

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder is a huge issue that is found in veterans who have served in the military and is caused by traumatic experiences they have gone through such as combat. Such trauma like this can then be triggered through memories or other senses. The disorder can not only affect these veterans and how they live their daily and social life by causing problems such as anger, avoidance, or depression, but it can also have a large impact […]

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Professionalism in Healthcare

The Medical Protection Society defines a profession as a “calling or vocation involving a degree of skill, learning or science”. Professionalism is a set of core values, behaviors, and beliefs that are based around integrity, duty, honesty, and competence in clinical skills. (Sarah Whitehouse, 2013) Professionalism in the healthcare workplace is based on putting patients’ needs first and leaving them feeling confident in their providers. This has been shown, through research, to have an effect on patient well-being and recovery. […]

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Portrayal in the Perks of being a Wallflower

Introduction of Topic & Character The film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is a coming of age film based around three high school students who have all formed a friendship out of their need to belong and be accepted. In this story, the main character, Charlie, experienced a profound trauma as a young boy in which his Aunt Helen sexually abused him. She was later killed in a car accident which left Charlie feeling abandoned. As he grew, this […]

Lavender as a Treatment for Stress and Anxiety

The American Psychological Association reports that in the past five years, 44% of Americans have reported that their stress levels have increased. Not only is short-term stress on the rise for Americans, but chronic stress is as well (Clay, 2011). When under stress, the body produces extra cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands. Almost all cells within our bodies have cortisol receptors, and an increase in the production of this hormone can lead to a large variety of […]

My Ideas of a Fun Weekend and why it is Important

I believe that stressing out is a waste of time. Ever since I started sixth grade one year ago I have had to deal with a lot of stress. When I go to bed at night, I worry about things that are going to happen far into the future and things that have already happened that I wish I could change. In sixth grade, I didn’t get stressed out that often, but now that I’m in seventh-grade things have changed […]

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

DEFINITION PTSD has been added to the "trauma and stressor-related disorder in the DSM- 5 and "defined as exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury or sexual violation(American Psychiatric Association, 2013).This exposure COULD be as a result of:- directly experiencing or witnessing the traumatic event;- Hearing about a close family member or friend being exposed to such actual or threatened trauma, or- Indirect knowledge of details of the ordeal in the course of professional duty like medics or first […]

Focal Brain Damage Protects against the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans

The topic I am going to do my Article Reactions on, is if focal brain damage protects against post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans. This article breaks down the procedures that researchers took to determine what causes PTSD in combat veterans, who have either had traumatic experiences or have head injuries that cause them to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. The purpose of this study was to determine what type of lesion in the brain of combat veterans was susceptible to […]

A Psychological Diagnosis of John Wayne Gacy

In 1942, a baby was born in a Chicago hospital, named John Wayne Gacy. He came from what seemed like a normal family. He grew up with his two sisters, his mother, and his father. However, no one knew that Gacy's father was both verbally and physically abusing him. This would ultimately affect Gacy for the rest of his life. In 1968, Gacy was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly committing the act of sodomy with a young teenage […]

Students Dealing with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The topic I chose to do my problems in disaster psychology over was students dealing with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. In my first paper, I described several problems that schools may face due to this disorder. One of the main problems I pointed out was student recognition of the disorder. Kids do not always know how to deal with stress especially when they have never been taught about it. Most schools expect students to be the ones recognizing the symptoms they […]

Self-esteem and Stress

Introduction: In this era of competition, technology, forwardness, and modernization, the struggle to stay at the first place is increasing. Every individual wants to dominate the other person and wants to achieve so much in little time, without much of the hard work. This race of life has left people impatient, materialistic and a feeling of worthlessness. Having little self-regard can lead people to become more stressed, depressed, to fall short of their potential and less tolerant in certain situations […]

The Effects of Imagination and Stress on the Recognition of Words and Pictures

How can educational institutions and teaching professionals facilitate learning environments that are more suitable for students? One main factor to consider is the effect of stress and anxiety on students' memory and thus their ability to recognize and recall the content that they often spend many hours cramming for. It is very common for students to take an exam and perform poorly due to their inability to correctly recall the information they intensely studied. By analyzing the impact of induced […]

How to Reduce your Stress Levels

In reading the ""Managing Stress chapter in the textbook, I have come to a realization about myself while also being refreshed on coping mechanisms to relieve stress. When I worked through some of the exercises, I have realized that I continuously handle stress in a nonhealthy manner. However, I have had time to reflect upon myself and the causes to my stress, while creating plans to executed in properly handling that stress. When I looked over the ""recognizing possible signs […]

Interpersonal Relationships between Nurses and Patients

This paper discusses the significant impacts of role strain and burnout in nursing on patient quality of care and their legal and ethical implications. It will also discuss two issues that may lead to burnout, along with a possible solution for each issue. Additionally, this paper will address a personal nursing strain and how it was overcome. Quality of Care and Strain Management Burnout occurs due to extreme and prolonged stress at work. It is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, […]

Essay about Toxic Stress

Toxic stress terminology refers to the accumulation of intense stress due to prolonged exposure to an unfavorable situation. Toxic stress causes many health complications in people, especially among young children. Children suffering from toxic stress develop psychological and emotional challenges in their lives. Such children usually have a likelihood of developing other health complications such as diseases and low intellectual capacity. The main causes of toxic stress in young children include poverty, domestic violence, and cases of physical separation from […]

My Research on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

I have chosen to discuss PTSD as my mental disorder due to a documentary television show that I have seen pretty recently "Weediquette. While that name may seem pretty childish and taboo, the show speaks on the possible positive (and negative) effects marijuana can have on society mostly for health benefits. The second episode of the series, Stoned Vets, touches on the horrors of PTSD and how it has damaged the lives of many Afghanistan War veterans. I have always […]

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Mental Health

Background Information Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder commonly known as PTSD is a mental condition that arises when an individual experiences traumatic events. A traumatic event is an unpredictable experience that an individual has no control about but at the same time has the potential of altering the course of their lives. Individuals normally remain scared after being exposed to traumatic stressors. As a result, they often exhibit intense fear and hopelessness. Examples of traumatic stressors that often affect the psychology of […]

Stress Levels and Coping Strategies in Mothers of Children with Cerebral Palsy

Introduction Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive but permanent disorder that results from damage to the foetal or developing brain, leading to partial losses of motor and cognitive functioning (Shelly et al., 2008). Parents are prone to stress related symptoms associated with the rearing up of children with CP. Stress of caregiving and raising a child with CP is seen as a combination of increased needs for the child care and emotional reactions caused by the child's condition (Kleitman, 2006). […]

General Adaptation Syndrome

Our bodies are programmed to respond to stress as a normal function. However, when pushed too far, or for too long, our systems can begin to break down. General Adaptation Syndrome, so-termed by stress researcher Hans Selye, is a pattern of biological response to long-term or overwhelming stress. There are three stages of General Adaptation Syndrome or GAS: Alarm reaction, the resistance stage, and exhaustion stage. In the alarm reaction, we perceive an immediate threat (the first shakes or rolls […]

The Challenges and Stressors of Female Doctoral Students

The following section presents the findings highlighting the experiences of the five doctoral students in their doctoral journey. The results were presented in the following thematic areas: academic, psychological, physiological, and relationship with faculty.  Most of them described their doctoral experience as positive though it was a little stressful. The nature of the doctoral program at the department of Workforce Education and Development shared some good and bad experiences. The lack of important academic skills were the main concern. Of […]

All about Stress: its Types, Impact, and Coping Strategies for a Healthy Life

Stress is an inevitable sensation that all adults (yes all) and even some non-adults encounter at some point in their lives. Stress can take on many forms in ones' life whether it's mental, physical, or behavioral. The causes of stress are often referred to as stressors, however, not all stressors are necessarily bad. Additionally, not all stressors are external but may be internal as well. It is important to become knowledgeable about stress as it is often linked to underlying […]

Stress over College Students

There are many important factors to think about during college time. Especially it's better to think ahead of time of how hectic your schedule will be. Important things that can occur is tress, anxiety, depression, etc. The outcomes of these features can be dropping out, leading to drugs, drinking, partying. (Jones , Payton J. ; Park , So Yeon ; Lefevor, Tyler G.;, 2018). There are many concerns over tsress and about how much it can affect a person physically […]

The Stress of College Students with Financial Debt

Introduction I pay around fifteen thousand dollars for college every year, just to write papers about how it is the reason for mine and others debt, also causing stress along with mental health problems. Why do I go through stress and anxiety every time I log into my online USA site? I pay thousands of dollars for college and books, however I am not alone. More than 49% of college students experience some type of stress, from homework, grades, pressure […]

The Relaxation Therapy

The point of Relaxation Therapy is to calm the brain; to enable considerations to stream in a smooth, level cadence, and instigate the unwinding reaction. This psychological calm takes into account rest and revival that does not generally happen, notwithstanding amid rest. Unwinding treatment does not endeavor to purge the psyche, since it isn't conceivable to consider nothing. In unwinding, we center the psyche, and loosen up both personality and body. After some time, the side effects of pressure and […]

Stress at Workplace

Stress is something which occurs or disturbs someone's mind whether we are rich or poor it doesn't matter the person is having wealth so it's free from stress. Stress is a thing which takes place when others demands exceed our limitations when someone expects something favourable or of some high expectations within a short period of time and putting pressure to complete or touch their limitations than its harmful for our physical as well for our mental health too. It's […]

Woman with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A woman filming a documentary on childhood rape victims starts to question the nature of her childhood relationship with her riding instructor and running coach ("The Tale", 2018). The Tale is a controversial, personal chronicle of sexual abuse starring Laura Dern who portrays symptoms of PTSD as she processes memories of sexual abuse decades after it occurred. DSM-5 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a widely used diagnostic tool that uses a classification system for psychiatric […]

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of Iron Man

Psychological Resilience is an ability which lets people who have faced adversity in life, cope with it as soon as possible and have no negative long-term consequences. People who have been exposed to trauma may sometimes experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault. […]

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Essay About Stress Stress is something that has been in this world since Adam and Eve first ate the fruit from the tree. It is something that everyone experiences in their lives at some point and is not very fun to go through. Stress can also be something that is good but is hard for a person to handle. There are many causes of stress and these things can be a life-changing moment or even some small events as well. There are some things in life that are good things that happen to people, but still, stress them out because it is something new that they are learning to deal with. For example, one of these things actually happens to be married. Marriage is something good in this world, but for most people, it is stressful because it is something new and they plan to live with that person for the rest of their life. There are also many more stressful things to marriage and those things happen to vary per couple. Another cause of a type of good stress would be moving to a new house. Moving could be a good thing if it is something that is needed in someone’s life but could still be stressful in the process of moving. It is hard to explain because the main point in people’s lives is good, but the process of getting to these things is stressful. That is probably the best way to describe it. To add to that, these things are good things that happen to people but still can still be stressful. The next causes of stress are things that happen to people and some are not so good things. Some of these things include divorce, the death of a loved one, and can even include loud random noises. With the first cause, divorce is something that happens to many people in the world. There are different things that cause divorce, but that is another topic. Divorce is stressful for everyone. If kids are included in that, the kids may get stressed out as well. Divorce is not a good thing and no one expects it to happen when they first get married. The next cause is the death of a loved one. Death, in general, is really hard and is really stressful. No one wants someone in their life to pass away and leave them. Being sad from having someone pass away could cause stress. It is something that can be really stressful and can cause even more things like depression as well. The last cause would be random loud noises. This is something that a lot of people get stressed out about more than people think it does. This cause is a smaller one than divorce or death but is something that can stress people out just as much. All of these things are causes to stress and are some not-so-good things. It is really hard having stress in people’s lives. No one likes stress and it is something that drags a lot of people down. Stress has many causes that can be good and can be bad. There are a lot more causes of stress in life that are not mentioned in this essay. If all of the causes were mentioned here, it would probably be a thousand-page paper. There are endless possibilities to stress and it ranges anywhere from small things to life-changing things.

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Effects of Stress on Human Health Essay

Introduction, stress and health, video version.

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Stress has an adverse effect on human health; it leads to numerous health complications if not effectively managed. When stressed, people risk suffering from stress-related complications. According to Ciccarelli & White, 2012, health can broadly be divided as physical health (free of diseases) and psychological health (being able to make sound decisions).

When under stress, an individual’s decision making capacity is hampered making the person psychologically unhealthy (Ciccarelli & White, 2012). This paper discusses the relationship between stress and human health.

There are numerous theories and researches on stress and health, they all agree that stress has an adverse effect on human health; the statement goes “a stressed man is an unhealthy man”. Although human life cannot be free of stress, it becomes unmanaged stress which causes havoc to human body and mind . According to psychologists, human body is “wired’’ to communicate with the state of the mind; the communication is meant to protect threats against predators and other aggressors.

The statements predators and other aggressors used to mean life threatening activities or actions which include meeting deadlines, fighting back, reacting to a certain situation, or making life challenging decisions. The challenge facing human kind is failing to understand the right way to manage stress; in most cases the activities they engage in lead to more stress (Ciccarelli & White, 2012).

When someone is stressed for a long period, he or she exposes his body to uncontrolled brain cortisol and other stress managing hormones, which in turn can result in health complications like eczema, obesity, depression, digestive problems, sleeping challenges, and heart diseases.

Human state of mind determines the kind of life decisions they make; in the event that someone is stressed, his or her mind will be hampered from making sound and reliable decision as their mind, soul, and body are not at peace with each other. Some day-to-day health feelings like fatigue, headaches, and boredom can be attributed to the state of the mind; state of the mind is unhealthy with stress.

Stress affects human body, thoughts and feelings, when the above have been affected, then the behaviors and to some extent the personality of an affected person change. When unchecked, stress results in health complications like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes (Ciccarelli & White, 2012).

According to Ciccarelli & White, 2012, the human body responds differently to stress; some people are likely to show fast heath deterioration when stressed while others are likely to have slowed health complications. What remain constant is that prolonged stress without proper management will have a negative effect on human health.

Stressed people need to enroll in stress management classes/lessons where they can be trained on basic methods of preventing and managing stress. In the event that an individual is suffering from a certain ailment, and then happens to be stressed, the recovery rate of such an individual is low. There is much connection between the rate of recovery from health complication and stress that the patient has (Ciccarelli & White, 2012).

Stress is a common occurrence in human beings; well-managed stress is of benefit to human beings as it assists when making decisions. However when stress is not managed effectively, it has an adverse effect on human health. Some complications related with ineffective stress management include depression, heart diseases, and diabetes.

Ciccarelli, S. K., & White, J. N. (2012). Psychology. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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Home — Essay Samples — Nursing & Health — Stress — Stress and Its Role in Our Life


Stress and Its Role in Our Life

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Works Cited

  • American Psychological Association. (2019). Stress effects on the body. Retrieved from
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Coping with stress. Retrieved from
  • Hansen, N. (2014). The impact of stress on the immune system. Immunology, 144(2), 147-156.
  • Knowlton, S. (n.d.). The positive effects of stress on the body. Retrieved from
  • McLeod, S. (2010). Stress and the immune system. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from
  • Mills, N. (n.d.). Mental effects of stress. Retrieved from
  • Segal, J. (2016). Understanding stress. HelpGuide. Retrieved from
  • Simon, H. (2016). How stress affects your body. Retrieved from
  • Stages of chronic stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Top ten causes of stress. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Stress And Its Effects On Young People (Essay Sample)

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Stress and its effects on young people today

Stress can be defined as any change that triggers emotional, physical, or mental strain. Stress is in fact the body’s natural response to any unpleasant experience that requires one’s attention. People generally believe that stress only affects adults who have bills to pay and families to look after but that’s not at all true.  Children, preteens, teens, and even toddlers experience stress in different forms.

Generally, anything that causes fear and anxiety can cause stress. Usual causes of stress in children and teens include being away from home, moving to a new place, mismanagement of time, and getting along with other peers.

EssayBasics provides essay writing services for both children and students. They provide both long and short essays ranging from 150 words to 500 words and more. Hit the order button right now to get your own plagiarism-free stress and its effect on young people’s essays.

Good Stress vs Bad Stress

This might sound strange but there are both negative and positive effects of stress. Everyone wants to wake up to the sweet smell of roses and bright sunshine without facing a single stressor in life but we all know it’s not possible. While most of the time stress can be devastating it’s also ironic that people feel the most energetic and prolific when they are under pressure.

Well, we all are familiar with what bad stress is and what it can do to us, here are some insights about the positive effects of good stress.

  • Experiencing stress from similar situations can train you to deal with those problems like a pro. Thus stress from similar situations makes you stronger.
  • Research has shown that moderate stress can boost the brain’s performance. It’s because moderate stress strengthens the connection between neurons which improves attention and memory functions.

essay on stress and its effects

Almost all students groan at the mention of homework but for some students, homework is more than just a nuisance. The ones who fail to cope with loads of school work every day fall easy prey to teen stress. According to a recent study which surveyed 4300 students from both public and private schools to help determine the effect of school work on high school students, it was found that:

  • Homework is the main cause of ulcers, migraines, sleeplessness, and weight loss in young school-going students.
  • 56% of students in the study were of the view that too much schoolwork is the main reason for stress, both in and out of their schools.

While all students may groan at the mention of homework, it may be more than just a nuisance for children and teens who fail to cope with loads of classwork every day. Among all other causes of stress, this essay on stress and its effects on the youth will highlight problems that are caused by excessive schoolwork as it is the biggest cause of teenage stress, stress among youth, and chronic stress.

To better understand the effects of stress we must first learn about its causes through this stress and its effects on youth essay.

Causes of Stress in Children, Teens and University Students

According to the latest research study, 1 in 6 young students experiences stress and anxiety at some point in their lives. These stress effects on youth lead to symptoms of depression. Following are some of the most basic causes of stress in today’s generation.

  • Too much schoolwork is by far the most notable cause of stress among youth. Not getting enough time for play and other healthy activities can lead to continued tension.
  • Peer pressure and not being accepted in a social circle by friends and relatives also increase stress levels.
  • Failing a test, getting a lower grade, or not being able to come up to parents’ expectations can also make young people feel stressed.
  • College students who are forced to read many books overwork themselves by studying day and night to come up with academic essays and complete assignments.

School counselor Joy Holt who teaches in Harrisburg, Arkansas, reported that younger kids and children also feel pressured and stressed. Among her elementary students, she sees that young kids are terrified of failing tests. “The little ones also know how important tests are, and they never want to fail,” Joy says in an interview. Even the little kids cry out loud, get sick and even throw up on their booklets when they are stressed , she adds.

Effects of Stress on Youth and University Students

Many young people usually find destructive ways to eliminate stress. With one in 15 teenagers using harmful ways to cope with stress. Experts believe that many college and university students indulge in unhealthy activities to relieve academic stress. Many students usually find a safe haven in one of the following activities to relieve stress:

essay on stress and its effects


Stress eating is a disorder that almost affects everyone. It’s also a symptom that lets the family members know their kid is continuously going through stressful situations.

Stress eating can lead to weight gain that further leads youth to face critical health problems in life. 

essay on stress and its effects

Drugs Usage

Once teens enter high school they are bombarded with challenges of getting good grades, performing well in extracurriculars, and progressing in social life.  Not performing up to expectations lead to physical and mental health problems. In order to suppress the symptoms of depression and anxiety teens often start to abuse drugs to minimize symptoms.

essay on stress and its effects

Violence and Aggression

Many adolescents and teens resort to violence and become more aggressive towards their peers, parents, and teachers. They start doing crazy things and even start committing crimes to relieve stress.

essay on stress and its effects

Sleeping Problems

Many teens start experiencing sleeping problems because of continued stress. Sleep deprivation adds to their problems and hinders their ability to work to the best of their ability hence leading to serious health problems.

essay on stress and its effects

In Some Cases: Suicide!

Continued stress, anxiety, and episodes of extreme depression can stack up leading to cases of suicide. poor coping skills, academic stress, regular drug usage, and lack of support are the main causes of suicide in teenagers.

High Blood Pressure in Young People

Continuously dealing with stressful situations lead to hypertension. Hypertension in teens then leads to heart disease and high blood pressure.

essay on stress and its effects

Youth needs to understand that physical and mental well-being is more important than getting good grades. They need to be educated about how to practice good time management, start healthy social relationships, do stress management, and manage work deadlines.

On the other hand, teachers need to understand that the quality of schoolwork assignments matters more than the quantity. They need to know that students can still learn challenging skills even when too much homework is not given to them.

FAQ on Stress and its Effects on Young People Essay

Question 1: how does stress affect the youth.

Excess homework is by far the most common cause of stress among youth. Other common causes of stress among children, teens, and adolescents include being away from home, moving to a new place, time miss management, and trouble getting along with peers.

Q2: What IS stress and its effects?

Any change that triggers emotional, physical, or mental strain can be defined as stress. Stress has both positive and negative effects however the negative ones overwhelm the positive effects.

Q3: What are the main causes of stress for today’s youth?

Fear of being left behind, not being socially accepted by others, failing to cope with loads of homework are common causes of stress among youth.

Q4: How to write an essay on stress among youth?

Start by introducing stress and how it affects youth then discuss its common causes in the body and end the essay by discussing the effects and how to better cope with stressful situations. 



essay on stress and its effects

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Stress And Its Effects On Youth Essay

Essay On Stress And Its Effects On Youth - Everyone experiences stress to some extent. By learning how to manage stress effectively, young people can improve their physical and mental health and achieve tremendous success in school and other areas of life. Here are 100, 200 and 500 word essays on ‘stress and its effects on youth’.

Stress And Its Effects On Youth Essay

Stress is a feeling of pressure or tension when an individual is faced with demands or challenges they feel they cannot meet. A wide range of factors, such as work, relationships, financial issues, or health problems, causes stress. However, excessive or prolonged stress can negatively affect physical and mental health. Here are a few sample essays on "stress and its effects on youth".

100 Words Essay On Stress And Its Effects On Youth

Stress is a part of our daily life, but excessive stress can have adverse effects on physical and mental health, particularly in youth. Stress can lead to symptoms such as irritability, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty sleeping, which can all impact academic performance. It can also lead to physical symptoms such as stomach pain, headache, and chest pain.

It is crucial for youth to find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, meditation, and talking to a trusted friend or family member, or a therapist. It is also important for adults to recognise the signs of stress in youth and offer support and guidance to help them manage it effectively. By addressing stress early on, we can help youth build resilience and better cope with life's challenges.

200 Words Essay On Stress And Its Effects On Youth

Stress is a very common part of daily life, and everyone experiences stress to some degree.

Stress And Youth

Youth are particularly vulnerable to stress because they are still developing both physically and emotionally.

Physical health problems | Stress can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and difficulty sleeping. It can also make the immune system vulnerable, making young people susceptible to illness.

Mental health problems | Stress can lead to various mental health complications, including anxiety, or depression. It can also interfere with concentration and learning, making it more difficult for young people to succeed academically.

Behavioural problems | Stress can lead to behavioural changes, including irritability, aggression, and difficulty with social interactions. This can create problems in relationships with family, friends, and peers.

Strategies To Manage Stress

Exercise | Doing Exercise releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins that help reduce anxiety and improve mood.

Relaxation techniques | Relaxation Methods such as deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation can help to calm the mind and body.

Time management | Prioritising tasks and setting realistic goals can help to reduce stress by making it easier to manage time and responsibilities.

Social support | Having a strong network of supportive family and acquaintances can help to reduce stress by providing a sense of connection and belonging.

500 Words Essay On Stress And Its Effects On Youth

With the increasing pressure to excel in academics, sports, and extracurricular activities, it has become nearly impossible for young people to escape stress.

Physical Effects Of Stress On Youth

The physical effects of stress on youth can be severe and can lead to various health issues such as:

Headaches: Stress can cause tension headaches, which are often accompanied by neck and shoulder pain.

Insomnia: Stress can make it difficult for young people to fall asleep, leading to chronic insomnia and fatigue.

Digestive problems: Stress can lead to stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhoea.

Weakened immune system: Stress can weaken the immune system, making young people more prone to infections and illnesses.

Mental Effects Of Stress On Youth

The mental effects of stress on youth can lead to various mental health issues such as:

Stress can lead to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness, which can eventually lead to depression.

Stress can cause feelings of worry and fear, leading to anxiety disorders.

Stress can affect a young person's ability to concentrate and remember things, leading to poor academic performance.

Stress can lead to negative self-perception and low self-esteem, affecting a young person's overall sense of self-worth.

Managing Stress In Youth

Here are some tips for managing stress in youth:

Exercise | Regular physical activity can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Get enough sleep | Proper and peaceful sleep is essential for managing stress and maintaining good physical and mental health.

Practice relaxation techniques | Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Seek help | It is crucial for young people to seek help from parents, teachers, or mental health professionals if they feel overwhelmed by stress.

My Experience

I remember a time when I was under a lot of stress. I was in the last year of university education, and I had a lot of assignments and exams coming up. I was also working part-time and trying to balance everything. It felt like there wasn't enough time in the day to get everything done and I was constantly feeling overwhelmed.

I started to have trouble sleeping and found myself feeling anxious and irritable all the time. I knew something was wrong, and I needed to do something to manage my stress. Then I decided to seek therapy and decided to take some time for myself and focus on self-care. I started exercising regularly and made an effort to eat healthily and get enough sleep. I also made a list of all the things I needed to do and prioritised them so that I could focus on the most important tasks first.

It wasn't easy, but these small changes helped me manage my stress. I could feel more in control of my life. It's important to remember that it's okay to ask for help when you're feeling overwhelmed and to take care of yourself in times of stress.

Stress is a natural thing in our lives, and young people need to learn how to manage it. Following the tips mentioned above, young people can effectively manage their stress and lead happy and healthy lives.

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Ophthalmic Medical Technician

Ophthalmic technician careers are one of the booming careers option available in the field of healthcare. Being a part of this field as an ophthalmic medical technician can provide several career opportunities for an individual. With advancing technology the job of individuals who opt for a career as ophthalmic medical technicians have become of even more importance as he or she is required to assist the ophthalmologist in using different types of machinery. If you want to know more about the field and what are the several job opportunities, work environment, just about anything continues reading the article and all your questions shall be answered.

For an individual who opts for a career as an actor, the primary responsibility is to completely speak to the character he or she is playing and to persuade the crowd that the character is genuine by connecting with them and bringing them into the story. This applies to significant roles and littler parts, as all roles join to make an effective creation. Here in this article, we will discuss how to become an actor in India, actor exams, actor salary in India, and actor jobs. 

Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats create and direct original routines for themselves, in addition to developing interpretations of existing routines. The work of circus acrobats can be seen in a variety of performance settings, including circus, reality shows, sports events like the Olympics, movies and commercials. Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats must be prepared to face rejections and intermittent periods of work. The creativity of acrobats may extend to other aspects of the performance. For example, acrobats in the circus may work with gym trainers, celebrities or collaborate with other professionals to enhance such performance elements as costume and or maybe at the teaching end of the career.

Video Game Designer

Career as a video game designer is filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. A video game designer is someone who is involved in the process of creating a game from day one. He or she is responsible for fulfilling duties like designing the character of the game, the several levels involved, plot, art and similar other elements. Individuals who opt for a career as a video game designer may also write the codes for the game using different programming languages. Depending on the video game designer job description and experience they may also have to lead a team and do the early testing of the game in order to suggest changes and find loopholes.

Talent Agent

The career as a Talent Agent is filled with responsibilities. A Talent Agent is someone who is involved in the pre-production process of the film. It is a very busy job for a Talent Agent but as and when an individual gains experience and progresses in the career he or she can have people assisting him or her in work. Depending on one’s responsibilities, number of clients and experience he or she may also have to lead a team and work with juniors under him or her in a talent agency. In order to know more about the job of a talent agent continue reading the article.

If you want to know more about talent agent meaning, how to become a Talent Agent, or Talent Agent job description then continue reading this article.

Radio Jockey

Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising career and a great challenge for music lovers. If you are really interested in a career as radio jockey, then it is very important for an RJ to have an automatic, fun, and friendly personality. If you want to get a job done in this field, a strong command of the language and a good voice are always good things. Apart from this, in order to be a good radio jockey, you will also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later make your own by practicing.

A career as radio jockey has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. If you want to know more about a career as radio jockey, and how to become a radio jockey then continue reading the article.

Talent Director

Individuals who opt for a career as a talent director are professionals who work in the entertainment industry. He or she is responsible for finding out the right talent through auditions for films, theatre productions, or shows. A talented director possesses strong knowledge of computer software used in filmmaking, CGI and animation. A talent acquisition director keeps himself or herself updated on various technical aspects such as lighting, camera angles and shots. 

Multimedia Animator

Films like Baahubali, Kung Fu Panda, Ice Age and others are both a sensation among adults and children, and the multimedia animation industry's future looks promising. A multi media jobs could be described as the activity of giving life to a non-living object. Cartoons are the work of animation. Multimedia animation is an illusion developed with the still photographs. Multimedia animators work in a specific medium. Some concentrate on making video games or animated movies. Multi media artists produce visual effects for films and television shows. Multimedia career produce computer-generated images that contain representations of the movements of an actor and then animating them into three-dimensional objects. Multi media artists draw beautiful landscapes or backgrounds.


Careers in videography are art that can be defined as a creative and interpretive process that culminates in the authorship of an original work of art rather than a simple recording of a simple event. It would be wrong to portrait it as a subcategory of photography, rather photography is one of the crafts used in videographer jobs in addition to technical skills like organization, management, interpretation, and image-manipulation techniques. Students pursue Visual Media , Film, Television, Digital Video Production to opt for a videographer career path. The visual impacts of a film are driven by the creative decisions taken in videography jobs. Individuals who opt for a career as a videographer are involved in the entire lifecycle of a film and production. 

Copy Writer

In a career as a copywriter, one has to consult with the client and understand the brief well. A career as a copywriter has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. Several new mediums of advertising are opening therefore making it a lucrative career choice. Students can pursue various copywriter courses such as Journalism , Advertising , Marketing Management . Here, we have discussed how to become a freelance copywriter, copywriter career path, how to become a copywriter in India, and copywriting career outlook. 

Individuals in the editor career path is an unsung hero of the news industry who polishes the language of the news stories provided by stringers, reporters, copywriters and content writers and also news agencies. Individuals who opt for a career as an editor make it more persuasive, concise and clear for readers. In this article, we will discuss the details of the editor's career path such as how to become an editor in India, editor salary in India and editor skills and qualities.

Careers in journalism are filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. One cannot afford to miss out on the details. As it is the small details that provide insights into a story. Depending on those insights a journalist goes about writing a news article. A journalism career can be stressful at times but if you are someone who is passionate about it then it is the right choice for you. If you want to know more about the media field and journalist career then continue reading this article.

News Anchor

A career as news anchor requires to be working closely with reporters to collect information, broadcast newscasts and interview guests throughout the day. A news anchor job description is to track the latest affairs and present news stories in an insightful, meaningful and impartial manner to the public. A news anchor in India needs to be updated on the news of the day. He or she even works with the news director to pick stories to air, taking into consideration the interests of the viewer.

For publishing books, newspapers, magazines and digital material, editorial and commercial strategies are set by publishers. Individuals in publishing career paths make choices about the markets their businesses will reach and the type of content that their audience will be served. Individuals in book publisher careers collaborate with editorial staff, designers, authors, and freelance contributors who develop and manage the creation of content.

In a career as a vlogger, one generally works for himself or herself. However, once an individual has gained viewership there are several brands and companies that approach them for paid collaboration. It is one of those fields where an individual can earn well while following his or her passion. Ever since internet cost got reduced the viewership for these types of content has increased on a large scale. Therefore, the career as vlogger has a lot to offer. If you want to know more about the career as vlogger, how to become a vlogger, so on and so forth then continue reading the article. Students can visit Jamia Millia Islamia , Asian College of Journalism , Indian Institute of Mass Communication to pursue journalism degrees.

SEO Analyst

An SEO Analyst is a web professional who is proficient in the implementation of SEO strategies to target more keywords to improve the reach of the content on search engines. He or she provides support to acquire the goals and success of the client’s campaigns. 

A career as a gemologist is as magnificent and sparkling as gemstones. A gemologist is a professional who has knowledge and understanding of gemology and he or she applies the same knowledge in his everyday work responsibilities. He or she grades gemstones using various equipment and determines its worth. His or her other work responsibilities involve settling gemstones in jewellery, polishing and examining it. 

Product Manager

A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

Production Manager

Production Manager Job Description: A Production Manager is responsible for ensuring smooth running of manufacturing processes in an efficient manner. He or she plans and organises production schedules. The role of Production Manager involves estimation, negotiation on budget and timescales with the clients and managers. 

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Commercial Manager

A Commercial Manager negotiates, advises and secures information about pricing for commercial contracts. He or she is responsible for developing financial plans in order to maximise the business's profitability.

Quality Assurance Manager Job Description: A QA Manager is an administrative professional responsible for overseeing the activity of the QA department and staff. It involves developing, implementing and maintaining a system that is qualified and reliable for testing to meet specifications of products of organisations as well as development processes. 

Garment Technologist

From design to manufacture, garment technologists oversee every stage of clothing production. Individuals are actively engaged in determining the perfect fabric and ensuring that production remains inside the budget. Garment Technologists operate very closely with the designing team, pattern cutters and consumers.

Reliability Engineer

Are you searching for a Reliability Engineer job description? A Reliability Engineer is responsible for ensuring long lasting and high quality products. He or she ensures that materials, manufacturing equipment, components and processes are error free. A Reliability Engineer role comes with the responsibility of minimising risks and effectiveness of processes and equipment. 

Computer Programmer

Careers in computer programming primarily refer to the systematic act of writing code and moreover include wider computer science areas. The word 'programmer' or 'coder' has entered into practice with the growing number of newly self-taught tech enthusiasts. Computer programming careers involve the use of designs created by software developers and engineers and transforming them into commands that can be implemented by computers. These commands result in regular usage of social media sites, word-processing applications and browsers.

ITSM Manager

ITSM Manager is a professional responsible for heading the ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) or (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) processes. He or she ensures that operation management provides appropriate resource levels for problem resolutions. The ITSM Manager oversees the level of prioritisation for the problems, critical incidents, planned as well as proactive tasks. 

Big Data Analytics Engineer

Big Data Analytics Engineer Job Description: A Big Data Analytics Engineer is responsible for collecting data from various sources. He or she has to sort the organised and chaotic data to find out patterns. The role of Big Data Engineer involves converting messy information into useful data that is clean, accurate and actionable. 

Test Analyst

Test Analyst Job Description: A Test Analyst is responsible for ensuring functionality of computer software and hardware equipment, or other products depending on the industry before setting them into the market. His or her role involves designing, developing and administering a series of tests and evaluating them. The role demands to identify potential issues with the product. 

Cloud Solution Developer

A Cloud Solutions Developer is basically a Software Engineer with specialisation in cloud computing. He or she possesses a solid understanding of cloud systems including their operations, deployment with security and efficiency with no little downtime. 

CRM Technology Consultant

A Customer Relationship Management Technology Consultant or CRM Technology Consultant is responsible for monitoring and providing strategy for performance improvement with logged calls, performance metrics and revenue metrics. His or her role involves accessing data for team meetings, goal setting analytics as well as reporting to executives.  

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Stress and Its Effects on Human Health Essay

Stress and Its Effects on Human Health Essay


Stress refers to events, situations or conditions that put pressure on human beings. This may be at times when people have a lot to attend to and think about, or have little or no control over what happens to them or around them. Stress also refers to people's reaction(s) to being placed under pressure: The feelings that arise when many demands are placed on us as humans that we are unable or find it difficult to cope with. Being in situations that pressurize us is normal in life and this can help an individual to take the necessary action. The problem comes when feelings of stress start to develop (Allan et al., 2016). Stress has many effects both positive and negative. Stress can cause mental health problems and worsen the existing health conditions in a human being. On the other hand, mental health problems can cause stress. This essay, therefore, aims at explaining how stress can affect our health, and whether stress has positive effects on individuals.

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How Stress Affects Our Health

It's common for individuals to find themselves with sweaty hands on the first date, or have one's heart pound when watching a scary movie. This implies that stress can be felt both in one's body and mind. Stress is, therefore, a natural reaction to external stimuli. When one encounters a threatening situation or danger, the body is flooded with hormones that increase the heart rate, boosts the body's energy levels to deal with the problem. People face different situations such as meeting deadlines, paying utility bills and parenting duties all of which make the body to react similarly. All these circumstances may cause your body response system to be stuck and cause serious health problems (Lovallo, 2015).

It's important to note that even the minor stress can have significant impacts on an individual, for instance, one may develop some stomach ache before giving a presentation. Natural occurrences like earthquakes, landslides and other earth movements as well as terrorist attacks or even a fight have a bigger effect on an individual as a result of the stress they cause. Sudden emotional stresses like anger trigger serious health effects like heart attacks, arrhythmias and even sudden death (de Frias & Whyne, 2015). This is accelerated by people who have pre-existing conditions of heart disease. This is realized when the stress is acute and has caused a heart attack or a worse situation like sudden death.

Stress is said to have reached a chronic level when it starts to interfere with a person's normal life. The longer the stress is in an individual, the worse it becomes both in the mind and body of the victim. Someone feels fatigued, irritated and unable to concentrate on a particular task more often. Chronic stress a lot of wear and tear on the body. This becomes worse when the victim has had a pre-existing health condition which is worsened by the stress (McEwen et al., 2015).

Stress also makes it difficult for one to visit the toilet. Chronic stress impacts on the hormones released by the thyroid glands, which regulates the body metabolism. When these hormones are interfered with, it may lead to constipation. In some instances, an individual may lose her hair. The hair sheds more than usual in a period of three to six months after an experience of a super stressful event. Stress causes a backache. When a person is stressed, the heart rate and the blood pressure rise and the body respond by pumping out hormones that help the individual to fight or fright. This may cause the muscles to tighten up and magnify the aches one gets while sitting on a working desk. This will lead to a severe backache. Lastly, stress messes up with one's libido. Chronic stress has the effect of impacting on the body's production of estrogen, which keeps a woman's reproductive system in working order. This will negatively impact on the sex drive of the affected individual (Amsten, 2015).

Other forms of chronic stress like depression and low levels of social support are associated with increased chances of cardiovascular risks. Once a person is sick, stress makes it harder for that person to recover.

Positive Effects of Stress

Stress is motivating when it is well applied to our day to day life experiences. For instance, some students prepare for exams very early while others wait until the very last night of the exam. Some students may also opt to skip the revision part and just hope to remember concepts from classroom discussion with teachers and lecturers (Dhabhar, 2014). The students who revised harder and longer would be expected to perform better and are the ones more affected by stress. Stress makes one try and fix the problem through prior preparation. A famous psychologist Hans Seley is regarded as the father of stress due to his extensive research and contributions towards this topic. He referred to the small amounts of stress as eustress.

Stress also enhances our cognitive abilities. Stress can work to boost several aspects of individual's mental prowess and help them in their professional and academic capabilities. This is because stress helps human brain to be focused. Stress helps the individual to focus on the issue at hand and deal with it conclusively. In some instances, stress helps increase memory and recall, so some stress when revising will help a student to remember what he or she studied before the exam. This is attributed to slightly higher levels of cortisone, in moderate levels (Nakos & Whiting 2018).

Stress can increase an individual's physical performance and endurance. Stress causes the release of adrenaline, which increases a person's heart rate and metabolism. These results into increased reactions and reflexes, making one have more endurance. This can still help people in activities like sports. Some levels of adrenaline for an athlete is good because it helps to fight tiredness and fatigue (Silva et al., 2018).

Experts in stress related issues argue that stress is a burst of energy that advises an individual what to and what not to. When the stress is mild, it has a couple of benefits. To start with, stress can help the victim to meet day to day challenges and meet daily challenges. Further research has found out that stress can help someone accomplish tasks more efficiently and effectively. Stress acts as a memory booster. This only works when the stress is in small doses or mild.

Stress also acts as a critical warning system, accelerating the fright or fight response. This happens when the brain perceives some stress; the brain starts flooding the body with some chemicals like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. This then creates a series of reactions like an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This makes the senses develop a laser-like focus so that the individual avoids the physically stressful situations and be on the safer side.

In conclusion, therefore, it is important to note that stress has both positive and negative consequences. Stress yields positive results when it is moderate or in mild forms. When it is accelerated to high levels or when it becomes chronic, it has many effects that are harmful to an individual's health. Stress can also be controlled. This is done by identifying what is causing the stress. The causes are analyzed by examining the events of the day and writing them down, and once you get them, develop a plan to address them. Also, build strong relationships that will impact positively in your life.


Allan, B.A., Douglass, R.P., Duffy, R.D. and McCarty, R.J., 2016. Meaningful work as a moderator of the relation between work stress and meaning in life. Journal of Career Assessment, 24(3), pp.429-440.

Lovallo, W.R., 2015. Stress and health: Biological and psychological interactions. Sage Frias, C.M. and Whyne, E., 2015. Stress on health-related quality of life in older adults: The protective nature of mindfulness. Aging & mental health, 19(3), pp.201-206.

McEwen, B.S., Gray, J.D. and Nasca, C., 2015. Recognizing resilience: Learning from the effects of stress on the brain. Neurobiology of stress, 1, pp.1-11.

Arnsten, A.F., Raskind, M.A., Taylor, F.B. and Connor, D.F., 2015. The effects of stress exposure on prefrontal cortex: Translating basic research into successful treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. Neurobiology of stress, 1, pp.89-99.

Dhabhar, F.S., 2014. Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. Immunologic research, 58(2-3), pp.193-210.

Nakos, G. and Whiting, A., 2018. The role of frequent short exams in improving student performance in hybrid global business classes. Journal of Education for Business, pp.1-7.

Silva, J.A.S., Bahamondes-Avila, C., Hernandez-Mosqueira, C. and Navarrete, L.A.S., 2018. Biology of Stress and Physical Performance. In Sport and Exercise Science. InTech.

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Stress Essay Examples and Topics

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Cause And Effect Of Stress Essay

essay on stress and its effects

It happens sometimes that stress disturbs our life greatly. Stress is not only some unpleasant situation that makes us feel inconvenient, stress can even cause harm our health. In this stress cause and effect essay we are going to discuss how exactly stress influences us, what forms it has and how we can fight it using different methods and strategies of stress overcoming.

Definition of stress

Stress is responsiveness of the body to overstrain, negative emotions or just monotonous routine. During stress human body produces hormone called adrenalin, which makes us find way out. Stress in small doses is needed to everyone, because it makes us think, look for solutions of the problems, without stress at all life would be boring. However, if there is too much stress, body weakens, loses energy and ability to solve problems.

There is a huge number of essays about stress devoted to this problem. Mechanisms of stress formation are studied in detail and they are quite complicated: they are connected with our hormonal, nervous and vessel system.

It should be mentioned that strong stresses influence our health. Stress affects immune system and causes many diseases (cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and other kinds of diseases). That is why we should resist stress state and give us positive life orientation.

Symptoms of stress

What is stress from practical point of view? To figure it out let’s study the main symptoms of stress .

  • Constant feeling of irritation, depression, often without any obvious reasons.
  • Bad disturbing sleep.
  • Depressions, physical weakness, headache, tiredness, absence of desire to do anything.
  • Reduced attention concentration that makes it difficult to study or work. Memory problems and slower thinking process.
  • Impossibility to relax, to forget for a while about your business or troubles.
  • Absence of interest to people who surround you, even to best friends, relatives and close ones.
  • Constantly arousing desire to cry, tearfulness that sometimes turns into sobbing, melancholy, pessimism, pity to yourself.
  • Reduced appetite, however sometimes people start eating too much, uncontrolled food intake.
  • There are often nervous tics and obsessive habits, such as a person bites the lips, nails and so on. Person often shows mistrust to everything and everyone.

If you are in a stress state, it means only one thing: your body has reacted to some external irritant.

Kinds of stress

In some cases the term “stress” is used to define irritant itself. For example, physical stress is strong cold or unbearable heat, high or low atmosphere pressure.

  • Chemical stress means influence of different toxic substances.
  • Psychical stress is strong negative or positive emotions.
  • Traumas, virus infections, muscle overstrains are biological stresses.

According to result in psychology there are the following types of stress:

Eustresses (“useful” stresses). Everyone needs some dose of stress for successful existence. It is the moving power of our development. This state can be called “reaction of awakening”. It is similar to awakening from sleep. You need to wake up and leave your bed to go to work in the morning. To reach work activity you need a push, a small portion of adrenaline. Eustresses carry out this function.

Distresses (harmful stresses) appear at critical overstrain. This state corresponds to all beliefs that we have about stress.

Causes of stress

Almost everything can cause stress, everything that concerns an individual, that irritates him. For example, to the external causes we can include anxiety or worrying on any reason (change of work, death of a relative and so on).

Internal causes of stress are life values and beliefs. Personal self-esteem of a person also belongs here.

Men as well as women equally suffer from stresses. However each organism has its own features . If you start noticing the signs of stress overstrain of your body, the first thing you should do it to figure out what has caused the stress. It is obvious that it is much easier to fight the causes of stress than its consequences. People say that all the diseases appear because of nerves.

Clinical observations have shown that small stresses are not harmful for the body, but even useful. They stimulate man to find way out of the difficult situation. Not to let depression transform into more serious constant state, each of us should take care of self-education and development of will.

Many people used to fight depression with the help of antidepressants, drugs or alcohol . They think, why they should spend time on will development if there are easier ways. They do not think that they may become addicted and later their will need the help of specialists to fight the addiction.

Treatment and prophylactic of stress

It is well known that there is no better medicine than sound sleep. So think of how you sleep. Here are some tips that will make your sleep better.

  • Regular physical exercises are very helpful for good sleep. It is more preferable to do it outside couple hours before sleep.
  • Before going to sleep you can take warm bath, listen to quiet, calm music. If you have such an opportunity, combine bath taking with music. Try to do it every day.
  • To have sound deep sleep, body needs hormone called melatonin. Our body produces it when we take vitamins of group B. Rise, wheat, barley, sunflower seeds, dried apricots are rich with these vitamins. The vitamins of group B are almost absolutely absent in refined products, so try to eat only natural foods, preferably with high content of carbohydrates.
  • It should not be too hot, noisy and too much light in your bedroom. All this does not contribute to calm sleep.
  • Calm breathing can also help to overcome stress state. You should take a deep breath through nose. Then breathe out slowly through the mouth.
  • Healthy nutrition is also very important when you have stress. Food should be light and easily digested. Eat slowly in small portions. After meal you should have a little rest.
  • There are also natural ways of stress fighting. Camomile is considered a very good means for stress overcoming. It helps to fight headache, insomnia, it has calming effect. Oregano (or herb marjoram) and clary sage oil also have effective relaxing quality. Melissa (also lemon balm) is a great means for overstrain. It is used to release tense, anxiety, it helps to fight even serious stress. Melissa teas are very useful for insomnia and depression.

Learn to fight stress!

Each of us one way or another can experience stress state. Also each of us has already developed mechanisms of its fighting, because there is no one unique receipt that helps everyone to overcome stress.

Mechanisms of stress state fighting are individual and depend on certain situation. Something that perfectly helps one person, can be unacceptable for other. Something that works in one situation, may not work in other. It is known that there are several options of stress fighting.

First of all, this is method directed on the fighting of the stress causes. It implies problem oriented strategy of long action that changes either situation, or person. You find the cause of stress and eliminate it. This method can be used only in the case when you exactly realize what cause your stress, you want to get rid of them, and fast but temporary solution of the problem does not satisfies you, or you feel that stress state is coming and you want to be prepared for it.

Second of all, there are so called fast methods that can easy the situation for some time. In this case you try to reduce the level of stress reaction you already have and you try to avoid their worsening. These methods are acceptable for the cases when you can not (due to different reasons and circumstances) eliminate the cause of the stress.

Stress fighting strategies

In fact, there are many ways to relax and have a rest. It can be a walk, reading of a book, listening to or playing music, going in for sport or just doing nothing. Choice depends on you only.

Learn to plan your time. Think of how much time you spend uselessly and maybe you will find ways to spend it with much more use.

With the help of systematic planning you will learnt to find any solution very fast. The main points here are problem formulation (causes, goals, barriers), development and choosing of a right way of solution, its implementation, and efficiency evaluation. It is also important to understand that problems are absolutely normal phenomenon of our life. Your own behavior and too high insistence may lead to stress. Try to change your position, think over the demands, and evaluate your abilities. It will keep you from mistakes and as a consequence from stressful situations.

Now you know that some small amount of stress is even useful for us, but when stress is serious, we need to fight it because it affects the body and life in general. I hope there was something new and informative for you in this essay on stress. Anyway, if you look for really good essay writing service, then the best option for you is . Our website has at its disposal numerous essays on various topics written by team of professional essay writers. Of course, you may try to search for something else, but my advice is do not waste your time and contact us.

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  • Ensuring accessibility and availability of minimum health care for all in the future.
  • Boosting Human resources in mental health subspecialties.
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The Government wanted to take this program to the district level, so they came up with District Mental Health Program.

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  • To provide sustainable basic mental health services to the community and to integrate these services with other health services.
  • To reduce the stigma of mental illness through public awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions on Stress and its effects on the Youth

Ques: How can people get rid away from Stress?

Ans: Stress is like homework. If you do not address a single day, it will continuously pile up and create a huge problem. If you let the problem pile up, you will feel exhausted and stressed. The best solution is to address the issue one at a time. Do not let the Stress to get overwhelm you.

Ques: What are the other healthier ways should adopt to reduce Stress?

Ans: Coping with a problem one at a time greatly helps, but there are some situations where it becomes difficult to cope with a problem, for example, the death of a loved one. In this circumstance, a person needs time to accept reality and truth. It would help if you tried to understand your feeling and manage them accordingly. You can take help and assistance from your close family and friend.

Ques: Does exercising play a crucial role in the reduction of Stress?

Ans: Many experts have pointed out that exercises do wonders in times of Stress. Even a ten minutes dance can soothe your mind and body. This is true and scientific for people who are coping with Stress.

Ques: Is Stress common?

Ans: There is not a single person who does not experience, Stress in his life. It is omnipresent in human life. People try to hide the Stress, but that does not mean they do not experience it. Data suggests that Stress has become in the very young child. However, the amount of Stress and coping strategies varies from person to person.

Ques: How do introverts cope with Stress?

Ans: Extroverts have a better chance, or rather an advantage, in dealing with Stress as they can open up easily about the problem to the public. Introverts feel harder to communicate their problem to the world, but the tools introverts use to cope with Stress are similar, like reading, stress therapy, and exercise. They communicate their problems with fellow introverts and try to assist each other in addressing them.

Ques: Does Stress give rise to medical issues?

Ans: Persistent Stress gives rise to several health issues. That includes persistent headaches that would increase the severity. Other health issues involve rapid heartbeats, insomnia, and chest pain. It is being noticed that those who are under continuous Stress give birth to several heart issues.

Ques: Is medication useful in relieving Stress?

Ans: In usual cases, it is not advised to take medication during Stress. This is because the medication will lead to avoiding the issues at hand. There is another possibility that you might develop tolerance power for the medication and demand a higher dosage. Higher dosages will lead to side effects of the medicine.

Ques: Does therapy useful?

Ans: It does. You can try self-therapy, which consists coping mechanism for Stress. However, therapy is only affordable for some, but in serious cases, therapy is the best treatment.

Ques: Elucidate some of the symptoms generated due to Stress.

Ans: Symptoms generated due to Stress are back pain, continuous headaches, lower energy, and sleep. It will create turbulence in your work-life balance and will lower your productivity.

Ques: Is it true that Stress leads to weight gain?

Ans: There is little evidence to link between weight gain and Stress, but a significant correlation exists. Some people resort to overeating and smoking also. A significant amount of change is noticed in their lifestyle behavior.

Ques: Does it ever get better?

Ans: All problems discussed related to Stress are reversible. To get out of the Stress, follow the correct techniques and strategies. Remember, seeking help in a bad time is not a bad idea. Family and friends are always there to help you in troubled times. It would help if you did not doubt their intention and yourself.

Ques: Which are some of the best yoga poses to relieve Stress?

Ans: Some of the yoga asanas that help in reducing Stress are:

  • Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
  • Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forwand Bend)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
  • Balaasana (Child pose)
  • Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

The recent covid-19 pandemic has fuelled the debate on mental health. It has increased Stress among Youth and all ages of people. There is an immense need to promote mental health at the grassroots level and end the stigmatization of the problem.


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Here, the training model of the sample return capsule is seen is seen during a drop test in preparation for the retrieval of the sample return capsule from NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, at the Department of Defense's Utah Test and Training Range. The sample was collected from asteroid Bennu in October 2020 by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and will return to Earth on September 24th, landing under parachute at the Utah Test and Training Range.

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