Stress, either physical or non-physical can effect the body in a very physical manner. Stress can effect the body on many levels including a neurological and hormonal level.
Neurologically, during the stress response, or nervous system kicks into the ‘fight or flight’ mode, where the body prepares to either fight or take flight. Some of the changes in the body that take place during the fight/flight response are:
increased blood to the muscles of your limbs
decreased blood flow to your organ that are not involved in fight/flight i.e. digestive organs, genito-urinary system etc.
Increased rate of breathing and heart rate
Release of glucose from the liver
Increased release of adrenaline
On the hormonal level, the adrenal glands release the stress hormone, cortisol, during the stress response. Also adrenaline is released from the same gland. Compared to the neurological stress response, the hormonal stress response is slower to respond, but longer lasting.
Prolonged states of stress i.e working long hours at work, relationship issues, workplace issues, financial problems etc can lead to constant states of stress and so the constant release of the chemicals and hormaones, particularly adrenaline can leave you feeling stiff and sore and fatigued. Over time this can also have other effects on your body like impaired immune system function, constantly feeling tired, depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders etc.
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