This Is What Happens To Your Body When You’re Overstressed

Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Hazards, Issues & Diseases, Health with 0 Comments

By Power Of Positivity

“Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.” – Natalie Goldberg

Stress manifests when someone experiences excessive levels of emotional or mental pressure. This emotional or mental pressure creates distress – a harmful psychological state that can damage both mind and body.

It is not hyperbole to say that stress can kill you. This fact and the near universal presence of stress in daily life does not bode well for individual and public health. Consider some of these alarming statistics:

77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress.

73% of people regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress.

33% of people feel “they are living with extreme stress.”

48% of individuals report lying awake at night due to stress.

48% of people cite stress as having a negative impact on their personal and professional life.

The human body consists of 78 organs total; all of which are divided into 13 “major” organ systems. Of all organs, five are considered vital: the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. Why do we mention this? Because stress negative affects them all, particularly the vital organs.

In this article, we discuss stress’ impact on 10 major organ systems. We’ll also provide some effective ways of destressing the body and mind (including the organs of course)!

This Is What Happens To Your Body When You’re Overstressed

1. Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system consists of our heart and blood vessels and is a potentially life-threatening target for chronic high stress. Cardiovascular disease accounts for approximately 610,000 deaths every year in the United States – or 1 in every 4 fatalities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

More research continues to link cardiovascular disease and stress. The presence of stress, particularly combined with other risky behaviors (e.g. smoking, alcohol abuse), is thought to increase one’s risk drastically to this disease.

2. Nervous System

The brain and spinal cord are “the central division “ of the nervous system. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) “has a direct role in physical response to stress); which is divided into the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

Stress starts, ends, and everything in between, within the brain. Stress initiates the “fight or flight” response and releases stress hormones that spread throughout the body, causing “the heart to beat faster, respiration to increase, blood vessels in the arms to dilate,” in addition to other side effects.

In short, chronic stress is not good for the brain. 

3. Respiratory System

The bronchi, larynx, lungs, nose, pharynx, and trachea forms the respiratory system. The brain’s fight or flight response causes one to breathe harder, sometimes to the point that one experiences hyperventilation.

Panic attacks – a sudden feeling of acute and disabling anxiety – is a common medical condition in those with chronic stress.

4. Musculoskeletal System

Our bones, joints, and muscles make up the musculoskeletal system. As we’re all privy to, stress has a way of causing our body to tense up. In an acute state, this tension is released and “that is that,” as they say. However, chronic stress “causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness;” chronic painful conditions and musculoskeletal disorders can manifest in this state.



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