Our response to stress can either help or hinder our body’s ability to cope with these various stressors in our lives. Healthy responses to stress include appropriate physical exercise, good eating habits, positive thinking, adequate rest, and reaching out to our friends and family for support. Unhealthy responses to stress include negative thinking, overexertion, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, and isolation. these unhealthy responses can cause the body to work harder than it needs to and can trigger physical and mental health issues. Over time, ongoing stress and unhealthy responses to stress can actually be detrimental to our health.
Some of the signs and symptoms of an overactive response to stress include anger, anxiety, asthma, depression, depressed immune system, digestive disorders, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint pain, and weight problems.
Medical studies have shown that with increased and consistent stress, our white blood cells, which defend our body against viruses, decrease. This results in lover immune resistance, ultimately leading to physical disease and emotional instability.
Even if the stressors are no longer present, the body continues to keep the stress response active. This results in the depletion of our nervous system, lymphatic organs (spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes), kidneys and adrenal glands, which can pave the way for a wide variety of signs and symptoms.