Editorial Illustration by Peter Greenwood

The Negative Health Impact of Stress written by
Aris Grigoriou, Student Recruitment Manager at Study Medicine Europe

Many of us have a rough idea of the mental and emotional toll that stress can take, however emerging research shows the extent to which stress can damage our physical health and well-being.
In fact, it is estimated that between 75 – 90% of all doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.

The Science of Stress

To gain a better insight into how stress affects our health, you must first familiarize yourself with the neuroscience of stress:

  1. When we feel stressed, the amygdala (the part of the brain that processes emotions) sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus (the brain’s control center) which then floods the body with adrenaline.
  2. This prompts a “fight or flight response” which puts the body into high alert, and this triggers physiological changes such as faster heartbeats and rapid breathing.
  3. Following this, the brain sends out the stress hormone Cortisol and this has the ability to temporarily change or shut down bodily functions that are deemed to hamper survival. Many of the physical symptoms associated with stress (e.g. headaches, stomach aches, insomnia etc.) are believed to be brought about by this.

Another factor to consider is that many people often turn to unhealthy behaviors (e.g. smoking, drinking, over-eating) as a way to deal with stress.

Prolonged over an extended period of time, these activities can have a devastating effect on the body.

Find Out More About The Negative Health Impact of Stress!

If you are interested in the science of stress and would like to learn more, we recommend that you scroll down to the infographic below.

Below is an infographic that offers a comprehensive run-down of the many ways stress can negatively impact our physical wellbeing.

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