Health Effects of Stress

Evolutionarily, stress is necessary for adaptation.


In ancient times, predators, and lack of food and shelter were the main reasons for the effects of stress on the body.

Hans Selye, popularly known as the father of stress research, defined stress as anything that knocks us out of our normal equilibrium.

Defined As

Eustress, essentially pleasant stress, is the feeling of excitement and elation that life situations bring.


It also explains why a lot of us enjoy roller coasters and waterslides.

Distress is what brings panic, avoidance, flight or fight, etc. Sometimes, we create our own stressors.


Effects of stress on the body, caused by somatosensory information from the environment, is conveyed to the brain by the functions of the afferent nerves through the spinal cord.


These effects of stress on the body lead to changes including rapid heart rate, reduced blood flow to the organs required for digestion and other processes, increased blood flow to the limbs and the brain, etc.


Increasing stress interacts with genetic predisposition to certain illnesses.

Harmful for Body

Studies of immune functioning have found that chronic stress affects secretion of cytokines, suppressing immunity and increasing risk for allergic reactions and infections.

Ways to manage the effects of stress on the body include getting adequate social support, therapy, exercise, etc.

Manage Stress

Commonly, spending quality time with friends can considerably reduce stress