What Happens To Your Body When You Are Stressed?


The situations we just talked about have brought you a modern day version of the cavemanís stress reaction to the tiger. Your body hasnít got to run, yet the adrenalin and other chemicals like noradrenaline needed to get you running, do happen - if the stress source is unpleasant and upsets you. Besides your heart rate going up, your blood vessels dilate and with a decrease in metabolism, extra glucose surges into your blood steam to give you extra fuel.


Another chemical now being produced is called cortisol. It has recently been identified as possibly causing weight to pile on around your tummy - not a good thing because of the implications that has for heart disease. Cortisol has also been shown in some studies to destroy brain cells. So, itís quite a complicated process. Remember - back in caveman times, you would have needed all these chemical reactions to escape danger.


In addition, your system stops the production of sex hormones (just in case there was any danger of becoming romantic when you need run or do battle.) So as you can see, quite a lot happens in your body when you react to stress.


These same chemical reactions pump away as you pick up the phone to ask the doctor about your pap test results, or when you disagree with your daughter.Equally, these chemicals speed about in your body if youíre screaming silently at the driver ahead of you to turn on the arrow . . .and he doesnít. Now you are cursing to beat the band while glaring menacingly at the back of that slow car. This scenario is actually labelled road rage. Youíre all geared up to deal with that scary tiger ... as you sit in your own car.


In summary, the following are some of the things that your body does when you are stressed:


        Chemicals, such as adrenalin start pumping

        Heart rate goes up

        Blood vessels dilate

        Breathing increases

        Sweat production increases

        Metabolism slows down

        Muscles become tense

        Pupils enlarge

        Sex hormone production goes down







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