Stress: Effects in the Present and the Future


Stress is the body’s response to things in the environment. A certain amount of stress can aid performance, such as when an athlete is preparing to compete.

Too much stress, however, can cause significant damage to your body.

It was recently discovered that people who experience high amounts of stress at their job during middle age are more likely to have serious health issues when they grow older. They are less likely to be self-sufficient and physically able to live without assistance.

In addition to this, excessive stress (work-related or not) can pose a health risk. Too much stress is shown to affect your well-being in a number of negative ways.

In animals, excess stress can make cancer medications less effective. It can also lead to premature aging and changes in the brain.

Having too much anxiety and stress can also affect the children you have in the future. Stress can cause negative changes to your genes which can be passed on to your kids.

As you can see, finding healthy and effective ways to manage your stress is crucial.

Chronic, unproductive worrying only causes more harm, so it is very important to learn how to shut off the repetitive thoughts that keep you from feeling calm.

Photo Credit: Loren Zemlicka via Compfight cc

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

ShakeNoMore February 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Sometimes when I read about the negative effects of stress and anxiety, it makes me feel even more anxious, knowing that it is impacting my health. It’s a like a spiral. At the same time, however, I recognize the importance of knowing these things as an impetus to take steps to manage my stress and anxiety.


Rich Presta February 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm

True, I know just thinking about anxiety can make you anxious, but continuing to make decisions based on fear isn’t the answer either. The anxiety will be temporary, but what you learn can stay with you and have positive long-term effects!


josjane1406 February 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm

My mom firmly believes her fibromyalgia was a result of years of chronic stress. She is always on me to deal with stress in my life so that I do not end up with a chronic disease like she did. I am really glad for her to give me that advice, because my tendency is to think that there is nothing I can do about stress in my life. But, at her prompting, I have learned many ways to reduce stress and anxiety, even in hard times.


Rich Presta February 19, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Great! I don’t know much about fibromyalgia, but if you’re taking steps to reduce your stress and anxiety, I’m behind that 100%!


AnxietyRUs February 21, 2013 at 2:28 am

I can certainly believe this. Stress has immediate and long term effects so I’m not surprised it’s been shown that it can cause chronic health problems in the long term. It’s amazing what the body can go through but it will break down if it’s not given enough time to rest and to relax.


Sabrina February 23, 2013 at 1:59 am

I’ve researched this for an article series I was writing and it’s shocking how damaging chronic stress can be to the body and the brain. We all feel stress sometimes and that’s a good thing as it can protect us. Unfortunately, I think today’s hectic pace is making stress chronic for many of us.


Rich Presta February 24, 2013 at 12:54 am

Agreed. Also, although stress and anxiety is meant to protect us, the trouble is that there isn’t much we need protecting from in modern times that a stress reaction would help with. Very rarely do we actually need to fight or flee for out lives, so we end up using that same reaction because of worries about work, or getting older, etc. Even the anxiety itself becomes the trigger!


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