Stress is a reality and, for many, it can become a way of life. Sometimes we simply feel like we arent living if we arent stressed about something. The reality is, however, that stress can have very damaging effects on your mind and body.

Understanding Stress
The word stress actually refers to your bodys response to a demand for change. Stress is a physical response to something that frightens or upsets you, causing your body to kick into high gear in a sort of fight or flight response. The physical response of the body to stress differs from one person to another and from one situation to another.

When I feel stressed, for example, I notice that, in the short term, I experience a quickened heartbeat and fast breathing in the long term, I have difficulty sleeping and become run down emotionally. In order to understand and combat your own stress, you should take a few minutes to learn how it can affect both your mind and body.

Stress on the Mind
In situations of acute stress, you may feel a rush of energy and a sudden burst of concentration this is how your body propels you out of a possible dangerous or threatening situation. Long-term stress, however, can have negative and even dangerous effects on your mind.

Some of the potential mental effects you may experience from stress include:
Problems with memory
Inability to concentrate
Anxiety or racing thoughts
Irritability or short temper
Feeling overwhelmed or anxious
Poor judgment
General moodiness or depression

It is normal for everyone to become stressed at one time or another, but if you find that you are stressed on a daily basis you may be experiencing some negative effects from it. Remember, stress doesnt just affect your mind, it affects your body as well.

Bodily Effects of Stress
In addition to having troubles with memory and concentration, you may also experience some physical effects from stress. Some of the ways stress may affect your body include:
Aches and pains
Sleeping too much or not enough
Nausea and/or dizziness
Loss of sex drive
Diarrhea or constipation
Rapid heartbeat or chest pain
Abusing alcohol or drugs
Neglecting responsibilities
Eating too much/not enough

Only you can know the limits of your own body. A little bit of stress once in a while may not have any drastic or long-term effects, but too much stress can be dangerous. I know, for example, that I am able to handle a few minor hiccups in my day but if something threatens my long-term plans I am likely to become anxious.

In the past I have been stressed to the point of having trouble eating and sleeping it got so bad that I knew I had to do something. Are you at or nearing that point yourself?

After reading this article you should have a better understanding of how stress can affect both your mind and body. If you do not take action to relieve your stress, it could have serious negative effects on your health; do take action now to prevent it!