In stressful situations, the organism releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These activate the body and prepare it for a fight or flight reaction. All areas of the body are affected.

In stressful situations, the bronchial tubes dilate to absorb more oxygen. This makes breathing quick and shallow. In addition, the heart beats faster and stronger, causing blood pressure to rise and blood vessels to constrict.

The muscles are also better supplied with blood and become more tense. Overall, the body adjusts to higher energy consumption and releases more sugar into the blood.

Digestion, on the other hand, is delayed and sensitivity to pain decreases. In this way the entire body is made ready for action.

Once the dangerous situation is over, hormone production decreases and the body calms down. However, if you are under constant stress, you will not be able to recover sufficiently. As a result, you are constantly in this state of arousal. Over time, this leads to exhaustion or further physical and psychological problems.

Physical stress effects.

Without sufficient recovery, stress can have an impact on overall health, which can permanently affect the body. The psychological stress should not be underestimated either.

1- Stress effects: Brain and ears

stress effects

Permanent stress is noticeable everywhere in the body. Especially in the brain there are lasting consequences. In a brief stress situation, the performance of the brain increases. But in the case of long-term stress it is overloaded in the long run. Thus the brain mass shrinks and the ramifications of the brain decrease. This also worsens the memory performance. In the worst case, chronic stress can lead to a stroke.

The sensory organs also react to stress. Typical stress symptoms are tinnitus or even sudden deafness in the ears. With tinnitus, affected persons hear sounds without an external sound source being present. This can have a strong impact on life, depending on the sensation. A sudden loss of hearing leads to a one-sided hearing loss. It is probably caused by a circulatory disorder in the ear, which can be stress-related, among other things. However, this theory has not yet been scientifically proven. In addition to stress, physical causes can also trigger tinnitus or sudden deafness. You should therefore always have these complaints examined by a doctor.

2-Stress effects: Cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system is weakened by chronic stress. Researchers have found out that people who are under constant stress suffer from cardiovascular diseases about twice as often as those who are less stressed. 

stress effects

Typical symptoms are:

High blood pressure

Elevated blood lipid levels

Increased deposits in the vessels

All these factors increase the risk of suffering a heart attack. In addition, cardiac arrhythmia can occur. Common sensations are:

  • A racing heart or stumbling…
  • Vertigo
  • Chest Pain
  • Gastrointestinal complaints
  • The effects of stress are also felt in the gastrointestinal tract. The body produces more stomach acid due to the increased number of stress hormones. As a result, those affected suffer more often from unpleasant heartburn.

3-stress effects: Stomach ulcers

There is also a higher risk of stomach ulcers. However, chronic stress can only trigger an ulcer if the stomach lining is already inflamed. This inflammation can be caused by the increased presence of stomach acid, for example. Typical complaints that are associated with this:

  • pain in the upper abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Other consequences of stress in the gastrointestinal tract are chronic digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhoea.

4-Stress effects: Tense musculature

Due to the body’s constant alert, the muscles are permanently tense. These tensions are mostly noticeable in the head, shoulder and back area. The consequences are headaches and back pain, which can become chronic without sufficient relaxation. As a result, the body is exhausted and less efficient.

5-Stress effects: Intensification of skin diseases

stress effects

Neurodermatitis patients in particular notice the consequences of stress on their skin. Permanent stress increases the inflammation of the skin, which is typical for neurodermatitis, and the itching. To relieve the tension, scratching is usually the only thing that helps. However, this increases the inflammation. Suppression of the itching in turn increases the inner tension. Without stress relief, the affected persons suffer more and more from the disease.

The skin diseases psoriasis and hives show similar symptoms. These can also be intensified by permanent stress.

Psychological stress effects:

In addition to the physical effects of stress, those affected also suffer from psychological problems. In the short term, the following complaints arise:

  • Inner tension and restlessness
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Fear and anger

Without sufficient rest, the permanent stress can cause more serious mental illness. The general wellbeing decreases more and more. Anxiety and dissatisfaction, on the other hand, occur more frequently.

6-Stress effects: Depressions

stress effects

A depression is a persistent depressive state that affects thinking, feeling and acting. The disease is diagnosed when typical symptoms have been present for at least 2 weeks. Those affected usually suffer from a depressed mood and feel empty inside. In addition, they lose interest in hobbies or their profession and no longer feel joy. A further symptom is listlessness: the patients are powerless and tired.

Additional symptoms can be:

  • reduced concentration and attention.
  • Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
  • sense of worthlessness
  • Negative and pessimistic thoughts
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite

To treat depression, in most cases drug and psychotherapeutic treatment is necessary.

7-Stress effects: Panic Attacks

In a panic attack, affected persons are in a state of intense anxiety. This happens when too many stress factors occur at once. Usually these attacks begin without warning and last from a few minutes to half an hour. Typical symptoms include

stress effects
  • palpitations or palpitations
  • Weld outbreaks
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed or fainting
  • Hot flushes or cold showers
  • shortness of breath, suffocation or shortness of breath
  • feeling of tightness in neck or chest
  • nausea or stomach ache

Panic attacks can also be triggered by a physical illness. You should therefore first clarify your symptoms with a doctor. If the cause is psychological, psychotherapy is usually helpful.

8-Stress effects: Burn-out

Burn-out describes an emotional, mental and physical state of exhaustion. The illness can be triggered by various personal or professional stress factors. The symptoms of the illness can be both physical and psychological. These are:

stress effects
  • Listlessness
  • Irritability
  • Fear of failure
  • Tiredness and exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Problems of concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Mood swings
  • headaches and backaches
  • Tinnitus or acute hearing loss
  • Cardiovascular problems

Psychotherapy can also help those affected by burn-out syndrome. Depending on the condition of the patient, mood-lifting medication is also used for therapy.

Stress affects the whole body. Thus, permanent stress can lead to serious diseases, e.g. diabetes, stomach ulcers or cardiac arrhythmia. Already existing illnesses can be aggravated.

The psychological effects should also not be underestimated. For example, dissatisfaction, nervousness or anxiety can develop into a far more serious mental illness. Therefore you should counteract the daily stress and allow yourself a break from time to time.

Important: If you experience one or more of the above symptoms, it is essential that you consult a doctor. This doctor can clarify whether it is a matter of short-term stress reactions or serious illness.

Take the first step:

Recognizing a problem is the first step toward solving it. By beginning to identify and understand the symptoms of your stress, you’ve taken the first step in learning to better manage it. Manage it, not eliminate it. Stress is a fact of life. And that’s OK. You can learn ways to handle it.

You can read this article for tips on how you can reduce stress:10 simple tips to help manage and reduce stress levels.