Tag Archives: post-traumatic stress disorder

What does stress do to the immune system?

Do you find yourself with a cold or major health issue after a stressful event? I most certainly do.

I’m constantly full of anxiety trying to do everything, and it’s not just all of the lists, and kids, and home maintenance, and work, and writing these articles (which I love doing); it’s a personality trait, and it’s quite common.

All of these little things in our lives add up and cause us STRESS.

So, what’s stress?

We can define it as a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in our lives.

When you feel stressed your body releases chemicals in response to stress hormones circulating through the body. Sometimes these hormones can be useful, however often they are very hard on the body and can leave you susceptible to infection.

When is stress useful?

You’ve most likely heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response–a survival alarm system dated way back to the beginning of human life. This response occurs in the face of real danger and causes the hypothalamus to stimulate the adrenal glands to start pumping adrenaline. This gives your body the energy to either fight or flee from a dangerous situation. We still use this response today in the face of say, encountering a bear on a hike or a mugger on the street.

Stress chemicals may also be useful before a big event when you may need a burst of energy or alertness to improve performance. This might be beneficial during a job interview or before a big test.

But, chronic stress is often harmful.  Continue reading