What is Stress?

Stress is a normal part of life, and some people experience it everyday. It is normal for some individuals to experience large traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, at points throughout life. It is how we recover and heal from these events that show the real impact of stress on our long-term health. AFC Urgent Care West Hartford is dedicated to the general health of all of our patients. If you are in need of counsel or additional resources, please visit our center today. 

What is stress?

Technically speaking, stress is the body’s response to a challenge or event. In some cases, stress can be positive. It can teach your body how to react to certain situations and guide you to become more resilient overall. Daily stress, however, can lead to chronic stress, which can have a negative impact on our bodies. 

Acute stress happens in more random, small situations. This can include fights with loved ones, unfamiliar scenarios (including exciting ones), or slamming too hard on your car breaks. Acute stress happens to everyone occasionally and will not have any major health implications. 

Chronic stress is stress that happens over an extended period of time. It is not necessarily due to large, stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one. It happens due to money problems, trouble at work, or unhappy relationships. You can become so used to these situations that you do not even realize chronic stress is happening for some people. In these situations, stress becomes chronic. 

Implications on our bodies

When your body reacts to stress, it releases hormones that cause your brain to be constantly active and your pulse to increase. Having chronic stress leaves your body feeling this way all the time, which is not healthy and can lead to long-term problems. These problems can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Depression or anxiety

Signs of too much stress

Stress can cause more than just an elevated pulse or feeling alert. Some symptoms can indicate that you are becoming too stressed consistently, which can lead to the conditions mentioned above. Some signs of too much stress include:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Body aches and pains, including stiff jaw and neck
  • Headaches
  • Lack of focus or forgetfulness
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Stomach pains

When to seek professional medical help

Contact a healthcare provider if you are feeling overwhelmed with stress. This can include feelings of panic, dizziness, rapid breathing, inability to function at work or home, uncontrollable fears, or trauma memories.