Stress is sometimes explained as the body’s way of responding to the demands of day-to-day life or what can be labelled as external pressures. However there are also emotional, physical and psychological aspects of stress. You may have heard of the “fight or flight” response. This causes the physical aspects of stress, which appear when adrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream. These hormones cause increased blood flow, clotting, and perhaps a raised heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. This therefore can be uncontrollable and if untreated it can lead to the development of conditions such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes, chronic pain, and heart attacks.
Some individuals develop ways to cope and manage stress – some which may be health and positive methods. Other ways can be unhelpful and perhaps harmful, such as alcohol dependence, emotional eating, gambling, dependence on medication, drug use, shopping addiction, or self-harming.