Stress also affects other areas of the body. For one, under chronic stress the body gradually tightens its muscles- something necessary in a flight or flight response. This is why your back hurts the more stressed you feel. But most important are the effects of stress on your heart and immune system. Highly stressed individuals have fewer white blood cells in their bodies. This makes them considerably more likely to develop illnesses (Gazzaniga).

An even worse scenario is the increased likelihood to develop blood clots and increased risk of heart disease as a result of stress. This is more prevalent in individuals who are of a type A personality, which is a set of learned behavioral attributes for people who at any given moment are more likely to be impatient, unable to relax, moderately to highly competitive, and are more likely to prescribe to the statement “I am a workaholic”.

For these individuals, such negative effects of stress need to be treated- a topic I will get to next week- but first you need to know whether or not you are stressed.

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17 thoughts on “Measuring Stress- ABKpsych

  1. I felt as if I’ve gone through a biology class. It’s rare that I find a clear explanation of a specific subject, which you’ve handled professionally. I admire that talent 😊

  2. This is a topic dear to my heart. Stress is so detrimental to our physiological and psychological wellbeing, yet it is so often overlooked or minimized. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the MRI images of how brains are affected by stress, particularly those of the developing brain. There are particularly well-known images of the brains of Romanian orphans, showing how stress (particularly caused by neglect and disrupted attachment relationships) results in major physiological changes in brain development. On the other side of the coin, there are also such promising studies on the positive impact on brain physiology of strategies such as meditation and mindfulness. Studies that show our resilience, and neuronal plasticity, even as adults… Minds and bodies are tightly woven, you cannot affect one without affecting the other.. Consistent and chronic activation of the fight/flight/freeze response (and increased cortisol levels) is such a major symptom of anxiety disorders..

    You probably know all this, so I’m sorry, it’s just a topic I find hard not to get on a soap box about. I was SO happy to read your well-researched words in such an important topic. Awesome in fact. I had a very vebose response to it!!!

    Happy everything, and you should start carrying less text books at a time! 😂

    1. Actually I haven’t seen the MRI image data yet! I’ll have to look that up.

      I would say that our time in history is all about dealing with stress, and I have to add that this really is a wonderful time to be alive because of this. Your comment should be on billboards as a happy little PSA for everyone!

      Thank you, as always, for being so engaging. Absolutely loved this comment.

      Absolutely happy everything. And I’ll be sure to get a book bin next time!

      1. i hear you! there is so much to say about the effects of stress—and some stress is good for us. Some healthy stress/pain/suffering. It’s totally normal! Lest we grow weak. And so kinstugi (beautiful image by the way)…keep writing, my friend. 🙂

      2. I’m glad you said this! It really is normal and we can get through it.
        Hopefully the next ABKpsych will cover the topic in a more uplifting light too!

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