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.