What is Stress?



What is stress and how does it impact the mind and body?

The human stress response (“Flight or Fight”) is the body’s strategy to deal with physical, psychological, and environmental stressors in a way that ultimately promotes human survival.  As a result of the stressor(s) the body and brain produce a cascade of stress hormones that serves to focus the mind and body to the threat(s) and the needed actions for survival.  This response system is designed for short term use only as the stress hormones are powerful and produce toxic side effects in the body when the system is chronically activated.  The toxic effects of chronic stress may include the disruption of all body systems with symptoms involving:

  1. Decreased immune function, e.g., we are more likely to get ill
  2. Digestion (Gastro-intestinal) problems of all types
  3. Reduced cognitive abilities, e.g., problem solving
  4. Circulation issues, e.g., effects on blood pressure, heart rhythm, and cold hands
  5. Decreased memory
  6. Behavior and personality changes
  7. Increased depression and anxiety
  8. Fatigue and poor quality sleep
  9. Suicidal thinking


About Stress

Management of Stress