Stress is the underlying cause of many illnesses, both major and minor. Physicians and mental health experts agree that stress reduction techniques can prevent many illnesses, and disorders, as well as increase a patient’s ability to heal following the development of a variety of health problems.
The human response to stress is triggered within the brain, producing chemical and physical changes throughout the body, which affect every aspect of it’s functioning.
During times of intense stress the brain’s production of such chemicals as Dopamine, Epinephrine, and Norepinephrine increase, causing the distribution of larger amounts of these Catecholamines throughout the body.
The increase of the presence of these chemicals produces physiological changes such as increased heart rate, and blood pressure, increased cell reproduction, and suppression of the immune system.
Over time, unmanaged stress can lead to the development of ulcers and other digestive problems, heart disease, even heart attack and stroke.
The immune’s systems ability to fight off infection and disease is inhibited, allowing for the onset of various illnesses and viral infections. Additionally, the development of chronic conditions such as Diabetes and Asthma, have been linked to stress.
Stress is also related to many mental and emotional disorders, such as Depression, Anxiety, extreme Phobias, and panic attacks. The “Fight or Flight” instinct triggered by the brain during times of extreme stress is also related to the on-set of these chronic mental health conditions.
Learning to manage stress in healthy ways can help reduce the chemical changes occurring within the brain and body, thereby improving both physical and mental health.