Effects of Stress on the Human Body


Human beings are social animals; they have insatiable expectations; when interacting and living among each other, they develop stress resulting from the experiences they have in life. Stress is a condition of the mind; when someone is under stress, his/her mind is not at peace with environment he is living in. At this time, the mental aspects of the human being are at danger and thus the psychological well being of the person is not proper.

The way stressed people take things and make choices is different from the way a stress free does. The psychological well-being of the individual operates in the correct way if it is given adequate resting intervals after work and is in an appropriate living condition, however this can only happen in an ideal situation. The way stress people observes and interpolates world around them is different; thus it results to cognitive dissonance; this is the feeling that a person gets when he or she is confronted by two opposing ideas at the same time. It happens when one is persuaded to do something contrary to his or her believed.

It can be explained as embarrassment, guilt or the uncomfortable feeling. According to Virginia, “The word stress begun appearing in nursing journals in 1956” (Virginia 2). The strength of the feeling is increased with the increase in the importance of the conflicting matter and the inability to make a rational decision on the best way of doing something. Stress can occur at any stage in human life; from the youngest to the oldest depending with the life experiences that one undergoes. When someone is stressed, the condition affects his social and health life (Martha 17). This paper discusses the effects of stress.

Health implications of stress

When somebody is stressed, some health implications results directly or indirectly from the condition. When undergoing through a stressing moment, the normal operation of the immune system is affected. Stress causes physical, emotional or psychological strain in a human being, the strains are responsible for diseases and health complications facing human beings. However, there are different types of stress and their effects on human beings are different.

Surprisingly some stresses that are positive and make people think better, they include Eustress, this is a stressing condition that brings massive joy to human beings that can be used to accomplish some goals like skiing and sporting. Linda and Jess are of the opinion that, “The next type of stress involves life events that affect us” (Linda and Jess 45). The most important thing to use the effects of stress positively is to tap the drive and the enthusiasm that they create in a person, there should be no assumption that the stress will end or it is for a bad note. The inner drive to solve life situation is driven by stress and pressures that human beings face.

In day to day life, there need to have some stress since they trigger thinking, invention and innovation, the most crucial thing is to manage the stress and bring it to your benefit. Acute Stress is defined as stress that someone undergoes through in daily life, it is seen to be part of life and prevails to create self-knowledge and give the motivation and zeal to work harder to achieve some goals in one’s life.

Episodic Acute Stress is stress that has been prolonged for a long period and seems to recur with some events, they are dangerous if not effectively managed. When a person is suffering from this stress, he is seen to have some episodes in life. When under the stress, the person feels depressed and becomes antisocial.

At extreme situations, there is Chronic Stress; a stress condition that seems to be unending, a person suffering this stress is seen to be depressed and lack meaning of life. At this stage, it may be very hard to cure.

Stress causes over activated autonomic nervous system, the condition from the inner being are reflected in psychological and physical disorders that face stressed personalities; the most initial symptoms of stress are mild, like chronic headaches, antisocialism and vulnerability to diseases:

Some of the most common diseases attributed to stress are:

  • Depression: In simple terms, depression is a mental disorder where by one is not in the right mind to make sound decisions; it is not not a disease by itself but just a condition that would lead to diseases. When someone is depressed, he cannot reason well thus he cannot meet the expectations of life (Virginia 1-45).
  • Diabetes: stressed people are more likely to suffer from diabetes especially in the old age: the state and equilibrium of insulin in a human being affect how the person old age is likely to be. There are two types of diabetes, one is that the body is not able to produce its insulin it is called diabetes type 1 (it is said to be insulin dependent). The second one is type two is characterized by insulin deficiency and resistance. It is the most common form of diabetes, in case someone is suffering from either than has stress, then the condition is life threatening.
  • Hair loss and hyperthyroidism: other than normal hair loss from old age and baldheaded, when someone is stressed there are higher chances that they will suffer from hair loss.
  • Heart disease: stressed people have high chances of suffering from heart diseases, heart attacks and heart failures especially when they receive information that is not present.
  • Obesity: some people when under stress have an increase appetitive, the appetite may make them eat junk and unhealthy foods, when this happens, and it makes them obese. Obesity on the other hand has its health implications. Different dangers come with being obese. When someone has a lot of fat deposited in the body, there is a lot of sodium deposited in the body. The resultant is an increased blood volume that increases the rate of blood pressure. Increased blood pressure force the heart to work harder a factor that is likely to cause high blood pressure. When the body has excess fat deposits, there is a high insulin resistance. When this happens, the body lacks the energy that it requires to maintain at equilibrium. The resultant is type 2 diabetes. Heavy weight exerts a lot of pressure to joint and cartilage, this leads to Osteoarthritis. Cancer is another danger that can result when one is having more fats in the body
  • Obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder: when someone is suffering from stress, he is anxious and not ready to trust others. In social environments, people need to trust and have confidence with others, when this lack among people then life becomes hard and unpleasant.
  • Sexual dysfunction: stresses people have low drive to sex; they do not have the physiological power and drive to have sex with their partners. This leads to family breakage and societies without high moral as families break.
  • Tooth and gum disease: prolonged stress leads to tooth and gum disease, even when the tooth and gum disease it seems to be resistance to medication.
  • Ulcers and cancers: at the extreme situations, stress leads to Ulcers and cancers, these are life-threatening diseases whose medication cannot be fully guaranteed, they are only managed however they lead to death (Linda and Jess 45).

Social effects

Human beings are by nature social beings, they interact with each other at every stage of their development. When a person is stressed, he is more likely to withdraw himself from the people and his social life is affected. The internal surroundings that are, the family, friends and parental training can influence the attitude of an individual. The external factors are social interactions, educational institutions and church or other social groups.

Your personality grows as you learn about “self, ” as you learn to be an individual with your own identity, as you begin to learn to accept responsibilities, as you learn to possess ideas and thoughts, you therefore learn to express your ideas, beliefs and thoughts. The case is different in a depressed person; this is so because he perceives the world around her as a threat in one way or another. He is thus likely to repel interaction with people and the resultant is getting even more depressed.

The mood swing also affects the way the stressed interact with others, since he is unpredictable, one of the way to have peace with such a person is to keep him off. This is seen as if the society is fighting back a situation that may make the patient’s condition even more badly (Morewitz 122-134). To make the situation even more worse, those people that the elderly are more close to may keep him off in their efforts to keep peace with her, the elderly may interpolate this as a negative move by those that he believes should be on her side always; this is the extremes that you here that one has committed suicide.

Lack of sleep, insomnia, and its health disorders

A stressed person has a changed sleeping pattern that may not result to adequate sleep, the person lacks deep sleep and only manages sleep with episode that he is awake although not physically but the body and mind are still functioning. this includes talking at night or waking up to do some duties unknowingly, REM sleep, there is little or no sleep at all. Statistics show that over 80% of those suffering from stress and depression have sleeping problems; this shows the need to understand the connection between depression, stress and sleep. The old people are the most affected, “Older people are especially vulnerable to ozone and particulate matter” (Morewitz and Mark 14).

When one is in a stressed circumstance, the mind is not at peace and thus it is willing to work extra hard to attain an equilibrium of peace and comfort. It then interpolates the situation as a moment to think and deliberate the issues at hand. This leads to one not having sleep or staying for long before sleeping.

Sleep is important for the health and well-being of an individual, lack of sleep leads to health complications that lead to further costs and problems. What makes the diseases even more complicated is because they are not diagnosed and treated early enough. The symptom of a stressed person vary but in general they are seen in the moods swings, being nervous, having a feeling of emptiness, feeling unloved, restlessness, irritability. The above signs are the resultant of the affected psychological situation of the depressed (Hellhammer and Juliane 12-56).

Memory disorders and depression

When one is stressed, the memory level decreases, memory is crucial in day-to-day operation of human being. What happens when one’s mind is not at peace, then he or starts to forget the things that he thinks that he should be remembered; this leads to depression. As life changes there are new things that we have to learn to be in line with the changing life, the elderly are not exempted but also needs to learn.

With stress the absorption level of new things reduces and cannot learn new techniques of doing things. This makes him operate at a low level that the general society that might be a source of stress and eventually depression. Hellhammer and Juliane states that, “Several disturbances are considered to be psychosomatic since their onset and reoccurrence seems to be influenced by psychological, social or behavioral event” (Hellhammer and Juliane 12)

When someone is stressed, he has some mood swings; the moods go further to affect the attitude of the person. According to the “ law of attraction”, a person attracts those things that rhyme with the pulses that he is attracting; so when the moody does not go along well with those who he interacts with. This is more likely to accelerate the depression; depression affects the health of an individual; this is because they both interfere with the normal functioning of the body.

When one is depressed, the coordination of the body and mind is affected. It leads to reduced appetite and eventually weight loss. This though is not to all people since some people have a boosted appetite when they are depressed and this leads to overweight. Lack of sleep as result of one being depressed results into fatigue, memory problems and confusion. Older people are more likely to display aches and pains in different parts of their bodies (Neil 142).

Stress and breakage of families

Nobody would desire to have an unpleasant marriage life; people by nature avoid soar and look for happiness at all times. Marriage comes with a number of expectations, responsibilities and commitments, which sometimes are the cause of depression among couples. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ten percent of the 120 million people over the age of 35 years, suffer from a depression related condition.

One of the major factor that makes depression to prevail in the society is that it is seen a normal situation of life and thus those suffering from it are seen as undergoing the normal way of life. Depression is a condition of the mind, it is the mental aspects of the human being, which is a danger, and thus the psychological well being of the person is not proper. Martha says, “Much of the difficulty in uncovering irrational self-talk results” (Martha 24).

When people are getting into marriage, they overlook and sometimes are ignorant of the new lifestyle that marriage demands. They end up having a shock after their day of marriage or honeymoon. It does not take long before a married couple realizes the realistic picture and responsibilities brought about by marriage. How one reacts to the change dictates whether he ends up depressed or not (Anne-Marie, 2005).

When a couple is stressed/depressed chances that the couple is likely to break are higher; broken families have negative effects on life and societies, the character and attitude as well personality of children is better shaped by stable families.

Economic situation

When one is stressed he is not in a position to function well, the body is not functioning in the right way and thus will have a reduced production level. On the other hand when one has not adequately slept, during the following day, the level of production is reduced, It is also common to see him having episodes of sleep I the day that also hinders the level of production. Lack of sleep and depression may result into disease, and are medical conditions by themselves that may require medical attention.

The amount of money that he is going to use for treatment will affect them negatively. From a larger angle, the government must keep proving these people with social services this injures the economy. In most cases the health of an elderly is covered by someone different from the elderly; this may be a relative, or an insurance policy, thus when the elderly get sick other people also suffers financially (Hellhammer and Juliane 12-56)


Stress is a mental power balance disorder, which is part of life; however, it has some health implications when not effectively managed. When someone is having positive stress, he/she can think critically and developing life challenges solution is facilitated. On the other hand, negative stress leads to health complications, psychological, and emotional misbalances. Stress leads to social problems like breakage of families and cognitive dissonance among people.

Works Cited

Hellhammer, Dirk, and Juliane Hellhammer. Stress: the brain-body connection. Basel: Karger Publishers, 2009. Print.

Linda, Brannon,and Jess Feist. Health Psychology: An Introduction to Behavior and Health. New Jersey: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.

Martha, Davis. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook: Easyread Super Large 24pt Edition. San Francisco: ReadHowYouWant. 2009. Print.

Morewitz, John, and Mark Goldstein. Aging and chronic disorders. New York: Springer, 2007. Print.

Neil, Richard. Stress: Taming the Tyrant. London: TEACH Services, Inc., 1994. Print.

Virginia, Hill. Handbook of stress, coping, and health: implications for nursing research, theory, and practice. London: SAGE, 2000. Print.

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NursingBird. (2023, January 6). Effects of Stress on the Human Body. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/effects-of-stress-on-the-human-body/


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NursingBird. (2023) 'Effects of Stress on the Human Body'. 6 January.


NursingBird. 2023. "Effects of Stress on the Human Body." January 6, 2023. https://nursingbird.com/effects-of-stress-on-the-human-body/.

1. NursingBird. "Effects of Stress on the Human Body." January 6, 2023. https://nursingbird.com/effects-of-stress-on-the-human-body/.


NursingBird. "Effects of Stress on the Human Body." January 6, 2023. https://nursingbird.com/effects-of-stress-on-the-human-body/.