Stress as Psychological Factor of Physical Health


Stress is characterized as a stimulus that bothers or interferes with the physiologic harmony of an individual or animal. Stress could be a natural occurrence or induced by specific conditions. As the definition infers, stress aggravates the mental and emotional balance of an individual. In few occurrences, stress may assume a useful part. A competitor or athlete may perform better under pressure that originates from rivalry. However, stress can upset and change our physical, mental, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. Thus, when stress exceeds its threshold, it affects our physical and mental health.

Relationship between Stress and Physical Illness

Diseases disturb schedules and interfere with daily capacities, all of which burdens an individual. An individual’s reaction to physical illness shifts massively and relies on his or her identity and lifestyle. Specific diseases, for example, diabetes, rheumatoid pain, peptic ulcer, or heart ailment can exacerbate with mental stress. While it is not certain that stress cause these diseases, numerous ailments are influenced by pressure. Research has shown that stress may expedite or exacerbate certain side effects or illness (Oltmanns & Emery, 2015). When an individual is frightened his or her circulatory strain and heartbeat is pressured. Individuals encounter bowel disorders when stress or pressure affects their mental and emotional wellbeing. Therefore, Stress prompts signs like migraine, chest torment, or spinal pain.

Stress and Physical Health

Stress is hypothesized as having physical and mental attributes (Oltmanns & Emery, 2015). Physical attributes of stress are those identified with specific signs while physiological or mental components could be a person’s recognition of life conditions. As indicated by Oltmanns and Emery (2015), the physical and psychological components of stress can be inspected in three ways. This last view underlines a process in which human stress is characterized by stressors, strains, and the connection between the stimuli and the environment. By implication, stress changes the behavioral, psychological, and emotional pattern of an individual. Thus, stress refers to the situation in which activities stimulate an individual to see the disparity between the physical or mental burden of a circumstance and the assets of his or her natural, mental, or social frameworks.

Physical Health

The impacts of pressure on physical wellbeing have been discussed in many literatures (Klainin-Yobas et al., 2014). In a cross-sectional examination among Thai nursing students, those with high feelings of anxiety showed poor physical wellbeing, which relates to mental stress (Klainin- Yobas et al., 2014). Stress has been observed to be one of the fundamental components connecting perfectionism physical health. Consequently, socially recommended compulsiveness is related to poor physical wellbeing.

Health researchers have been evaluating the pathways of stress on physical wellbeing (Klainin- Yobas et al., 2014). The persuasions have been followed with physiological pathways, weak immune operation, cardiovascular pressure, and poor health practices. Physical pressure influences the hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal movement, which causes cortisol discharge. As a result, the HPA movement prompts excessive cortisol discharge, which causes negative health impacts, including physical illness.

Research demonstrates that stress causes poor health practices. An investigation conducted on children found that high-pressure levels might cause less physical movement and abnormal eating habits (Michels et al., 2015). Another research suggested that the side effects of migraine, tiredness, rest challenges, and musculoskeletal pain were related to feelings of anxiety (Michels et al., 2015). Drug abuse has been identified with pressure and emotional stress (Michels et al., 2015). A research conducted on teenage students revealed that substance abuse affects their physiological reactivity and the capacity to manage stress. Specifically, female students who drink to manage stress had markers of HPA hub overregulation (Wemm et al., 2013). As a result, it builds stress and propels negative eating behaviors (Wemm et al., 2013). Stress has been connected to numerous ailments including eating disorder and poor health practice (Michels et al., 2015).

Stress and Mental Wellness

Stress examinations have shown that people undergo high levels of mental issues due to anxiety. These issues could be uneasiness, freeze assaults, and melancholy (Wemm et al., 2013). Studies revealed that depression is associated with distressing events (VanKim & Nelson, 2013). The correlation between mental health and stress might be directed through abilities and assets. For example, the connection between anxiety and depression might be impacted by self-viability (Michels et al., 2015). Self-efficacy management and confidence influence the relationship amongst stress and dejection (Michels et al., 2015). On various psychological issues, energetic physical movement and socialization have appeared to lessen poor emotional wellness and stress (VanKim & Nelson, 2013).

Symptoms of Stress on Physical Health

The substantial changes that occur during moments of stress can be useful when they occur for a brief span. When the reaction exceeds the body capacity, it creates an excessive number of stress hormones that affect physical health. Symptoms of stress could be stomach disorders, obesity, nervous, cardiovascular disorders, and a weak immune system (VanKim & Nelson, 2013).

Stress influences stomach disorder because it changes the patient’s eating behavior. Chronic stress may lead to depression, which causes hunger or diarrhea. As a result, the individual suffers from low or excessive colon activity, which affects his or her physical health. Obesity is an eating disorder that causes excessive weight gain. Reports indicate that stress may cause abnormal eating behavior (Michels et al., 2015). In chronic conditions, the patient may suffer from other ailments such as nervous and cardiovascular breakdown. Records show that stress affects the immune system (Michels et al., 2015). As a result, patients may notice first signs of flu, cold and abnormal body temperatures. Nervous disorders have been associated with stress. The disorder includes loom, depression, sleep issues, and lack of interest in physical activities.

Cardiovascular Diseases and Treatment

Cardiovascular disorders associated with stress include an increase in circulating strain, heart rate, and blood fats, glucose levels, coronary illness, diabetes, atherosclerosis and stroke (Michels et al., 2015). The causes of cardiovascular diseases could be circulatory failure, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure. Cardiovascular symptoms include discomfort, cold sweat, fatigue, and dyspnea. However, the physical could recommend lifestyle rehabilitation, surgery, medication relief therapy, and counseling.

The Role of Psychological Factors in Physical Health

Research has proven that stress weakens the immune system (VanKim & Nelson, 2013). When stress threshold exceeds its limit, they trigger psychological hormones (Michels et al., 2015). The hormones change the patient’s behavioral patterns, cognitive thinking, and eating behavior. The signs of stress could be emotional, physical, cognitive, or behavioral. Emotional symptoms of stress could be agitation, frustration, isolation, feeling overpowered, and loss of control, low self-worth, and low self-esteem. Physical signs could be headaches, cardiovascular disorders, nervous disorders, obesity, low energy, insomnia, dry mouth, tense muscles, chest pain, high blood pressure, and stomach disorders (VanKim & Nelson, 2013). Cognitive symptoms of stress could be anxiety, excessive thoughts, negligence, distraction, misguided thinking, being critical or negative to conversations. Behavioral signs of stress could be changes in eating patterns (either not eating or eating excessively), procrastination, maintaining a strategic distance from duties, high alcohol consumption, substance abuse, and apprehensive practices, for example, nail gnawing, squirming, and pacing.

Stress Diagnosis

Ordinarily, a cautious meeting can be the best therapy for the side effects. It is critical that the patient describes his or her feelings during the cross-examination. The specialist at that point conducts a physical exam that centers on the side effects. Lab tests or other symptomatic tests might be expected to validate the reason for your side effects. In the event that these tests are not consistent, the physician may counsel different doctors to evaluate the signs. Stress management includes a blend of strategies that can incorporate life changes and unwinding procedures (Michels et al., 2015).

Stress Treatment

As the definition infers, stress aggravates the mental and emotional balance of an individual. In a few occurrences, stress may assume a useful part. Stress therapy depends on the kinds of side effects. Treatment can extend from straightforward consolation to patient care and assessment in a healing facility. Stress therapy could be a normal exercise program, balanced eating regimen and nourishment propensities, reassurance, meditation, acupuncture, yoga or related exercise. Consequently, the physician can recommend personal counseling by qualified emotional wellness experts, restorative mediation, and fitness program.


Stress affects an individual’s physical and mental health. Stressors are elements that trigger stress hormones. They could be chronic, naturalistic, time-related, distant, and sequence. Consequently, stress can be categorized as time stress, anticipatory stress, situational, and encounter stress. Stress phase begins with the alarm hormone, which is followed by resistance and exhaustion. A simple examination can determine the best therapy to avoid complications.


Klainin-Yobas, P., Keawkerd, O., Pumpuang, W., Thunyadee, C., Thanoi, W., & He, H. (2014). The mediating effects of coping on the stress and health relationships among nursing students: A structural equation modeling approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(2), 1287–1298.

Michels, N., Sioen, I., Boone, L., Braet, C., Vanaelst, B., Huybrechts, I., & De Henauw, S. (2015). Longitudinal association between child stress and lifestyle. Health Psychology, 34(1), 40–50.

Oltmanns, F., & Emery, E. (2015). Abnormal psychology, (8th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, Div. of Pearson Education.

VanKim, N., & Nelson, T. (2013). Vigorous physical activity, mental health, perceived stress, and socializing among college students. American Journal of Health Promotion, 28(1), 7–15.

Wemm, S., Fanean, A., Baker, A., Blough, E., Mewaldt, S., & Bardi, M. (2013). Problematic drinking and physiological responses among female college students. Alcohol, 47(1), 149–157.