Understanding How Emotions and Stress Affect Your Health

Feeling stressed out? Everyone does, but a lot of people don’t show it. We can easily spot someone worried because they missed the train, or have an upcoming test. Then there is the person who silently suffers, such as someone who is about to be evicted for not paying rent, and they deal with that tension every single day. How can both of these situations be classified as stress? We break down why people get stressed and how it can affect your heath.

What Is Stress?

Stress: the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events or stressors that we view as challenging or threatening.

Three Common Situations Where Stress Can Occur

  • Catastrophic- ex: getting into a car accident or hearing bad news on the TV.
  • Significant life changes- ex: breaking up with a long-time boyfriend/girlfriend, quitting your job, getting pregnant, someone dying.
  • Everyday Inconveniences- ex: not meeting a deadline at work, anticipating a test at school, money problems.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there are two types of stress; acute stress and chronic stress.

Acute stress, also known as short-lived, is when something causes you a short period of stress that does¬†affect your health in a huge way. It can produce Adrenaline and Cortisol, which are hormones that kick starts the body’s organ to function the way they were created to. Short-lives stress can push you to outlive your fear or get things done.

In simpler words, moderate stress can be good for you!

Then there’s chronic stress, which can severely damage your body and mind. It can also lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which can have an adverse effect on your health. Chronic stress could derive from a bad childhood, unhealthy environment, dysfunctional relationships, etc.

A person who has chronic stress becomes used to it, and it could even kill them. Common health risks from chronic stress include stroke, heart attacks, cancer and even death.

What Causes Stress?

Well, it’s quite simple; it’s your emotions and how you perceive things. The top 10 basic emotions that everyone feels:

  • joy
  • contempt
  • surprise
  • shame
  • sadness
  • fear
  • anger
  • guilt
  • disgust
  • interest or excitement

Each of these emotions could be felt at either high or low arousals, and the negative emotions could make us more prone to stress, particularly in the level of arousal. Ultimately, the way you perceive events in your life controls your stress levels. You might be provoked to fix whatever is stressing you out, or you can suppress your natural instinct and live in a state of constant worrying which turns into¬†depression. The latter could kill you, so it’s advisable that you seek professional help if this is affecting your everyday life.

Watch the Crash Course below to understand Emotions, Stress, and Health

Remember, everyone gets stressed, and it’s not an entirely bad thing. But you should always be in touch with your emotions and keep track of your personality. Mental health and wellness go hand in hand with physical health so be sure to take care of your mind as well as your body.