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Stress, Emotion, and Health

Our stress levels and emotions can have a profound effect on our mental and physical health. Emotions can affect us physically; the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, which "hypes us up" when we're in danger by releasing epinephrine and norepenephrine, and the parasympathetic division, which "calms us down" when we're no longer in danger, are two examples of our emotions affecting our bodies. The three most powerful emotions that affect us are fear, anger, and happiness. The amygdala alerts us to danger in our surroundings, keeping us alive through our fear of snakes, spiders, heights, etc. Anger, however, heightens our blood pressure and our pulse, increasing the risk of a stroke or cardiac arrest. Stress can especially affect our bodies, particularly our heart and susceptibility to disease. Stress shows us how the mind and body interact with each other when studies have shown that stress levels lower our immune system, increase our blood pressure, and increase our susceptibility to such diseases as cancer and AIDS. 

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Image result for STRESS CONNECTED TO diseases

McMahan (2003) also provides an excellent review of psychological consequences of stressors (these include abuse, etc) 

Claude Bernard (1865/1961) noted that the maintenance of life is critically dependent on keeping our internal milieu constant in the face of a changing and stressful environment. 


Selye (1956) used the term stress to represent the effects of anything that threatens homeostasis. (Selye H. The Stress of Life) 


Most indicative of the correlation between stress and a higher risk of disease is the discovering of a Type A personality by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman. They labeled people that were ambitious, overly organized, and/or very impatient, etc. as Type A and these people often displayed a higher chance of acquiring heart disease. In Pettito Leserman's study, he followed men with HIV for about 7 years and the more stressful life events that they experienced, the faster the HIV progressed into AIDS. Stressful life events have also led to anxiety disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in which the patient has reoccuring flashbacks and constant anxiety. So stress, as shown in these studies, have a strong influence on our mental and physical health as well as being indicators of both those things. 

According to Gallup’s national sample of stress results, three in four people “sometimes” or “frequently” experience stress. Stress is always relevant, whether it is in work or school. Stress effects today can occur by thinking about the future, finance, and education.


Adults seem to have a great amount of stress because they have to manage their times independently and wisely. They have to take care of their family, manage money, and pay bills. Adults also need to find a way to have a successful family and so that their children do not have to be exposed to the terrible parts of the world. On top of that, they need to find and maintain a job which will award enough income to have a house and basic needs, such as food and water. Finance is a big part of the world and everyone needs to understand how to achieve it.

School, the main stress generator for adolescents, is usually the start of stress for many people. Of course, there are many who are not fortunate to be able to attend school, but for those who are able to attend, they usually have stress because of assignments. If you ask high school students if they experience with stress, they would definitely say yes.


The future, finance, and education are not the only stress generators. There are much more factors that create a stressful environment.

The future can highly influence how we act because we want to have control of it. We do not want a simple action to have a negative effect on our life. Some people stress about events in the future, from an exam or to death. Also, we want to do things that will have a positive effect on our future. We want to make all these people happy, but we cannot. An individual can have stress in anything that will impact their life majorly.