JUL 01, 2018 7:25 PM PDT

Stress got you down?

 

Stress isn’t just an emotion; it is a hardwired, physical response that travels throughout your entire body. Short-term stress can be advantageous, but when your fight or flight stress response is activated too often or for too long, it can change your brain and even damage your organs and cells. It’s no wonder then that stress can make you sick!

The adrenal gland releases the hormones cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (a.k.a. adrenaline). Adrenaline, as you’ve probably experienced, causes your heart to beat faster and raises your blood pressure, while cortisol affects the lining of your blood vessels. Both of these conditions long-term can cause atherosclerosis, or the build-up of cholesterol plaque in your arteries, which can increase the chances of a heart attack or stroke.

But aside from that, did you know that stress can also cause Irritable Bowel System, change your gut bacteria, inhibit your immune cells, slow your ability to heal, and even shorten your telomeres (hello early aging!). Watch the video to find out more!

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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