What Are The Physiological Effects Of Stress – Stress is a widespread and growing health crisis in much of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the mental and physical health of many clients, disrupting work, health care, classroom learning for students (of all ages), the economy, and relationships (see “Stress in America” below). We all intuitively understand the effects of stress on mental health, but the physiology of stress is just as damaging.

Here, we examine how stress affects the way our bodies function and take solace in the ways fitness professionals have to combat this global crisis—one client at a time.

What Are The Physiological Effects Of Stress

What Are The Physiological Effects Of Stress

According to Gulzhaina et al. (2018), stress is the process by which a person reacts when faced with internal or external challenges and problems. Rohleder (2019) summarizes several studies indicating that acute (short-term) stressors are beneficial for immediate survival in most cases. Acute stressors often trigger an alarm reaction, the fight-or-flight response, in which the body mobilizes hormonal resources (adrenaline and norepinephrine) (see “Two types of stressors,” right) (Anghelescu et al. 2018). ). Harkness & Monroe (2016) add that acute life stressors can vary in severity or degree of perceived threat.

The Insidious Influence Of Stress: An Integrated Model Of Stress, Executive Control, And Psychopathology

Chronic (long-term) stressors are persistent and permanent in nature and are therefore different from acute life events (Harkness & Monroe 2016). Chronic stressors are also physiologically different (see page 13). Examples of chronic stress factors that vary in severity include dealing with a never-ending illness or ongoing financial difficulties.

Rohleder (2019) summarizes evidence indicating that chronic stressors are associated with a variety of diseases, including cancer, insulin insensitivity, and cardiovascular disease, as well as with psychological stress responses (e.g., anger and anxiety) (see “ Physiological and Psychological Effects of Harmful Stress Factors”) Stress”, below).

In a recent review, Lupien and colleagues (2018) explain that persistent chronic stressors may contribute to the development (or persistence) of health problems due to elevated levels of glucocorticoid hormones, particularly cortisol. When cortisol levels are high, they can directly access and influence cognitive processes in the brain, leading to impairments in attention, memory and emotion processing.

Areas of the brain affected by elevated cortisol include the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala. Lupien et al. indicate that these three brain structures play a crucial role in whether a situation is interpreted as stressful or not and in the subsequent selection or inhibition of possible responses. The researchers also note that chronically increased production of glucocorticoids is highly associated with the development of depressive disorders.

The Effects Of Stress On The Heart

Chronic stress increases the risk of several types of cardiovascular diseases (Song et al. 2019). However, until recently, the mechanism by which stress leads to cardiovascular disease was unknown.

In a groundbreaking study by Tawakol et al. (2017), researchers showed (for the first time) that there is a clear mechanism linking cardiovascular events to resting metabolic activity in the amygdala (in the brain) – which is preceded by and caused by arterial inflammation.

It is important for fitness professionals to communicate to clients that stress and stress physiology are a reality of everyday life (Gulzhaina et al. 2018). Stress management interventions benefit the mind and body

What Are The Physiological Effects Of Stress

Body-to-mind strategies (see “How exercise combats stress,” below) to reduce the effects of chronic stress (Fish 2018). Interestingly, a recent study of customers who enjoy taking yoga classes showed that practicing yoga at the local gym twice a week was effective in improving the mental health of the general working population (Maddux, Daukantaite & Tellhed 2018).

Types Of Psychological Stress And Managing Symptoms

Mindfulness meditation. Meditation is an intervention in which people sit comfortably for a few minutes (20-40) and focus on their internal breathing. It has been shown to reduce stress, negative emotions, anxiety and depression, and strengthen areas of the brain associated with relaxation and joy (Gulzhaina et al. 2018).

When practicing mindfulness meditation, ask the client to focus on the present moment and not dwell on the past or try to imagine the future. Encourage the client not to overanalyze, judge, or overthink the stressful situation.

Diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing (also known as abdominal or abdominal breathing) is a procedure that can reduce stress, lower high blood pressure (in hypertensive patients), and relieve anxiety and depression (Fish 2018). Fish points out that when clients are stressed, they often raise their shoulders to breathe in and out, and their breathing becomes short and shallow. If this type of breathing continues, it can increase the stress response (Fish 2018).

For diaphragmatic breathing, have clients breathe slowly, evenly, and deeply through the nose for 5-10 minutes (up to 15-20 minutes), contracting the diaphragm as they inhale. When the diaphragm is activated (i.e., it descends into the abdominal cavity), the abdomen protrudes upon inhalation and there is minimal shoulder and chest movement. The bulging of the abdomen can be easily identified by placing a hand on the abdomen.

Effects Of Drought Stress On Different Physiological Parameters In…

Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation is another effective measure for reducing stress and anxiety. The practice consists of tensing and relaxing the muscles one at a time (Gulzhaina et al. 2018). Muscle groups to tense and relax can include feet, legs, buttocks, stomach, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, forehead and face.

In a sequential pattern (e.g., from feet to face), have clients close their eyes and specifically contract one muscle group (near the maximum) for 10 seconds and then release the contraction for 20 seconds before moving on to the next muscle group . Repeat the contraction-relaxation cycle with all muscle groups. It helps to instruct clients to focus on the contraction and relaxation of muscles so that people learn to differentiate between tension and relaxation in the muscles.

Progressive muscle relaxation has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, high blood pressure and headaches and improve cardiac treatment in patients after bypass surgery (Gulzhaina et al. 2018).

What Are The Physiological Effects Of Stress

Positive mental images. Mental imagery is recognized in research as an important intervention for the psychological treatment of stress, anxiety and insomnia. Positive mental imagery that involves imagining a beautiful place (for 5-15 minutes) is inexpensive and can be easily used at home. Visualizing beautiful scenes can also improve clients’ quality of life (Jerath et al. 2020).

How Your Body Reacts To Stress

Jerath et al. Discuss research that shows that imagining natural environments (such as a forest) can reduce stress and help build a deep connection with nature. The researchers claim that it is optimal to promote stress arousal when it is time to sleep, as this promotes relaxation.

Fitness professionals have an incredibly meaningful opportunity to help clients cope with increasing life stressors. The stress management strategies presented in this article are evidence-based and effective, require no special equipment, and are easy to introduce to clients. Start relieving stress now!

The acute stressor activates the autonomic nervous system in the brainstem, which sends a message to the adrenal medulla to release the fight-or-flight hormones adrenaline and norepinephrine.

The holidays often bring new stress factors for customers. Family gatherings, shopping, decorating, buying and wrapping gifts, cooking and baking, and participating in special activities can place additional demands on customers and lead to stress.

How Stress Harm Your Health: Effects On Body And Behavior

APA (American Psychological Association). 2021. One year later, a new wave of pandemic health problems. Accessed August 9, 2021: apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2021/one-year-pandemic-stress.

Fish, M.T. 2018. Don’t Worry: An Introduction to Stress and Applications for Evidence-Based Stress Management Interventions in Recreational Therapy.

Harkness, K.L. & Monroe, S.M. 2016. The assessment and measurement of stress in adulthood: basic requirements, operating principles and design requirements.

What Are The Physiological Effects Of Stress

Jerath, R., et al. 2020. The therapeutic role of guided mental imagery in the treatment of stress and insomnia: A neuropsychological perspective.

General Adaptation Syndrome (gas): Stages And Triggers

Lupien, S.J., et al. 2018. The Effects of Chronic Stress on the Human Brain: From Neurotoxicity to Vulnerability to Opportunity.

Maddux, R.E., Daukantaite, D. & Tellhed, U. 2018. The effects of yoga on stress and mental health in employees: An 8 and 16 week intervention study.

Ochentel, O., Humphrey, C., & Pfeifer, K. 2018.  Effectiveness of exercise therapy for individuals with burnout. A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Rohleder, N. 2019. Stress and inflammation – the need to close the gap in the transition between acute and chronic stress effects.

Pain & The Mind: Fibromyalgia

Song, H., et al. 2019. Stress-related disorders and cardiovascular disease risk: population-based, sibling-controlled cohort study.

Tawakol, A., et al. 2017. Association between resting amygdala activity and cardiovascular events: A longitudinal and cohort study.

Len Kravitz, PhD, is a professor and program coordinator of exercise science at the University of New Mexico, where he recently received the Presidential Award of Distinction and Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Dr. In addition to being inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2016, Kravitz was named Fitness Educator of the Year by the American Council on Exercise. He was recently honored by ACSM for writing “Paper of the Year” for the ACSM Health and Fitness Journal.

What Are The Physiological Effects Of Stress

Thea M. Benally is completing her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a minor in Population Health at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include exercise for clinical populations, physical therapy rehabilitation for patients with cardiovascular disease, and endocrinology research, particularly in Native American populations. When we suffer from stress, it is common to attribute the frequent headaches or stomach pains to another physical illness. However, stressful situations trigger a physiological reaction in our body that leads to headaches, nausea or other symptoms. This is also known as the “fight-or-flight response.” This sympathetic nervous system response is designed to protect our bodies and allow us to respond quickly to emergencies

What Is The Stress Response

Psychological and physiological effects of stress, physiological effects of trauma, what are the physiological effects of alcohol, physiological effects of stress, physiological effects of obesity, what are the effects of stress, the physiological effects of stress, physiological symptoms of stress, what are the side effects of stress, what are physiological effects, physiological effects of stress on the body, what are the physical effects of stress