Emotional Effects of Stress


You are most likely to feel the effects of stress when struggling with demands that exceed your natural ability to cope.

How you perceive those challenges largely depend on the formed attitudes you’ve acquired in life. Past conflicts may have established a stronghold of habitual negative thoughts and reactions.

Recognizing the fight or flight stress response is key in fighting the effects of stress and gaining back control.


What is stress and how does it affect mental health?

One definition of stress is:

-- a physical or emotional element that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.

Did you get that?

We don’t usually view our emotions as being the reason for getting sick. Negativity carries so many harmful emotions such as anger, frustration and worry. This inner turmoil quickly drains the mind and body of its available energy. As a result of being increasingly on edge you also grow weary in thought and stamina.


“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

~ Reinhold Niebuhr


Recharging your depleted energy reserves

Special attention should be placed on replenishing the energy levels that are being exhausted. Emotional strain affects everyone differently.

There are distinct strategies in obtaining stress relief that will line up with your particular need – whether it’s for emotional tension, physical tension or both. Choose on the basis of what feels right for you.

Cognitive functioning for clear thinking, problem solving and memory can also become impaired. Look for fun ways to use and improve your thinking skills.

Without a remedy, the effects of stress leave you vulnerable for further decline - particularly from the damage of prolonged chronic stress. These detrimental emotions play havoc with your body’s chemistry.

For some, it can trigger emotional food cravings or nervous habits. The brain also signals an over-abundant flow of stress hormones that contribute to serious physical effects and ailments as well.

Many medical studies have been held and stress statistics are well documented.

As modern research on stress began during the 1930’s, Hans Selye introduced the general adaptation syndrome - his study on the biological reaction to stress.


"It's not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it."

~ Hans Selye


Emotional stress that has become excessive or accumulative can unfavorably tip the scales.

  • Burnout and midlife crisis are controversial emotional or psychological stress related problems.
  • A stress disorder or perhaps panic attacks can develop from ongoing or frequent bouts of stress.
  • Stress anxiety and depression result from feelings of losing control and carry deep thoughts of overwhelm and hopelessness.
  • Post traumatic stress disorder is yet another serious stress related condition usually suffered from experiencing a psychological trauma.


Needless to say, it is always wise to seek the medical advice of your doctor or other qualified health professional when experiencing long aggravated stress symptoms.


Stress causes other common complications

Your bed can be viewed as a battleground when combating stress and insomnia. Many worries at bedtime will prevent the relaxation needed for a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation only intensifies the adverse effects of stress.

If you are constantly getting angry and have a short fuse… it could be in part, your attitude! You may want to explore the reason why you are so quick-tempered. You can learn to overcome this with good anger management skills. Look for relaxing ways to quiet your agitations. You’ll at least live your life happier, if not longer too.

Thankfully, we have an abundant range of emotions at our disposal. There are tremendous health benefits mentally and physically for staying optimistic. So try to become more aware of when you are being pessimistic in your views.


"Adversity is inevitable, but stress is optional"

~ Unknown


In conclusion, here's what to do…

Want to remain in the best possible frame of mind?

Guard yourself from the emotional bad effects of stress. You cannot always control the adversity that comes into your life, but you can choose how you are going to react to it.

Self-awareness is a good place to start.

  • Evaluate what your causes of stress are
  • Start managing stress appropriately
  • Get some good stress relievers working for you!


The intricate working of your mind – emotion, mood, and behavior all interwoven together is very complex.

Please realize that your overall wellness is affected and regulated in many powerful ways from the emotional effects of stress. And it all closely ties in with the physiological changes of the fight or flight response.



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