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Chapter: Diseases of The Brain and Nervous System(A Health Education Guide): Stress and its Management

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The immediate effects of stress on our brain and body

The respiration becomes rapid and shallow.

The immediate effects of stress on our brain and body :

 

1.        The respiration becomes rapid and shallow.

 

2.        The heart beats and the blood pressure increases.

 

3.        The blood supply to the limbs decreases, whereas the circulation of blood in the muscles increases.

 

4.        The muscles contract, hands and feet become cold, perspiration takes place, hair stands on ends and sometimes shivering may occur.

 

5.        The process of blood clotting becomes faster

 

6.        The pupils of the eyes widen.

 

7.        Our senses become alert and thus the sense of hearing, seeing and smelling* becomes sharper.

 

8.        The metabolism of the body becomes faster.

 

9.        The thinking process of the brain becomes quicker.

 

10. Decision power and capacity to analyze the situation enhances and the memory becomes sharper. Sometimes the fear of “what will happen” may also grip the mind.

 

The Negative effects of prolonged stress on the body :

 

1. Behavioural Problems :

The temperament becomes angry and irritable, working capacity decreases; the ability to differentiate between good and bad and concentration become poor, the person falls a prey to bad habits, loses interest in eating or starts overeating. These are the behavioural changes that occur due to stress.

2. Physical Problems :

Headache, asthma, high blood pressure, rheumatism, skin diseases, heart disease, peptic ulcer, insomnia, seizures, depression etc. are the physical manifestations of stress. According to an estimate, 80% of the diseases manifested as physical disorders, are actually due to mental stress. These are known as psychosomatic diseases. Stress also reduces the immunity of the body, hence recurrent infections can occur.

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