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How does stress affect the human body?

How does stress affect the human body?

Throughout my research I’ve seen the effects of stress on the human body. Firstly stress is actually a positive reaction of the human body in terms of the body having a natural response to protect itself. 

At the same time stress is a factor in mental health, considering the fact that mental health is so important because it largely dictates the decision making of the individual.

Whether the individual chooses to wake up in the morning and go to work or school or even if the individual chooses to choose a life of drugs and alcohol. These are all choices that have to be made that stress can have an impact on. 

For instance someone were stressed out because of a relationship issue like marriage, girlfriend/boyfriend or otherwise, if that person doesn’t know how to deal with that problem positively, they will ultimately lead their lives into perpetual stress by choosing alcohol or drugs to cope and at the same time make every problem they have worse, but in that moment they just do not see that decision as a bad one because they are so stressed out and just need to cope with it the best way they know how.

So stress is the effect but could it be the cause?

As we dive deeper into the domino effect of stress we have to trace it back to childhood, for instance , they say that the body’s adrenal glands produce epinephrine or adrenaline that triggers a fight or flight response due to some type of external stress , like a lion or a tiger etc. But, what if the stress on a child is their own parent , or a bullying big brother, maybe a step dad or uncle or it could even be the other children at the school they attend. 

Well this stress causes the body to respond naturally like it was made to , but as we study the sympathetic nervous system on the diagram below


We can see how one of the bodily functions that shuts down is growth. So in essence the child will not grow the way he/she should in a stressful environment. Other things are affected as well like digestion, immunity etc.

Ok so we’re all stressed in some form or fashion I get that but the question is, do we know how to cope and deal with that stress so that our body can come out of this fight or flight mode so that it could focus on some of our other bodily functions. 

Children do not have a way to deal with stress. I see it in my son , he’s had a stressful life because I have not taken the time out to take parenting classes etc. or just didn’t have the knowledge to know the impact it could have on him with me arguing in front of him with my wife.

I see he’s developed a coping mechanism and it’s sucking on his thumb. I also see it in my second child, how he was born in the middle of covid and the mom was severely stressed while she was pregnant with him and you could tell he’s a very nervous child that will react any time i step out of the room, he acts as though he will never see me again. 

Chronic stress is a cause of failure in life for a lot of people.

These problems can surely be resolved, we hope, but what’s done is done and so now it’s a mental health issue that has to be resolved with a mental health solution somewhere along the lines of psychology.

 So let’s go down this rabbit hole just a little bit. My seven year old sucks his thumb and his teeth are now protruding so his smile is messed up and it could affect his confidence. When he looks at his peers he’s always the shortest, and it’s not because he’s the youngest or necessarily that it’s just genetics, it’s simply the stress he’s endured thus far in his life.

So in essence we can do the math and follow a path to see the impact that stress can have on someone at any point in their life, 

Example I had a newborn that had heart surgery at birth, and his mom was in the hospital for 3 months straight. As a matter of fact there was one time when the word went out that he coded, that wasn’t exactly true but just consider the stress that was on me thinking my child had potentially flat lined.

 I actually turned to overeating to cope, and I just noticed that it would make me tired and I did not have the energy to take care of my other two children so at that time i had to tell myself that food was becoming my #1 enemy. You see, in my adult years I was able to analyze my stress and deal with it properly. Also when you are chronically stressed you can develop somewhat of a higher tolerance to deal with that tolerance and coping skills, but that’s only if you are aware of the effect of stress on your body as well as aware of how to handle everything.

So people grow up in stressful environments , it constantly affects them, mentally and physically and shapes the type of person they are. It seems as though no matter who you are and how much of a genius you can be as a child you don’t really have a choice.

At the same time it could be the same in adolescent years and even adulthood, but once again in adulthood the typical coping mechanism is drinking and smoking.

So if I don’t want my child to fail because of his circumstances, of being a product of his environment I have to do a better job exposing him to stress, but how do I do that ? Well let’s see, one thing we have to define is stressors:

A stressor is a situation or event that causes us to feel stressed. They can be internal or external factors, like our memories, environment, or the people around us. They’re also very personal; a significant source of stress for one person might cause no stress for another.


  • Physical environment.
  • Social/relational.
  • Financial.
  • Organizational.
  • Life events.
  • Lifestyle choices.
  • Physiological.

Ok so the 1st thing is I have to limit the amount of stressors I’m exposing myself and my family to.  How do I do that ? Well let’s identify the stressors, one is arguing with me in front of my wife. For a long time I felt like my son was not affected, but now I see he was.

How would I feel if the woman who is my first love ( my mom ) is being made to feel negatively about someone due to an argument. No matter what, you are always going to love your mom and have your moms back and ultimately the mom has dominion over the children, so not only is the argument a lose /lose but it also is a stressor. 

Talking about myself, one thing I will always remember is those stressors that I had growing up in my life as a child being raised, and I dont have the greatest memory when it comes to events of the past, but I definitely remember those stressors.

What about the women that have been molested as a child, when they think of that experience or even are in a flight or flight mode of being raped or sexually assaulted that stress takes its tool and could severely impact the woman in adult life because of what they have been through.

Although estimates vary across studies, the research shows: About 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the United States experience child sexual abuse – google search

We can all see that this is a global problem that affects us all and I can’t imagine we all have even the slightest idea of the effects on the nervous system or the parasympathetic /sympathetic etc.

 So how do we get the word out to help other people know about this, well the first thing I do is start by trying to not be a hypocrite and use this knowledge and see the effects fit could have on my life and research it and go to social media and share my experience , that’s a great use for social media, rather than for allot of other negative reasons we use it for. Another thing is I’ve developed this list of things I did to keep my brain functioning on a high level while my son was in the hospital and here is that list.

  1. Sleep 
  2. Study / Read / Journaling
  3. Food Nutrition ( herbal supplements ie vitamins / minerals )
  4. Exercise ( Running Groups Hot yoga ) 
  5. Hydration electrolytes
  6. Elimination ( move bowels )
  7. Therapy 
  8. Prayer ( Meditation ) sound bath
  9. Clean Up  / Hygiene Organize 
  10. Healthy Vices ( Dancing ,social activities bowling, hiking, nature walks , beach day . Music, Laugh
  11. Less screen time
  12. Fasting from eating for periods of time
  13. Just be still and deal with your issues problems and don’t procrastinate
  14. Support System
  15. Stay off Drugs and Alcohol 
  16. Let Things Go
  17. Vacation
  18. Focus on 1 thing at a time to reduce anxiety of being overwhelmed by multiple things   
  19. Date Night
  20. Live in the past causes depression and future causes anxiety, so live in present


There is just so much more here I could give a dissertation, but to reiterate my initial point, chronic stress leads to failure in life. 


  1. One example would be myself when I was stressed and it drove me to overeating, that affected my weight, my self esteem , my confidence, and ultimately affected my health.
  2. Another example is my son who sucks his thumb to cope, that messed up his teeth and now is whole front grill is compromised and it could affect his confidence and leadership and jeopardize his success in life
  3. Another example would be a woman molested as a child that now has either turned to LGBT or could have turned to lesser glamorous careers like stripper, porn star, or even prostitution.


This stress is a really serious matter that I will surely look into moving forward, thank you again for this opportunity 


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