How the Body Reacts to Stress – Smithsonian


The author introduces us to many common stressors that most of us feel on a daily basis. It also details what happens physiologically when we undergo stress. It also highlights the positive parts of stress (like helping us escape dangerous situations). However, it warns that continuous stress will cause bodily breakdown over time. The immune system, the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular, and endocrine system are all affected when we undergo prolonged stress. The article ends with an admonition that we should learn to control stress.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stress can come from a variety of different places and is caused by factors both internal and external
  • The first part of our body to respond to stress is the respiratory system, as it speeds up our breathing patterns
  • Stress also impacts our immune systems, creates tension in our muscles, and affects our cardiovascular health

“Stress can actually be positive, as the stress response help us stay alert, motivated and focused on the task at hand.”

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