How Stress Saps Your Health

What is Stress?

In its simplest form, stress can be described as the body’s response to any demand, whether that demand is positive, negative, real or perceived. Stressors are the internal or external triggers (e.g., a bear, an exam, an important deadline), and stress is how your body identifies and reacts to the stressor. As unpleasant as this mental and physical response can be, it is a crucial survival mechanism for many animals, including humans. Indeed, when faced with a situation in which seconds are the difference between life or death, stress is the body’s way of forcing a quick, unified response. Unfortunately, many aspects of modern life can repeatedly trigger the stress response and put the body in constant strain.

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Review Date: 
May 15, 2014

Last Updated:
July 1, 2014