Humans are designed to handle typical, everyday stress, but the brain needs time to bounce back. Chronic stress is when we are subjected to prolonged or extreme stressors without allowing the mind and body to relax. Chronic stress can become difficult to manage and can be psychologically and physically debilitating.
Many symptoms are caused by stress, such as:
Chronic stress can lead to addiction and unhealthy activities such as overeating, smoking and excessive use of drugs and alcohol.
Physical activity helps the brain to cope with and respond to stress. Regular activity and exercise release endorphins which have a calming effect on the mind and body.
The body reacts to stress by releasing the hormone, adrenaline, that causes breathing and heart rate to speed up and blood pressure to rise. These physical reactions are known as the "fight or flight" response. Chronic stress causes the mind and body to remain in high gear, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. Elevated breathing, heart rate and blood pressure can result in heart disease.
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