Stress is defined as a state of emotional or mental suspense or strain. It can be triggered by many events such as time-constricted, dangerous, or complicated situations.
Stress can affect a person both instantly and over a period time. Acute or short-term stress is the body's instant reaction to most situations that seem unsafe or extra demanding. The level of stress that you get depends on how intense the situation is, how long it lasts, and your natural coping mechanism.
When we’re stressed, our bodies react by releasing adrenaline and cortisol—stress hormones that prepare the body for “fight or flight.” This response affects your body in many ways and may cause the following signs or symptoms to manifest:
● Constricting of the blood vessel openings. Stress is also known as a “vasoconstrictor.” This causes narrowing of blood vessels to bring more blood to the core of your body in preparation for the “fight or flight” response.
● Temporary increase in heartbeat rate. Constricting of blood vessels causes your heart to beat faster.
● Increase in blood pressure. Another effect of the constricting of blood vessels.
● Faster breathing. Since your heart is working more, so does your respiration. Some people even experience difficulty in breathing during stressful situations.
● Getting the “cold sweat.” Perspiring and having sweaty palms even when room temperature hasn’t changed can be a sign of stress.
● Headaches. A tension headache happens when your scalp and neck muscles are tensed because of stress. This also causes neck, shoulder, and back pain.
● Digestion problems. Stress can affect entire bodily systems, even digestion, so stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea are listed as some of the many symptoms of acute stress.