Stress is not just unpleasant; it can also cause physical health problems. Even a few minutes spent worrying causes physical changes in the body.

Our complex brains constantly send signals thorough the entire body and receive signals back from the body. Our thoughts and emotions impact these signals, as well as various stress hormones including cortisol.

Short term stress causes various physical problems, including:

Difficulty sleeping
Edginess/increased heart rate
Muscle tension
Upset stomach

Long lasting or chronic stress responses are linked to more serious conditions, including

Heart disease
Gastrointestinal disorders
Chronic pain

The effects of stress are based on how we cope with the stressful event, rather than the stressful event itself. Stress will always be a part of life, so improving coping skills is essential for minimizing the harmful impact of stress. If stress is a problem in your life, consider counseling. Research shows that effective counseling changes the brain, and these positive changes lead to greater resilience and improved coping with stress.