By: Natalia Garcia Luna
Hey everyone! I hope you’ve had a great weekend. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! Today I’m going to speak about a topic very common to us: stress! Many students, including myself, are trying to do some last-minute cramming before finals, but maybe stress is keeping you from achieving that. Stress isn’t something that just affects the mind, it also affects the rest of our body. Personally, when I get stressed, my stomach feels different, but everyone gets different symptoms!
(Always remember we are not medical professionals and never try to self-diagnose based on what you read on the internet)
Stress can be divided in two: short-term and long-term.
Short-term stress can occur when you get shocking news or when you are about to go into an interview. This type of stress can have an effect on your heart. Your heart rate and pressure can go up, but most people are able to withstand this.
Long-term stress is the type of stress that continues for a period of months or even years. The hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine affect many of our organ systems when we are stressed.
- Digestive system – Our digestive tracts are filled with nerve endings and immune cells, which are affected by the stress hormones previously stated. Stress can cause us to have acid reflux and present symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. You might also be prone to get many “butterflies” in your stomach as well.
- Immune system – Being very stressed can cause our immune system to weaken. This is why we most likely become sick when we have to work a lot.
- Nervous system – People with PTSD show more activity in the amygdala, a region in the brain associated with fear and emotion.
- Inflammation around the body that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and even pain.
Don’t let this post scare you! Stress is very common and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Because it is Mental Health Awareness Month, we invite you to share what your favorite ways to de-stress are. We would love to hear back! Also, be sure to check out our podcast in the home page of the blog where we talk about similar topics. Also be sure to fill out our survey available on our instagram page bio! Stay tuned for the next post!