Short-term stress causes an immediate reaction in the body. Just about every body system, as well as one’s mental state, can be affected. The American Psychological Association's 2010 report, Stress in America, lists these common effects of stress:
If the stressful situation passes quickly, the body generally returns to normal. But with prolonged stress, chronic health conditions can result, including:
- Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- High blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.
- Decrease in immune function, leaving one more susceptible to infectious disease.
- Musculoskeletal disorders.
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Reproductive problems.
- Consequences of substance abuse.