Despite all the hype about how bad stress is for health, stress does have some advantages when it occurs in the right quantities and under the right circumstances.
There are basically two types of stress one goes through: Chronic stress, also called emotional stress, is a more long term type of stress that is caused by pressure you feel emotional not only because of a relationship, but it might be because of work, school, family, etc. Chronic stress is really the bad type of stress that is very detrimental to health. Acute stress is what you feel when you are in immediate danger, and it dies down when the danger has passed.
In this article, we will be looking at the positive effects of acute stress.
Stress is termed the fight or flight response. When your brain perceives danger, it releases hormones that prepare the body for action; blood vessels constrict, blood pressure increases, blood sugar rises, the heart pumps faster, muscles are tensed in readiness for action, and they are supplied with greater amounts of blood filled with oxygen and nutrients.
If there is need for action, your body can react in split seconds either to run or to stand and fight, and this increases your chances of survival.
If there is no need to act or if you have successfully warded off the danger, your hormonal levels return to normal, minimizing any long-term threat to your health.
2. Increased brain function
Have you ever heard that exercise helps improve brain function and attention span? Well this is how it does it: when you exercise, you become stressed (bet you did not know that!), and this stress causes the release of certain compounds called neurotrophins which strengthen neural connections in the brain. Short and low level stressors like exercise have indeed been proven to do this.
Studies have even shown that acute stress causes a temporary boost in learning and memory function.
3. Boosts Immune System
Because acute stress occurs when the body perceives danger, the body prepares to receive blows, cuts, and injuries, and hence any infection that might come after these. It causes interleukins, an essential element of the immune system to be produced, which give you temporary immunity.
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