I have had lots of discussions about this with my doctor over the years. Our bodies are not designed to handle stress the way we have to deal with it in modern day. Consistent and pervasive stress can cause serious issues – physical and mental. Learning how to manage or alleviate stress is really good for overall health — and guess what? EXERCISE helps with that. (You knew I would go there…)
The chemical reaction to stress in the brain is for short-term danger. Frequent stress weakens the system and causes problems.
It’s thought that when the stress system turns on and off, on and off, on and off repeatedly, controls eventually break down, says Nim Tottenham, an assistant professor of psychology at UCLA. “You start to get a deregulation of the system.” At first, this tends to make people super reactive to any stressful incident, but sometimes, after too long, their systems may become so overwhelmed that they don’t even respond adequately anymore.