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The effects and risks of stress on mental and physical health

Quand il y a déséquilibre entre les exigences de notre environnement et nos capacités d'adaptation


What is stress?

Stress is the body's natural reaction to pressure or demands. It results from an imbalance between the demands of our environment and our ability to adapt. When we feel threatened or under pressure, the nervous system reacts by releasing stress hormones, notably cortisol and adrenalin. Stress can be acute, occurring in response to an immediate situation, or chronic, persisting over a prolonged period. Sources of stress can be varied, ranging from professional and financial pressures to personal challenges and traumatic events.

If stress is chronic or excessive, it can put our mental and physical health at risk. Here is a list of potential health impacts of stress:

1. Cardiovascular system :

Hypertension: chronic stress can lead to a rise in blood pressure, increasing the risk of hypertension.

Cardiovascular disease: prolonged stress is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

2. Immune system :

Weakened immune system: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infection and disease.

3. Digestive system :

Gastrointestinal disorders: Stress can contribute to problems such as digestive disorders, acid reflux, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

4. Endocrine system :

Hormonal imbalances: Stress triggers the release of hormones such as cortisol, which can upset the body's normal hormonal balance.

5. Respiratory system :

Respiratory problems: Stress can aggravate existing respiratory problems and contribute to symptoms such as shortness of breath and asthma.

6. Musculoskeletal system :

Muscle tension: Stress can cause muscle tension, back pain and migraines.

7. Mental health:

Mental disorders: Chronic stress is a risk factor for the development of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.

8. Reproductive system :

Fertility problems: Stress can affect fertility in both men and women, sometimes complicating conception.

9. Dermatological system :

Skin problems: Stress can aggravate skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

10. Weight problems :

Weight management: Stress can influence eating habits, leading to overeating or loss of appetite, which can affect weight.

11. Sleep disorders :

Insomnia: Stress can disrupt sleep, leading to problems with insomnia and sleep quality.

12. Memory and concentration problems :

Cognitive difficulties: Stress can impair memory, concentration and decision-making.


It's important to note that the response to stress can vary from person to person, and some individuals may be more vulnerable to the damaging effects of stress than others.

There are many effective strategies for reducing "toxic" stress levels. We all need a reasonable dose of good stress to stimulate us and react appropriately in certain situations. It's the excess that's harmful.

Hypnosis is one of these effective tools, and when we focus on the causes of stress and our adaptive strategies, many changes occur and our mental and physical health improves.

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