Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing

The Impact of Stress

06 October, 2014

Although stress is a normal and necessary physiological response to stimuli, for too many Australians constantly functioning in high-stress mode has become an unfortunate way of life. This type of high-stressed living is not without consequences, be they physical, psychological or social. 


Someone living a constantly keyed-up lifestyle doesn’t always look high-strung. Although an agitated stress response – someone who is overly emotional, moody and unable to sit still – is common, a withdrawn or depressed stress response can be equally as damaging. Someone responding to stress in this way will appear unenergetic, burnt out and with little emotion. A combination of both is even possible – this will be someone who appears outwardly ‘frozen’ but who is extremely agitated below the surface.

A chronic stress response can have a range of impacts on your lifestyle, and one of the dangers of stress is that it can make your system resigned to feeling stressed. It can sneak up without your noticing it, and before you know it you think that being constantly agitated is normal. Chronic stress can lead to changes in appetite, disturbed sleeping patterns, anxiety, memory problems, depression and social withdrawal.

Chronic disease

The stress response triggers the release of hormones cortisol and adrenalin, giving you the energy and concentration to function in response to stimuli. However, chronic stress means that the usual ebb and flow of cortisol in your body flattens out, so you can neither relax as effectively nor achieve an effective reaction to real stressors.

All of this together spells disaster for your immune system. Your immune cells respond to cortisol, and when cortisol is being constantly stimulated your immune cells stop responding, leaving you far more at risk of infections and illnesses. Chronic stress has also been associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and upper respiratory infections, among others.

Prevention and management

Luckily, stress is something that can be managed and alleviated. Regular exercise, for example, can not only help to relieve stress, but is also beneficial in preventing many of the chronic diseases associated with a high-stress lifestyle. Most people find relaxation, meditation or yoga as helpful for combatting stress, and it’s also important that you get enough sleep and enjoy a healthy, balanced diet. Things to avoid include tobacco and excessive caffeine and alcohol.

Learning how to take care of yourself and to control your reactions are key to both preventing and managing stress in your life. You can’t always control your circumstances, but what you can control is how you react to them. This can be one of the more challenging aspects to managing stress, as it requires you to reassess potentially damaging thought patterns you may already be in. Nonetheless, these are all key steps to overcoming harmful stress in your everyday life.

Suggested Articles

  • Dietitian help to lose weight

    How a dietitian can help you lose weight

    Nicole Dynan, Accredited Practising Dietitian, shares how a dietitian can play a pivotal role in helping people achieve real and lasting weight loss.
    • Fitness
    10 July 2019
  • AGM

    Advance Notice of Annual General Meeting and Director Nominations

    CBHS wishes to advise its members that the Annual General Meeting this year will be held on Thursday 7 November 2019 at the CBHS registered office, Level 5, 79 George Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150.
    9 July 2019
  • House Plants

    Indoor houseplants: On-trend and beneficial to your health

    The indoor plant is back and bigger than ever. And it has a lot more to offer than Instagram eye-candy and home beautification. In fact, they could be benefiting your health right now.
    • Wellbeing
    13 June 2019
  • Healthy Food

    How to food swap to fuel the workaholic you

    Food that fuels can make all the difference to your workday energy levels. We share our easy and work-friendly breakfast, lunch and snack ideas for success.
    • Nutrition
    13 June 2019