Stress and physical health
The brain influences the immune system, therefore a variety of psychological factors may be of great importance to our health and well-being. How you deal with the struggles of daily life and even the type of temperament you posses, may directly affect your underlying physical health.
To some people being optimistic is a choice and to others it is a way of life. Hopeless and helplessness attitudes can have a devastating effect on organic functioning in everyday normal life. Living with a sense of hopelessness and looking at life through lenses of pessimism can actually accelerate atherosclerosis, which in turn accelerates the likeliness of heart attacks.
Being an optimist seems to be better for your over all health and you would fare better if you expect good things to happen. Optimism is so powerful, that many surgeons today would delay a major operation until they are convinced that the patient is reasonably optimistic about the outcome.
The role stress has on health.
Here we will concerns ourselves with the medical conditions that are linked to stress.Let’s look at cardiovascular disease, because in some countries it is a leading cause of death. Because the impact stress has on the heart has been well researched, this is a perfect topic to talk about.
I will use this disease to illustrate many links between psychological factors and physical disease.
Hyper tension :
: Having a persistent
systolic blood pressure
of 140 or more
and a diastolic blood pressure
of 90 and higher.
Imagine you are walking down the street, with a normal calm heartbeat. When we are calm we have a regular heartbeat, our pulse is even, our blood pressure is low, and all our internal organs are well supplied with blood. As you are walking, out of nowhere a dog starts to chase you. At this point everything happens so fast and you automatically switch into crisis mode, the vessels of your visceral organs constrict, and blood flows in greater quantity outward to the muscles of the trunk and limbs. When your tiny blood vessels that supply your visceral organs with blood, become constricted, the heart muscles must work harder, and as it beats faster with greater force, the pulse quickens and the blood pressure mounts… and it all comes down to fight or flight response.
Once the crisis is over the body resumes normal functioning. However under such continuing emotional strain high blood pressure may become chronic.