Positive Effects of Stress on body and mind


  • Most of the people view stress from a negative perspective, which is not always the case.


  • The cardiovascular system plays an important role in the fight and flight mechanism
  • Changes in metabolism are important in maintaining heightened action and dealing with pressure from daily activities.
  • Stress affects the cognitive functions leading to better memory and the ability to solve problems effectively.
  • Acute stress is useful as a motivation to keep going while chronic stress is destructive.


Small doses of stress are important, but it is important to watch out for chronic stress.

Positive effects (Body and mind) from stress. Distinguish between acute and chronic stress. Mention mechanism fight to flight.

Although most of the people view stress negatively, there are various benefits that the body derives when exposed to stress, such as adapting to situations and fighting against infections. Exposure to stress is also important during certain situations, such as when speaking in public. Increased memory is one of the positive effects that occur due to exposure to stress. The aim of this paper is to analyze the positive effects derived by the body and mind from stress while distinguishing between chronic and acute stress.

The cardiovascular system is involved in the neutrally mediated response to short term stress. This involves the change in the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to trigger the release of neurotransmitters known as catecholamines. The presence of a stressor results in the release of neurotransmitter adrenalin into the bloodstream from the adrenal medulla. Noradrenalin is then produced by the other sympathetic nervous systems. Noradrenalin causes an increase in the heart rate by acting on the sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes of the heart. When noradrenaline acts on the cardiac muscles of these nodes, it results in an increase in the cardiac output and an increase in the pressure of the arteries. The effects of arterial blood pressure are different in the various vessels. Vasoconstriction occurs in the skin, mucosa, and kidneys. Vasodilation occurs in the lungs, brain, and skeletal muscle.  These changes are important in effecting of the fight and flight mechanism. This occurs because glucose and oxygen can easily be delivered for short term goals to the rest of the body. The temporal decrease in activities associated with long term goals such as digestion as a way of mobilizing organs and tissues necessary for physical activity to enable organisms to escape from the dangerous situation they are facing.

Fight and flight response

Changes in metabolism occur as  a result of the stress response that has been activated by hormones. An example of a hormone that is involved in metabolism is a corticotropin-releasing hormone.  The energy that is required for the proper functioning of the body and tissues is obtained after glucose and fats have been broken down. This energy is acquired when cortisol activates the breakdown of complex molecules into simple ones such as glucose and amino acids. These metabolic changes are an important part of the stress response that maintains heightened action. Such actions include speaking in public and when solving a mental equation.

A study was conducted by Dr. Fernandez and other researchers to determine how the brain reacts to stressors.  Dr. Fernandez used an experimental group and a control group to study the changes in blood flow that occur when the brain is exposed to a stressor. This study focused on the changes on the amygdala and the frontal lobe of the cortex.  The cognitive changes that result after exposure to acute stress lead to the reallocation of cognitive resource to boost heightened perception and better memory to aid in decision making and solving problems such as arithmetic.

Acute stress is the small doses of events that we experience in daily activities such as exams and public speaking, while chronic stress is damaging and severe and results due to the buildup of pressure over time.  Acute stress is useful as a source of confidence and motivation to get going through the situation and get our duties done.

Stress in small doses is important to keep going in life and helps in decision making and finding solutions for some problems. High pressures, on the other hand, are damaging, and care should be taken to ensure that acute stress does not change to chronic stress over time. An increase in metabolism and cardiovascular output is also an important function that is stimulated by stressors



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