Stress can be a reaction to a short-lived situation, such as being stuck in traffic. Or it can last a long time if you’re dealing with relationship problems, a spouse’s death or other serious situations.
Stress becomes dangerous when it interferes with your ability to live a normal life over an extended period. You may feel tired, unable to concentrate or irritable. Stress can also damage your physical health and is linked to an increased risk of having a heart attack. Research has also linked stress to diabetes, impaired immunity, worsening depression and gastrointestinal problems. The body’s response to stress can include increased breathing and heart rates, tense muscles and the release of energy-producing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.