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  • Cramming for a test?

  • Trying to get more done than you have time to do?

  • Stress is a feeling we all experience when we are challenged or overwhelmed.

  • But more than just an emotion,

  • stress is a hardwired physical response that travels throughout your entire body.

  • In the short term, stress can be advantageous,

  • but when activated too often or too long,

  • your primitive fight or flight stress response

  • not only changes your brain

  • but also damages many of the other organs and cells throughout your body.

  • Your adrenal gland releases the stress hormones

  • cortisol, epinephrine, also known as adrenaline,

  • and norepinephrine.

  • As these hormones travel through your blood stream,

  • they easily reach your blood vessels and heart.

  • Adrenaline causes your heart to beat faster

  • and raises your blood pressure, over time causing hypertension.

  • Cortisol can also cause the endothelium, or inner lining of blood vessels,

  • to not function normally.

  • Scientists now know that this is an early step

  • in triggering the process of atherosclerosis

  • or cholesterol plaque build up in your arteries.

  • Together, these changes increase your chances of a heart attack or stroke.

  • When your brain senses stress,

  • it activates your autonomic nervous system.

  • Through this network of nerve connections,

  • your big brain communicates stress to your enteric,

  • or intestinal nervous system.

  • Besides causing butterflies in your stomach,

  • this brain-gut connection can disturb the natural rhythmic contractions

  • that move food through your gut,

  • leading to irritable bowel syndrome,

  • and can increase your gut sensitivity to acid,

  • making you more likely to feel heartburn.

  • Via the gut's nervous system,

  • stress can also change the composition and function of your gut bacteria,

  • which may affect your digestive and overall health.

  • Speaking of digestion, does chronic stress affect your waistline?

  • Well, yes.

  • Cortisol can increase your appetite.

  • It tells your body to replenish your energy stores

  • with energy dense foods and carbs, causing you to crave comfort foods.

  • High levels of cortisol can also cause you to put on those extra calories

  • as visceral or deep belly fat.

  • This type of fat doesn't just make it harder to button your pants.

  • It is an organ that actively releases hormones

  • and immune system chemicals called cytokines

  • that can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases,

  • such as heart disease and insulin resistance.

  • Meanwhile, stress hormones affect immune cells in a variety of ways.

  • Initially, they help prepare to fight invaders and heal after injury,

  • but chronic stress can dampen function of some immune cells,

  • make you more susceptible to infections, and slow the rate you heal.

  • Want to live a long life?

  • You may have to curb your chronic stress.

  • That's because it has even been associated with shortened telomeres,

  • the shoelace tip ends of chromosomes that measure a cell's age.

  • Telomeres cap chromosomes

  • to allow DNA to get copied every time a cell divides

  • without damaging the cell's genetic code,

  • and they shorten with each cell division.

  • When telomeres become too short, a cell can no longer divide and it dies.

  • As if all that weren't enough,

  • chronic stress has even more ways it can sabotage your health,

  • including acne,

  • hair loss,

  • sexual dysfunction,

  • headaches,

  • muscle tension,

  • difficulty concentrating,

  • fatigue,

  • and irritability.

  • So, what does all this mean for you?

  • Your life will always be filled with stressful situations.

  • But what matters to your brain and entire body

  • is how you respond to that stress.

  • If you can view those situations as challenges you can control and master,

  • rather than as threats that are insurmountable,

  • you will perform better in the short run and stay healthy in the long run.

Cramming for a test?


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B2 中上級

TED-ED】ストレスが体に与える影響 - シャロン・ホレッシュ・バーグクィスト (【TED-Ed】How stress affects your body - Sharon Horesh Bergquist)

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    Tina Wey に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日