Module 2, Lesson 3

Lesson summary:

The human body has a complex set of interlinked systems that mobilize to help us deal with stress, both good and bad.

Chronic stress sustains activation of the stress responses, leaving a person constantly “gearing up” to deal with threats. This includes extended and disrupted functioning of the autonomic nervous system and the prolonged release of stress hormones. 

Chronic stress can lead to an attentional bias towards possible threats: a state called hypervigilance. When hypervigilant, a person may spend significant attention and energy looking out for possible threats, and even imagining threats there no threats exist. 

Chronic stress can contribute to various health risks, including cardiac and respiratory issues, as well as sleep, immune, and memory difficulties.