Skip to main content

What Is Stress?

Learn what stress is and how it affects your body from wellness consultant Samantha Ibarguen in this Howcast video.


I'm Samantha Ibarguen and I'm an energy healer and a wellness consultant in New York City. You can find out more about me and what I do at Integrated Wellness —

Stress is the body's response to any kind of demand. So in life, we generally have positive stress and we have negative stress. We are dealing with positive stress when we are dealing with something like a childbirth or a wedding. And I think we all have experience with what we would consider to be negative stress. Feeling overworked, going through a life crisis, things like that. The body reacts the same way to all kinds of stress. Whether it's positive or negative, whether it's a physical threat or danger, or whether the stress is more emotional or mental. We generally deal with three kinds of stress. Survival, external, and internal. Survival stress is when we're facing any sort of real physical threat or danger. External stress can be caused by things like work. Sometimes our families stress us out. External stress can be caused by things like living in a big city with a lot of traffic, a lot of noise. And internal stress is anxiety. It's worrying about something, over-worrying about something that you can't do anything about. Or worrying about something and not taking any action around it. So when the body faces stress, it goes into what we all know as the fight or flight reaction. The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released into the system and the body is ready to go. The pupils dilate, the breath quickens, the mouth dries, the muscles tense and tighten, the heart rate increases. Now, if we're dealing with any sort of physical threat, this is a great reaction. The body is either ready to stay and fight whatever we're facing, or flee and get us into safety. Additionally, during this physical reaction, the stress hormones are able to be flushed out of the body. If we're dealing with a more mental or emotional stress, this is essentially an ancient response to a modern problem. The stress hormones still get released into the system, but without any sort of physical reaction. There's no way for them to be flushed out, at least in the moment. And something like this has the potential to cause long-term pain, disease, or even illness. So that's a little bit about what stress is.

Popular Categories