Behavioral  Effects of Stress

Behavioral effects of stress showcases the way in which a person acts and behaves when under the influence of stress.

Continuous, uncontrolled, stress can cause myriad behavioral effects on a  person.

Modern man has a big disadvantage over our cave dwelling ancestors. They used to settle their scores immediately whenever a problem arose: whether attack by a wild animal or by other tribes. Thus the stress response reaction was immediately satiated and no further damage was done.

But modern man cannot slap his boss; the consequences would be dire! Nor can he get out of the car and kick the hell out of the errant driver for showing obscene gestures.

The result: stress induced intense emotions remain pent up inside without release. The continuous release of  hormones and chemical mediators keep the body in a highly tensed state for long. This leads to irritability, anger, worry and anxiety.

The resultant emotional conflicts leads to altered behavioral responses to people and events. A sense of resentment and hurt are the undercurrents of such behavioral alterations.

Following are some of the behavioral effects of stress:

  • Excessive smoking

  • Nervous tics

  • Increased use of alcohol or drug(s)

  • Mannerisms like nail biting, hair puling etc.

  • Increased or decreased eating

  • Absent mindedness

  • Accident-proneness

  • Aggressiveness on least provocation.

It is evident that behavioral effects of stress are very dangerous and can affect interpersonal and social relationships in  a negative manner.

There are two ways to avoid the adverse behavioral effects of stress:

  1. Change your response to stressful events so that their negative impact is minimized

  2. Practice a regular stress management program, so that whatever stress is being built up is washed away on a daily basis.



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