I'm sure that by now everyone is aware of the havock stress will wreak on our bodies, but I thought I might elaborate on that a bit today.
Your body has two states it can be in, sympathetic and parasympathetic, both are useful in their own ways but can also cause health issues if their is not balance.
The Sympathetic state is catabolic, and is most often referred to as the 'fight or flight' state, the state that our body goes into when we are doing vigorous activity, when we are excited, scared or nervous. It is in this state that our heart rate increase, pupils dilate, we sweat, breath deeply etc. which is essential functions when we are in the aformentioned activities.
The Parasympathetic state is anabolic, and is referred to as the 'housekeeping' state. It is in this state that our body goes through the necessary functions such as digestion, elimination and resting, essential for our body to heal, grow and to recieve the nourishment it needs.
When in the sympathetic state, our body is basically in a constant state of go, which means it is using all of its energy stores for defense and to prepare for activities rather than nourishment. When our energy stores are depleted, we begin to feel exhausted and irritable. We have to let our body rest at this point in order for the much meeded 'housekeeping' functions to begin once again. This is why, after a big meal, we become tired and need to rest, because our bodies need to switch to parasympathetic state in order to digest the food.
It is extremely important for one's health that our bodies have balance bewtween the two states, ensuring that we can rest easily when needed and perform vigorous tasks when needed also.
Remaining in one state too often causes great stress on the body and many health issues can arise.
Too often being in sympathetic state can cause aggression, anxiety, irritability, copious sweating, high blood sugar and high blood pressure.
Too often being in parasympathetic state can cause fatigue, and make one prone to depression, low blood pressure, metal toxicity and more.
[picture source: here]
Human Anatomy & Physiology - Elaine N. Marieb, Katja Hoehn (eighth edition)