The Three Stages of Stress

Stress…we all have it.
Let’s look at the stages of stress and how it effects our bodies.


STRESS ….It seems to be a part of everyone’s life; and in this day and time we are now living in it is increasing at an alarming rate.

 There are several kind of stress; “chemical stress” – triggered from pollution and toxins in our environment; “emotional stress” – like anger, depression, fear, betrayal, and bereavement; “mental stress” – such as perfectionism, and anxiety; “nutritional stress” – including nutrient deficiency; “physical stress” – hard labor and birth; “traumatic stress”- infection and injury; and “psycho-spiritual stress”- including career pressure, financial pressure and relationship pressure.


Stress comes in three stages:

The first stage is the Alarm Stage triggering the “flight or fight” response. Look at a students face just before they are going to be given an exam – the fear and tension are clearly evident. When we are confronted with a stressful situation adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol are released form the adrenal glands. These hormones direct the blood towards the muscles allowing us to “fight or flee”; our alertness will increase and the pupils of the eyes dilate. When the stressful situation subsides the increased hormone production will revert back to normal.


The second stage of stress is the Resistance Stage. This is the stage that our bodies try to cope with what ever it is we are confronted with. During this effort we start to feel run down and exhausted. This is where the stress induced headaches, insomnia, hypertension and other stress induced diseases occur. Generally the resistance stage will continue until the stressful situation returns to normal.


The third and final stage of stress is the Exhaustion Stage. This stage occurs when the bodies capacity for resistance is overwhelmed. “Burnout” – the person becomes completely exhausted and drained of all energy. This stage of stress can eventually lead to adrenal insufficiency of total shutdown of the adrenal glands – leading to maladaptation syndrome. There can be a complete physical and emotion breakdown at this stage.


Stress can and will effect every area of our bodies. Dis – ease in the body will turn into disease if not properly dealt with. It effects our skin and hair – giving us hair loss or hives; our respiratory system -giving us sinusitis; our mouth and gums- giving us mouth ulcers and gingivitis; our nervous system – can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease; our muscles – may be one of the underlying causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis; our metabolism – causing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; our immune system – everything from the common cold to influenza; and our cardiovascular system – may increase the risk of heart attack.


We should all take a lesson for our Lord and “Cast your care on him…because he cares for you”!

Health and Blessings,


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