Understanding STRESS

Stress Defined
In the broadest sense, stress is defined as any event that threatens homeostasis and causes the body to adapt. This might include any change in external temperature, water intake, physical exertion, dietary changes, or even positive excitement like that experienced at a sporting event. Physiologists point out that while the reaction of the body to cold temperatures is different from its reaction to fighting an infection or to an event that causes anxiety and fear, in one respect, all of these types of stress are the same—they all cause an increased secretion of cortisol by the adrenal cortex. Therefore, physiologists define stress as any event that causes increased cortisol secretion.

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