10 Weird Ways Your Body Reacts to Stress
These strange signs from your skin, nails, immune system, and more could mean you need to chill out
You know the ways stress wreaks havoc on your body: Your muscles tighten, your energy levels drop, and your blood pressure shoots up. But ringing in your ears? Running to the bathroom? These could be signs you just need to calm the heck down too. Here, 10 of the weirdest ways that lovable hormone cortisol messes with your body.
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Your Brain Short-Circuits
High stress situations—you know, like that work presentation tomorrow—can trigger the release of adrenaline and other fight-or-flight hormones. While those chemicals heighten your brain’s alertness and threat-detection centers (which can be good), they temporarily kneecap your noodle’s cortical networks, which are responsible for contemplation, critical thinking, and planning, explains Erno Hermans, Ph.D., of Radboud University in the Netherlands. That happens because your body is conserving energy for a physical confrontation (which, hopefully, won’t occur), Hermans adds. The result: You struggle to find the right words, and you look like a nervous nelly in front of your boss and colleagues.