Most of us suffer from stress at some level, but can stress really lead to death? The answer might surprise you.

Many people assume that traumatic experiences like the death of a spouse or loved one, buying a home, or losing a job would be the greatest cause for stress. But everyday aggravations might be the biggest cause of all. The repetitive small stresses of things like housework, irritating noise, high gas prices, the rising cost of living, and too many responsibilities can far outweigh that of major traumas.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, stress is defined as “strain” or “pressure.” When we become stressed, the effect to our physical body is no different. Our body responds to any internal or external stimulus or interference that upsets normal body functions or disturbs mental or physical health.
Our initial response to stressful situations is to be anxious, irritable, and tense. But prolonged stress can develop into diseases that lead to reduced immune response—we are more prone to illness.

Simply stated, stress allows your immune system to fall down on the job. It can heighten your risk of cancer and autoimmune disease, as well as increase your risk of infections. It also increases your possibility of arterial aging, heart disease, stroke, impotence, memory loss, and early wrinkles of the skin.
Stress hormones can alter blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. Also, diabetics under stress may not take proper care of themselves. They might not exercise enough, may drink more alcohol, not eat properly, miss medical appointments, and forget or not find time to check their glucose levels.

Continuous stress can also create a vicious cycle of sleep problems: if you don’t sleep, you’re even more stressed. And if you’re more stressed, you don’t sleep. It’s a brutal cycle and one of the greatest causes of insomnia.

Chronic stress can also lead to anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders can affect your mental and physical health and well-being.

There are many effective methods to reduce daily stress. Simple stretching in the morning, practicing slow breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, massage, and regular exercise are all positive means of reducing stress.

It’s not likely the immediate effect of stress on your body will kill you, but the long-term affects from living under stressful conditions can lead to terminal illness.

Making an effort to moderate or even eliminate the things which cause you stress in your life is the best way to live healthier and happier.

For useful stress reduction ideas, visit

Author's Bio: 

Carol Denbow is the author of Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect. Visit to meet the lovable and stresses out character, “Frank.”