Hacking Away at the Effects of Stress on Health: How Insurance Plays a Role


The effects of stress on human health is not a new phenomenon, and yetso many of us fall prey to those effects every year. What makes matters worse is the fact that those that do fall sick because of physical and emotional stress often get worse due to further stress.This is often a direct result of thinking about the forthcoming cost of treatment, which in the US is among the highest in the world, unfortunately.

Having health insurance, however, has been found to have a hugely positive effect on stress reduction, both before and after the development of a health concern. To know more about the effects of stress, how to counter it, and what role health insurance plays in curbing those effects, go through the following.

Defining Stress

People often ignore the effects of stress because they do not understand what it is exactly, and how it can ruin the human body in no time. Therefore, a definition will certainly help pinpoint the problem itself.

Stress is the physical and mental response to a scenario that threatens our wellbeing in any direct or indirect manner. Depending on the kind of stress that we are discussing and the stressors concerned, this can be a fight or flight response with an excess adrenalin rush, but it could also be a lingering effect inside our mind, when the stressor is more long-term in nature, rather than being just immediate.

Physical Stress Vs. Mental Stress

Although there is a clear distinction between physical and mental stress, one can bring about the other, or worsen the effects of the concerned stressor significantly.

Physical Stress – Any physical activity that stresses the body in any way can be termed as physical stress, however, that’s more useful than harmful in most situations.

A planned exercise routine, for example, stresses the body but reduces the harmful effects of stress at the same time through the release of endorphins. But, if the body is overstrained regularly at work while playing sport or even at the gym, the exercise will become counterproductive and add to the generally harmful effects of stress.

Mental Stress – Mental stress is the main issue and the primary problem that affects human health in the worst way possible. Our perception and consequent reaction to stressful scenarios exhausts the body by bringing about physical stress in an unhealthy manner.

For example, police officers are far more likely to experience the many negative effects of physical and mental stress than most civilians, due to the nature of their jobs. However, at the same time, having health and life insurance policies designed specifically for dangerous professions such as police work

directly reduces the impact of job-related stress because it changes a cop’s perception of dangerous situations.

Since stress is a direct effect of our perception of a threatening situation, it is a regular scenario for police officers. However, when the financial assurance of a health insurance andlife insurance policy is there to reassure the officer that they will be taken care of if they get injured on the job, and their families will have financial support in the worst-case scenario, the stress dissipates to a great degree, as a natural effect of the assurance.

What are the Harmful Effects of Stress?

Once again, the effects largely depend on the nature of the stress, as well whether it’s just physical/mental or both. Nevertheless, most of the harmful effects eventually match and some of the most significant ones can be summarized as follows.

  • Compromised immune system; increased susceptibility to colds, infections, and diseases in general
  • Depression, anxiety, anger issues, irritability, inability to focus and other cognitive impairments
  • Lethargy, headache, insomnia or poor sleeping patterns and habits
  • Gastrointestinal issues (IBS, flatulence, and acid reflux are common) and loss of appetite
  • Overeating tendencies, addictive tendencies, substance abuse
  • Weight gain and other carcinogenic factors

Regular, conscious and targeted actions taken to counter stress are, by far, the most effective way to control its effects on our health. We cannot always control the stressors, but the effects of those stressors can be managed with significant success, as long asan effort is made.