Paul Bracke, Ph.D.

Essentially, chronic stress acts like an insidious thief that steals our physical health, mental focus and balance, our precious time and our ability to form and enjoy quality relationships.

Effect on Physical Health
Chronic stress and Type A patterns lead to the chronic secretion of two powerful stress hormones: noradrenaline and cortisol which damage many of our key physical systems.A recent study concluded that chronic stress is as much as six times more likely to contribute to heart disease and cancer than high cholesterol or smoking. In fact, recent research estimates that 60-70% of all of our physical health problems are strongly related to stress.

Specifically, chronic stress has been shown to cause:
  • Premature heart disease.
  • Hypertension and stroke.
  • Tension and Migraine headaches.
  • Reduced Sexual Desire and Impeded Functioning.
  • Damage to Critical Areas of the Brain.
  • Deposits of Fat, especially around the waist.
  • Weakening of the Immune System.
  • Periodontitis.
  • Gastrointestinal problems.
Effects on Mental Health
  • Burnout: You have difficulty concentrating, can’t be as creative or decisive as usual and are
    lethargic and uninterested in events that are usually give you relaxing or fun.
  • Perfectionism: You have difficulty feeling satisfied with a completed task because “it could/should be better”.
Effects on Relationships
  • Corrosion of Personal Relationships. -- Chronic stress and Type A exert a highly corrosive effect on both professional and personal relationships that often promotes conflict, prevents collaboration and encourages colleagues, family members and friends to avoid contact.
  • You react to family, friends and colleagues, with impatience, distraction or irritability.
  • Presenteeism and the Type A Ceiling: You are physically present but mentally unfocused -- less productive and less likely to advance.