How Stress Affects Your Body, As Told By Adorable Monsters

Who knew stress could be so cute?

A bad work week or problems at home can quickly transform a person from being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed into a monster who could eat someone bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Yes, stress can be an ugly thing, which is why this video from TED-Ed is so unusually wonderful.

Cute coffee-spilling monsters demonstrate just how much damage can come from chronic stress. Because it's a hard-wired physical response that travels throughout the body, chronic stress can wreak havoc on many essential organs and processes, not just your brain. In fact, some research suggest it's worse for you than secondhand smoke. Eeeek.

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Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises, and your risk of having a heart attack or stroke increases. Stress can also change the composition of your gut bacteria, which can affect your digestive system and waistline.

Good thing there are ways to ease stress — have you tried Tai Chi? — because it's clear you'll want to try to calm your body down before the issue becomes chronic. Once stress reaches that point, it's harder for your immune system to fight off infections. And who wants constant headaches, muscle tension and fatigue? Take the advice of our new animated monster friends and you'll be back on the road to good health.

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