Has this statement ever crossed your mind during finals week? For me personally, this is one of my worst fears come test time. But why is it that we always seem to be under the weather during the most important week of our college careers? Well according to our Psychology book, it states that "Many people believe they're more likely to get a cold when they're really stressed out-and they're right." So it is very plausible for us humans to get a cold due to the large amounts of stress we're handed a few nights before the big exam.
There is a definite scientific explanation for sickness, but stressors do happen to play a part of the process. These illnesses are given a rather long term, psychophysiological. This is defined as illnesses such as asthma and ulcers in which emotions and stress contribute to, maintain, or aggravate the physical condition. So although a small amount of stress may be good for us, constant stress could possibly have damaging effects on our bodies, especially the heart. According to scientists, coronary heart disease (CHD), which is the complete or partial blockage of the arteries that provide oxygen to the heart, is directly correlated with psychological factors including stress (Lilienfeld, 467).
All this talk on stress and illness can be depressing, but good news is that positive emotions and social support can fortify our immune systems (Esterling, Kiecolt-Glaser, and Glaser, 1996; Kennedy, Kiecolt-Glaser, and Glaser, 1990). So it's very important to learn to cope with our stress effectively so we can all be happy and healthy!