The Effects of Stress: Reading Comprehension
Read the essay and then answer the questions.
The Effects of Stress
There is a famous expression in English: "Stop the world, I want to get off!" This expression refers to a feeling of panic, or stress, that makes a person want to stop whatever they are doing, try to relax, and become calm again. 'Stress' means pressure or tension. It is one of the most common causes of health problems in modern life. Too much stress results in physical, emotional, and mental health problems.
There are numerous physical effects of stress. Stress can affect the heart. It can increase the pulse rate, make the heart miss beats, and can cause high blood pressure. Stress can affect the respiratory system. It can lead to asthma. It can cause a person to breathe too fast, resulting in a loss of important carbon dioxide. Stress can affect the stomach. It can cause stomach aches and problems digesting food. These are only a few examples of the wide range of illnesses and symptoms resulting from stress.
Emotions are also easily affected by stress. People suffering from stress often feel anxious. They may have panic attacks. They may feel tired all the time. When people are under stress, they often overreact to little problems. For example, a normally gentle parent under a lot of stress at work may yell at a child for dropping a glass of juice. Stress can make people angry, moody, or nervous.
Long-term stress can lead to a variety of serious mental illnesses. Depression, an extreme feeling of sadness and hopelessness, can be the result of continued and increasing stress. Alcoholism and other addictions often develop as a result of overuse of alcohol or drugs to try to relieve stress. Eating disorders, such as anorexia, are sometimes caused by stress and are often made worse by stress. If stress is allowed to continue, then one's mental health is put at risk.
It is obvious that stress is a serious problem. It attacks the body. It affects the emotions. Untreated, it may eventually result in mental illness. Stress has a great influence on the health and well-being of our bodies, our feelings, and our minds. So, reduce stress: stop the world and rest for a while.
Story by Charlotte Sheldrake, English Language Centre
Exercises by Deborah Albert, English Language Centre
Audio version performed by Cam Culham, English Language Centre
- Which of the following is not a common problem caused by stress?
- physical problems
- anecdotal problems
- mental problems
- emotional problems
- According to the essay, which of the following parts of the body does not have physical problems caused by stress.
- the arms
- the stomach
- the lungs
- the heart
- Which of the following show how stress can affect the emotions? Click on the box beside each correct answer and then click on "Check".
- Which of the following can result from long-term stress? Click on the box beside each correct answer and then click on "Check".
- Choose the best answer to explain how alcoholism is caused by stress.
- alcohol is used to relieve stress
- alcohol is popular
- alcohol is a chemical
- alcohol is similar to medicine
- Which of the following is not caused by long-term stress?
- Choose all of the answers that can complete this sentence: Stress can affect the respiratory system by __________.
- Symptoms of emotional stress include __________.
- feeling joyous
- feeling hungry
- feeling thirsty
- feeling tired