Under normal conditions, you react to a threat with a temporary increase in your stress hormones.

As soon as the threat is over, the hormones dissipate and your body returns to normal.

But if you choose to go on as if nothing has happened.

The alarm signals won’t stop.

The emotional brain will keep working, and stress hormones will keep sending signals to the muscles to tense for action or immobilize in collapse.

The physical effects on the organs will go on unabated until they demand notice when they are expressed as illness.

Medications, drugs, and alcohol can also temporarily dull or erase unbearable sensations and feelings.

But the body continues to keep the score.

The insidious effects of constantly elevated stress hormones include memory and attention problems, irritability, and sleep disorders.