السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Stress: Everybody knows what stress is. Stress is an integral part of our urban
lifestyle. It has become a normal part of life, although it is generally known
that stress is bad for health. But, doesn't stress also have advantages? Is
stress the same as burden?
What is stress?: First of all we want to make clear what exactly stress is. The body's adaptive response to abnormal circumstances (like threats or demands) from a new or changing situation is called stress. The term "stress" refers both to certain heightened mental and body states and to the causes of such states.
Nowadays the symptoms of stress are well known. When the human body is under stress (whether it is real or imaginary) Adrenaline is poured into the
bloodstream. As a result of that the pulse quickens, the blood pressure raises
and the muscle tension increases. Furthermore you may feel more criticized by others, become more pessimistic, cynical, or resentful than usual. Things you normally look forward to may seem like a burden.
A lot of people are not aware of being under stress. Some are frequently under so much stress that they assume the feeling is normal.
Pros: By hearing the word "stress" most people think of something unpleasant and bad. But that is only conditionally true. Stress has also several positive aspects:
A lot of people (students!) take stress as a replacement for self-discipline.
They just can't start working without time-pressure. They need to know a
certain date when they must finish their work.. (like students before a test)
It is known, that people work better, faster and more effective under stress.
There are people, who are even more creative under stress! This is because of the height Adrenaline ******* into your bloodstream.
Stress is said to be the best sport doping (Adrenaline). During a sport
activity, Stress encourages and raises the attention / strength. Under stress
the human body is able to do better to do better physical achievements.
Last but not least, some producers of stress (such as physical exercise,
various emotional states, and creative activity) are usually very healthy! But
be careful, continuous high levels of stress are not.
Contras: On the other hand, stress has much more disadvantages than advantages.
Stress is bad for your health! A lot of people react to stress with
aggressiveness, competitiveness, and self-imposed pressure to get things done. This behavior has been linked to increased rates of heart attack, high blood pressure and other diseases. Stress can also affect the immune system, causing the body to be less resistant to a wide range of other health problems.
Most people can't think clear under stress. They make false decision and work superficial (slapdash). Stress causes reduced concentration ability.
Stress doesn't only affect you; it also has an effect on your environment. If
you're under stress and nervous, your (school/work) friends automatically become like you. A stressed person has a bad influence on the work/school atmosphere. A lot of friendships have broken down because of excessive stress.
It is said, that stress is the most common "illness" at the moment. I am not
of the same opinion. As I look at it, everybody reacts different to stress.
While some people become aggressive and nervous, other people may be equally serious in their intentions, but are more patient. So, it is not possible to say, whether stress is good or bad. It just depends on the person.
Furthermore I think that stress is unavoidable nowadays. But if you're once
under stress, try to manage it the best possible. Why not making stress work for you as a source of energy? Better you use your energies by being creative than wasting them by getting furious.
Signs of Stress: In researching stress, one would learn about what stress is, the early warning signs of stress, the different types of stress, and how to build resistance to it. Stress is a combination of physical, mental, and emotional feelings that result from pressure, worry, and anxiety.
The pressures from stress are called stressors. Some examples of common stressors are: divorce, death in the family, job change, pregnancy, a large mortgage, marriage, and retirement. "In medicine, stress is, a physical, chemical, or emotional development that causes strains that can lead to physical illness." (Microsoft Encarta)
Some of the most common symptoms of stress are emotional distress, muscular problems, and stomach problems. Emotional distress includes anger, irritability, and anxiety. Muscular problems such as tension headaches, upper and lower back pain, and jaw pain (TMJ), are symptoms of stress. Muscular tensions that lead to pulled muscles and tendon and ligament problems, are symptoms of stress as well. Other symptoms of stress are stomach, gut and bowel problems. Heartburn, acid stomach, ulcers, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome are examples of these problems. Symptoms like cold hands or feet, shortness of breath, and chest pain are also common.
The early warning signs of stress include apathy, anxiety, irritability, mental fatigue, and overcompensation or denial. What is stressful for one person, may or may not be stressful for another; each person responds to stress in a different way. A person can plan their life so that stress doesn't overwhelm them. Managed stress makes people productive and happy.
There are four types of stress. There is acute stress, episodic acute stress, chronic stress, and traumatic stress. Each type of stress has its own characteristics, symptoms, duration, and treatments.
Acute stress is the common type of stress. Acute stress is exciting and thrilling in small amount, but too much is exhausting. Overdoing it on acute stress can lead to psychological distress, tension headaches, upset stomach, and other symptoms. Some examples of stressors that can cause acute stress are: an auto accident that crumpled the car fender; a child's occasional problems at school; and so on. Acute stress doesn't have enough time to do extensive damage that is associated with long-term stress.
Episodic Acute stress is what people who suffer from acute stress frequently have. These people's lives are so disorderly that they are constantly in a state of chaos and crisis. There are always in a hurry, but they are always late. Another form of episodic acute stress comes from no-stop worry. These people tend to be over aroused and tense. The symptoms of episodic acute stress are the symptoms of extended over arousal: persistent tension headaches, migraines, hypertension, chest pain, and heart disease. Suffers are usually very resistant to change of any kind. Acute stress can come up in anyone's life but it is highly treatable and manageable.
A more serious type of stress is chronic stress. "Chronic stress is the grinding stress that wears people away day after day, year after year." (Battison, 1997 p. 19) It destroys minds, bodies, and lives. Chronic stress comes when a person doesn't see a way out of a miserable situation.
The worst part of chronic stress is that people get used to it and forget that it's there. Chronic stress kills by means of suicide, violence, heart attack, stroke, and perhaps, even cancer. The symptoms of chronic stress are hard to treat and could require a lot of medical and behavioral treatment, therapy, and stress management
Traumatic stress is a special kind of chronic stress, known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is caused by trauma that is not handled correctly. Some example of traumatic experiences are: accidents, rape, verbal, physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, being in the presence of extreme violence, a brush with death, natural disasters, death of a loved one, and imprisonment. The symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, over arousal, emotional numbness or loss of feeling, along with extreme emotional outbursts to minor things. People with PTSD suffer from problems with concentration, controlling impulses, and decision making, The long term consequences of PTSD are depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, multiple personality disorder, and suicide.
There are three basic strategies for dealing with stress. The first strategy is altering situations to make them less stressful. Avoiding stressful situations is the next strategy. Accepting stressful situations is the other basic strategy in dealing with stress at the source. Each strategy has it's disadvantages and it's advantages. It's up to every person to decide which one to use with which situation. "The tougher a person's resistance to stress is, the more stress they can take." (Hanson, 1985 p.52)
There is a lot a person can do to maximize their resistance to stress. People have resources to help them handle stress. The re resources include family and financial resources, social and spiritual resources, as well as personal resources. They can also develop good health habits and get rid of bad health habits to help build up a resistance to stress. Improving a person's nutritional habits makes them much less susceptible to stress.
Stress is something that everyone takes on in their day to day lives. It is a part of our daily routines and sometimes builds up to the point where we think it is unbearable. There are many things that cause stress, yet at the same time there are many things that help us relieve it. Stress can cause physical as well as emotional illnesses but it has also been proven that too little stress can be harmful as well. There are many different ways of handling stress. Some are for the goodness of one's physical well being where as some are for one's emotional well being. There are even some that help with both. All in all stress seems to occur depending on one9s perception of events, people, and daily things for stress occurs on different occasions for different people.
• Adams, J.D. Understanding and Managing Stress, San Diego: University Associates. Kalat, J.W. (1993).
• Pfeifer, J.E., and Ogloff, J.R.P. Making the Grade: Strategies for Succeeding at University. Lincoln: JEP and JRPO Rathbone, J.L. (1969).
• The American Institute of Stress American Institute of Stress is dedicated to advancing understanding of Stress in Health and Illness.
• Stress Free NET http://www.stressfree.coة
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