What is stress ?
There are a wide variety of potential stressors (causes of stress), and these can be both external and internal. Furthermore, different stressors affect people to different degrees. A dressing down by a boss at work, for example, might be treated as a minor incident by you, but it would stress me out. I would immediately perceive the threat of loss (in this case my livelihood).
Some external sources of stress might include pressure, deadlines or conflict in the work environment, the family (any number of potential stressors here!), money issues, care of aged parents, or they might be things over which we have little or no control, such as traffic, long commutes, violence, crime, simple misunderstandings, and much more besides.
Some authorities contend that stress is a natural reaction to our inadequate or perceived inadequate response to some threatening situation, which may involve personal loss of some kind (reputation, a family member, your job, the high opinion of your friends, a bereavement or life threatening illness, a robbery, rape or other crime – the list goes on). In such situations the body naturally goes into a “fight or flight” response, which because flight is not usually an option for most of us, results in the body being flooded with adrenalin with no means of dissipating it.
The signs of stress are usually self evident, and will be dealt with in more detail in a later article.
It is important to realize that not all stress is bad for us. In many cases, some degree of stress can be beneficial, such as in a sports situation, for example. Furthermore, even though extreme stress can be very unpleasant and result in potentially devastating events such as panic attacks, the effect is not usually long term and there are a variety of options to choose from in dealing with stress, depending upon the stressor in question.
One of the central problems in dealing with that stress which is chronic, however, is its potential for creating long term behavioural problems for us, usually because we try to find relief in essentially short term and short-sighted ways. These might include alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse and/or addictions, loss of self esteem and self confidence, memory disorders, somatic disorders, insomnia, food abuse, and short temperedness.
- What Stress Actually Does to You and What You Can Do About It [Stress] (lifehacker.com)
- Food can be a stress too……. (shraddha-rajwaday.blogspot.com)
- 10 Tips for Managing Pre-Wedding Stress (joyofspa.com)
- How Chronic Stress Short-circuits Parenting (scienceblog.com)
- Coping With Workplace Stress (fitnesstipsforlife.com)
- Stressed Much? (drmichaelanthony.wordpress.com)