When you hear the word “STRESS” what comes to your Mind?
The term Stress has been defined in several different ways. Sometimes the term is applied to stimuli or events in our environment that make physical and emotional demands on us, andsometimes it is applied to our emotional and physical reactions to such stimuli. In this discussion, we will refer to the environmental stimuli or events as stressors and to emotional and physical reactions as stress.
Many sorts of events can be stressors, including disasterssuch as hurricanes or tornadoes, major life events suchas divorce or the loss of job, and daily hassles such ashaving to wait in line at the supermarket when you need tobe somewhere else in ten minutes. What all these eventshave in common is that they interfere with or threaten ouraccustomed way of life. When we encounter suchstressors, we must pull together our mental and physicalresources in order to deal with the challenge. How well wesucceed in doing so will determine how serious a toll thestress will take on our mental and physical well-being.
STRESS- an emotional or physical reaction to demandingevents or stimuli.STRESSORS- an event or stimulus that causes stress.
The Canadian physiologist Hans Seyle has been the most influentialresearcher and writer on stress. Seyle has proposed that bothhumans and other animals react to any stressors in threestages, collectively known as the general adaption syndrome. The firststage, when the person or animal first become aware of thestressors, is the alarm reaction. In this stage, the organism becomeshighly alert and aroused, energized by a burst of epinephrine. Afterthe alarm reaction comes the stage of resistance, as the organismtries to adapt to the stressful stimulus or to escape from it. If theseefforts are successful, the stage of the organism returns to normal. Ifthe organism cannot adapt to continuing stress, however, it enters astage of exhaustion or collapse.
Seyle developed his model of the general adaption syndrome as a result ofresearch with rats and other animal. In rats, certain stressors such aspainful tail-pulling, consistently lead to the same sorts of stress reaction. Inhumans, however, it is harder to predict what will be stress-ful to a particularperson at a particular time. Whether a particular stimulus will be stressfuldepends on the person’s subjective appraisal of that stimulus. Howthreatening is it? How well have I handled it this time? For one person, beingcalled upon to give a talk in front of class is highly stressful stimulus that willimmediately produce such elements of an alarm reaction as a pounding ofheart and a dry mouth. For another person, being called on to give a talk isnot threatening at all, but facing a deadline to complete a term paper isextremely stressful. In humans, moreover, the specific stress reaction islikely to vary widely ; some stressful situations give raise predominantly toemotions of fear, some to anger some to helplessness and depression.
The term stress had none of its contemporary connotations before the 1920s. It is a form of the Middle English ”destresse”, derived via Old French from the Latin ”stringere” that means "to draw tight." It had longbeen in use in physics to refer to the internal distribution of a force exerted on a material body, resulting in strain. In the 1920s and 1930s, the term was occasionally being used in biological and psychological circles to refer to a mental strain, unwelcome happening, or, more medically, a harmful environmental agent that could cause illness.
Stress is a term that is commonly used today but has becomeincreasingly difficult to define. It shares, to some extent, commonmeanings in both the biological and psychological sciences. Stresstypically describes a negative concept that can have an impact onone’s mental and physical well-being, but it is unclear what exactlydefines stress and whether or not stress is a cause, an effect, or the process connecting the two. With organisms as complex as humans, stress can take on entirely concrete or abstract meanings with highly subjective qualities, satisfying definitions of both cause and effect in ways that can be both tangible and intangible.
In science, cognition is a group of mental processes that includes attention, memory, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions. Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, linguistics, science and computer science. Itis also used in a branch of social psychology called social cognition to explain attitudes, attribution and groups dynamics.
Emotions are the various bodily feelings associated withmood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation and also with hormones suchas dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. Emotion is often the driving force behindmotivation, positive or negative. In 1992, Carlson and Hatfield defined emotions, as feelingstates with physiological, cognitive, and behavioral components. The power of emotion isclosely linked to arousal of the nervous system with various states and strengths ofarousal relating, apparently, to particular emotions. Although the word emotion might seemto be about feeling and not about thinking, cognition is an important aspect ofemotion, particularly the interpretation events. Fear in the mind usually occurs in responseto a threat with the cognition of danger and subsequent arousal of the nervous system.Emotion is also linked to behavioral tendency.
Behavior or behaviour is the range of actions and mannerisms made byorganisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with theirenvironment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well asthe physical environment. It is the response of the system or organism tovarious stimuli or inputs, whether internal or external, conscious orsubconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary.
Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is nomore extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of thingsother than physical things. In contemporary philosophy, physicalism is mostfrequently associated with the mind-body problem in philosophy of mind, regardingwhich physicalism holds that all that has been ascribed to "mind" is more correctlyascribed to "brain" or the activity of the brain. Physicalism is also called"materialism", but the term "physicalism" is preferable because it has evolved withthe physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicalitythan matter, for example wave/particle relationships and non-material forcesproduced by particles.
Eustress, a type of stress that is fun and exciting, andkeeps us vitalAcute Stress, a very short-term type of stress that caneither be positive (eustress) or more distressing (whatwe normally think of when we think of ‘stress); this isthe type of stress we most often encounter in day-to-day life (e.g. skiing down said slope or dealing withroad rage)
Episodic Acute Stress, where acute stress seemsto run rampant and be a way of life, creating a lifeof relative chaos (e.g. the type of stress that coinedthe terms ‘drama queen’ and ‘absent-mindedprofessor’)Chronic Stress, the type of stress that seemsnever-ending and inescapable, like the stress of abad marriage or an extremely taxing job (this typeof stress can lead to burnout)
When faced with chronic stress and anoveractivated autonomic nervous system, people begin tosee physical symptoms. The first symptoms are relativelymild, like chronic headaches and increased susceptibility tocolds. With more exposure to chronicstress, however, more serious health problems maydevelop. These stress-influenced conditions include, but arenot limited to:
Depression diabeteshair loss heart diseaseHyperthyroidis mobesity obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disordersexual dysfunction tooth and gum diseaseUlcers cancer (possibly)In fact, most it’s been estimated that as many as90% of doctor’s visits are for symptoms that areat least partially stress-related!