Definition of stress:
In simple terms stress basically is an experience of events and these events are perceived as endangering ( cause danger ) to one’s psychological or physical well-being. The events called stressors and people’s reaction to them termed stress responses.
Events include demanding work, excess workload, problems in personal relations, time-bound activities, etc. People’s reactions to intensify events differ widely: some people faced with stress develop serious psychological or physical problems, whereas other people develop no problem at all.
Any event, even positive can be experienced as problematical , particularly if they require substantial changes or readjustments in our lives.
Two psychologists Holmes and Rahe (1967) investigated 400 men and women of different ages to identify kinds of events that people found stressful and people asked to assign a point value out of 100 on the basis of their evaluation of its severity and the time required for adjustment.
Human body sent worry signal to body. Each individual act differently on strain at different event. Holmes and Rahe’s social readjustment rating scale measures stress in terms of life changes. Some examples of life events are:
|Life Event||Value out of 100|
|Death of spouse||100|
|Change in residence||20|
|Begin and end school||26|
|Change in the financial state||38|
What does stress do to your body?
When we encounter any problem, our body automatically prepares itself to handle the emergency. The human body mobilizes its resources to handle emergency. To fight with it we need energy, so the liver releases extra glucose to fuel the muscles, and hormones are released that stimulate the conversion of fats and proteins into sugar. Heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate increases, and the muscles tense.
The human body always maintains a stable internal environment called homeostasis. Any disruption will elicit multiple regulatory responses by the body in an attempt to bring disrupted variables back to normal levels. The human body will make necessary adjustments in response to the chronic stress.
At the same time, unessential activities like digestion are stopped. Suppose a lion comes in front of a person, at that time he needs energy to run, his heart rate and blood pressure increase to allocate resources of the body to escape from the current situation.
Physiological reactions include increased metabolic rate, increased heart rate, dilation of pupils, increased breathing rate, high blood pressure, tensing of muscles, the release of extra sugar from the liver and secretion of endorphins and adrenocorticotrophic hormones (ACTH).
Stress effect on the body:
Human body always tries to maintain homeostasis (state of steady internal functions). As the human body attempts to adapt to the continued presence of a tension, its resource may become depleted, making it vulnerable to illness.
The wear and tear on the body that results from chronic over-activity of the psychological response to this are referred to as allostatic load. Chronic stress can impair the immune system, decreasing the body’s ability to fight viruses and bacteria.
It can lead to high blood pressure, heart diseases, and ulcers also. Psychological stress is likely to make people more susceptible to colds and other illnesses because it weakens the immune system.
Short-term pressure appears to increase the strength of immune responses but chronic or prolonged stress decreases immune functioning because some of the biochemical released in the fight or flight response, including cortisol, suppress the immune system if the response persists for long periods.
Stress can also contribute in obesity. Research has shown excess stress make people obese because of uncontrolled eating routine and habits. Obesity is further root of many other lifestyle diseases.
The basic stress symptoms is sweating, nervousness and anxiety. Anxiety is directly related to stress hormones. An anxious person o things in hurry and ignore many important aspects of work.
The Management of stress
Managing stress is a difficult job. When we are stressed, we may be less likely to engage in healthy behavior. For example, students taking exams stay up all night, often for several nights in a row. They may skip meals and depend on junk foods.
Some people increase alcohol intake and smoke under pressure. It may indirectly affect health by reducing rates of positive health-related behaviors and increasing rates of negative behaviors.
Psychologists suggest a number of techniques to reduce the negative effect on the body. Some of the techniques are:
1. Relaxation training:
Relaxation training involves teaching people to deeply relax their muscles and slow down their thoughts. Studies demonstrated that people can learn to modify heart rate and blood pressure.Even positive psychology helps us in maintains optimum level of happiness.
Clients are instructed to tense their muscles, release the tension and notice the difference in sensation. The client was shown graphs of blood pressure and taught to monitor them.
Individuals who regularly engaged in aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, or cycling show significantly lower heart rate and blood pressure in response to stressful situations than others.
Physical fitness is an important factor in controlling excess burden on body. Many management programmers also emphasize physical fitness.
Meditation is an easy and comfortable practice to reduce pressure, promote well-being and calmness. The client is taught to control their wandering mind and instructed to give away anger and anxiety. Meditation is basically putting attention to one place and ignoring all other surroundings things.
Cognitive appraisal interpretation of present circumstances. In meditation a person relax his or her mind try to alleviate negative thoughts and emotions and only focuses on a single point.
4 Monitoring and feedback:
In this techniques, clients receive information about their physiological state and then attempt to alter/modify that state. After four or five weeks of training, clients learn to recognize the onset of tension and reduce it without feedback from the machine or instructor.
A person will monitor his state of mind under guidance of psychologist or counselor. Psychologist helps him to alter his state of mind with the help of cognitive behavior therapy.
5. Cognitive Techniques:
It attempts to help people identify the kinds of worry situations that produce their physiological or emotional symptoms and after the way they cope with these situations.
Management stress conclusion
Relaxation training, Exercise, Meditation, Monitoring, and feedback, and cognitive techniques all have proved useful stress management techniques. Because of the complex demand of everyday life psychologist often employ flexible approaches may include all techniques.Manage stress is a task but with knowledge we can achieve this.
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