What is Stress?
In our life the day starts with expectations of certain people with us and those expectations of people often leads to create stress and along with it work stress, stress due to lack of sleep and stress being less involved and less communicating with people and family are some stressors we face in our daily life. Now with these stress comes up outpouring of stress hormones like norepinephrine and epinephrine from the adrenal medulla which increases heart rate and respiration rate thus mobilizing sugar and fat and eventually dulling pain. So in many case we come up with release of hormones which eventually leads to fast respiration rate along with sweat release and such situation helps to prepare us to deal with the immediate demands of situation which energizes and helps us to focus and either fight or flee the situation which is often described as Walter Canon’s flight or fight stress response.
The Stressors: Causes
We are going through various stressors across our day but what is important to know is that it causes various health problems and eventually affects our well-being.
- The stress across our day adversely affects our immune system which help in defending the body against foreign invaders and deals with abnormal cells and perform various bodily functions like basic restorative and clean up operations. This stress affects innate immunity that we already have as well as adaptive immunity that develops after exposure to an antigen. This leads stressed people to be more vulnerable to cold and even surgical wounds heals more slowly as compared to people who are stress free. This stress even hasten the course of disease which can be seen through a study where around thirty three thousand participants with HIV and great stress as compared to those with less stress quickly transitioned from being HIV positive to AIDS.
- Secondly, stress plays a significant role in heart diseases as it increases blood pressure and usually creates an inflammatory response in blood vessels resulting in damaging of it and leading to deposition and build up of plaque further leading to heart stokes.
- Moreover, a person with a competitive, hard driving and aggressive personality is often found to be a predictor of CHD and which can be seen by a study where around thousand of males with such personality was likely to develop CHD and eventually had a heart attack by age of fifty five. However, a person with an easygoing and relaxing personality was less prone to develop such CHD.
- Negative emotionality and hostility are also significant predictors of such CHD.
Therefore, stress ultimately affects immune system as well as leads to cardiovascular problems and even affects well being along with it also affects our emotional state and has direct effects as well as indirect effects to behavior and thus leads to heart diseases and infections.
The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.
— Frank Herbert
Coping up with Stressors
In need to overcome our mind from stress and to retain it to healthy state we need to cope with our stressors. Coping refers to act of dealing with stress and emotions which can be done with an aim to change the situation or with an aim to regulate the experience of distress.
- One of the important factors in coping with stress is learned helplessness through which adopting an optimistic explanatory style goes long way towards improving physical and mental health.
- Furthermore, social support also plays a key role in coping up with stress as it reduces blood pressure and stress hormones as well as it fosters strong immune functioning. For example: in a research it was found people whose life includes daily hugs experience fewer cold and at less rate and in my opinion such social support is very essential in this busy world to overcome stress.
- Moreover, eating natural foods, limiting our saturated fats and daily serving of dairy products as well as fruits are essential parts of a healthy diet and thus plays a key role in coping up with stress.
- Now days exercise like yoga and meditation along with diet are essential for coping up with stressful work and daily routine.
Global Stats of Stress
|Countries||Percentage of Population|
United States Of America
Stress Management with Therapies!
There are various therapies that have evolved from several approach and some of these approaches are psychoanalytic, cognitive and behavioural.
- One of the therapies is psychoanalytic which view individuals as responding to unconscious forces. The therapy aims at dealing with terrible experiences mostly in childhood and helps client to think, emote and act more adaptively.
- Secondly, cognitive therapy can help by teaching client new and more adaptive ways of thinking and acting, based on the assumption that thoughts between events and emotional reactions. It aims at restructuring the clients thinking and help them to stop catastrophizing and to get them to think about the world in a more constructive way.
- Thirdly, behavioural therapy applies learning principles to the elimination of unwanted behaviours. It aims at unlearning client’s problem behaviours and replace them with more adaptive behaviours.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Ashaya