Stress seems to be a common word in today's society, and the fact is we are under more stress today than we were just a few years ago, and this stress we are under can lead to serious health problems. Stress is defined as: the non-specific response of the body, to any demand made on it. From this definition we can see that we are always in some sort of stress, esters are stress that is beneficial to us, such as moderate exercise. Eustress is not what we need to be concerned about, it is the stress that is objectionable to us that is cause for concern, this type of stress is called distress. When people talk about stress it is distress that they are usually talking about and it is distress that I will be concerned with here.
The major sources of stress are: life changes, chronic stressors, hassles, burnout, frustration and conflict. Each of these stressors has a specific definition; life changes are basically anything that disrupts our lives, chronic stressors are things such as bad marriages, living under an airport with the noise of aircraft, and the biggest one of all, work. Hassles are the little problems of daily living that seem to stack up. Chronically stressful and emotionally draining situations can lead to burnout, frustration is typically blocked goals, and conflict is being forced to decide between two incompatible choices.
Exposure to numerous stressful events within a short period of time could have a detrimental effect on health. Too much stress can exceed the body's ability to cope, leading to illness. Reactions to stress vary between individuals, it is also known that men have a higher heart rate than women when introduced to stress, and they also tend to have more immune system problems. Some people also react more strongly to hassles, while others feel that life changes are more stressful. The reasons for this are mostly unknown.
During stress the sympathetic, rather than the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system is dominant. The sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system activates what is known as the fight or flight reaction. It is during this time that several things happen to our body, they include the following: an increase in; heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and muscle tension, and a decrease in the movement of the stomach muscles, a constriction of the blood vessels, and a ...