Defining Stress

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In defining stress it is described as a negative concept that can impact one’s mental and physical well being. Stress manifest itself differently from person to person. A stressful situation for one person could very well be tolerable to a person of substantial hardiness and optimism. It has not been defined as to whether stress is a cause, an effect or the connecting of the two. It is important to recognize whether you are under stress or out of it. Many times, even if we are under the influence of a stressful condition and our body reacts to it internally as well as externally, we fail to realize that we are reacting under stress. A sense of humor also allows us to perceive and appreciate the incongruities of life and provides moments of delight. The emotions we experience directly affect our immune system. The positive emotions can create neuro-chemical changes that buffer the immune-suppressive effects of stress. How one copes with stress depends on the type of stressor, the individual and the circumstances. In problem-focused coping one must take control by changing the relationship between themselves and the source of stress, trying to understand the situation and use a strategy to avoid it in the future and evaluate the different options for dealing with the stressor. In emotion-focused coping one must try to reduce the negative emotional responses associated with stress such as embarrassment, fear, anxiety, depression, excitement and frustration. This may be the only realistic option when the source of stress is outside the person’s control. Unfortunately, many people cope with stress by eating, drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. Some people do not deal with it at all. In the short-term, unmanaged stress management can lead to fatigue, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and other unhealthy symptoms. Long-term unmanaged stress management can lead to major health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and migraine headaches. An...
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