Stress is defined as an organism's total response to an environmental condition or stimulus, also known as a stressor. Stress typically describes a negative condition that can have an impact on an organism's mental and physical well-being. In psychology, stress is a feeling of strain and pressure. INTRODUCTION:-
We generally use the word "stress" when we feel that everything seems to have become too much - we are overloaded and wonder whether we really can cope with the pressures placed upon us. Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you - without any stress at all many say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless. However, when the stresses undermine both our mental and physical health they are bad. In this text we shall be focusing on stress that is bad for you. The way you respond to a challenge may also be a type of stress. Part of your response to a challenge is physiological and affects your physical state. When faced with a challenge or a threat, your body activates resources to protect you - to either get away as fast as you can, or fight. Our fight-or-flight response is our body's sympathetic nervous system reacting to a stressful event. Our body produces larger quantities of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, which trigger a higher heart rate, heightened muscle preparedness, sweating, and alertness - all these factors help us protect ourselves in a dangerous or challenging situation. Non-essential body functions slow down, such as our digestive and immune systems when we are in fight-or flight response mode. All resources can then be concentrated on rapid breathing, blood flow, alertness and muscle use. Small amounts of stress may be desired, beneficial, and even healthy. Positive stress helps improve athletic performance. It also plays factor in motivation, adaptation, and reaction to the environment. Excessive amounts of stress however, may lead to many problems in the body that could be harmful. Four of the most common diseases that result from stress are clinical depression, cardiovascular disease, human immunodeficiency virus, and cancer. Stress can be external and related to the environment, but may also be created by internal perceptions that cause an individual to have anxiety or other negative emotions surrounding a situation, such as pressure, discomfort, etc., which they then deem stressful. External factors that by themselves are not threatening or stressful are deemed such for someone experiencing PTSD. Triggers can be stressful, such as when a person reports stress when hearing a song on radio or seeing a type of object that may remind the person of prior threatening events. Humans experience stress, or perceive things as threatening, when they do not believe that their resources for coping with obstacles (stimuli, people, situations, etc.) are enough for what the circumstances demand. When we think the demands being placed on us exceed our ability to cope, we then perceive stress. AMBIGUITY OF THE WORD:-
The term stress had none of its contemporary connotations before the 1920s. It is a form of the English middle distress, derived via Old French from the Latin stringere, "to draw tight." It had long been 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 or a harmful environmental agent that could cause illness. Walter Cannon used it in 1926 to refer to external factors that disrupted what he called Homeostasis. Homeostasis is a concept central to the idea of stress. In biology, most biochemical processes strive to maintain equilibrium, a steady state that exists more as an ideal and less as an achievable condition. Environmental factors, internal or...
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