When i hear a person talking about stress or complaining of how much he or she is stressed, i often want to listen and get to know the person’s situation so that to see if i can help in any way, but i came to realize that alot of us don’t understand what stress is or how chronically stress can affect our bodies. The reason for writing this article is to make a person understand why stress should be avoided or managed at all cost.
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress as a subject is very broad and it has alot of definitions or everyone can explain it in his or her own way. In simple terms, Stress is a psychological and physical strain or tension caused by economical, social, political events that becomes difficult to manage or endure by any human being.
Stress falls into three categories
Stress as a stimulus
Stress as a Response
Stress as interaction
The categories above define stress and how it happens.
Stress as a stimulus, Is an event or influence on the external environment that causes a response. In other wards it is known as something that causes stress or you can call it a stressor.
Stress as a Response, Is a psychological or physical reaction of an organism ( a person) to a stimulus. Every person reacts to stress in a different way whereby a person’s behaviour can change or a person can have a mental reaction.
Stress as interaction, there has to be a relationship between an organism and its environment. The environment has an influence on every person which can cause stress.
FACTS ABOUT STRESS.
Now days for a person to suffer from stressful conditions has become normal due to the lifestyle and the way the world is transforming. Even though people have come out and gave various reasons to why they are stressed, researchers still conclude that the causes of stress is still unclear.
However there are different theories that talk about stressors which can influence a person to feel stressed in one way or the other.
What is a stressor? These are things that cause physical or psychological strain to a person.
Stressors are classified into three different categories
- Life Changes
- The Hassles
- Occupation linked stressors
These are unpredictable events about life, which can include; Death of Spouse, Divorce, Marital Separation, Jail term, Marriage, Fired at work, Retirement, Son or daughter living home, Sex difficulties, Trouble with boss, Change in living conditions, Change in schools, Change in financial state, pregnancy e.t.c
These are everyday demands, transactions that are influenced by an environment that causes irritation and frustrations to a person. They include; Traffic jams, noise, disappointments, arguments, financial and family concern, weather, losing things e.t.c
OCCUPATION LINKED STRESSORS
This applies to people working in emergency services or those who are required to deal with people in pain and distress . Forexample; Firefighters, Mountain rescue workers, Midnight nurses, e.t.c. It is said that people working in these areas face additional demands and most of the are likely to experience PTSD.
HOW OUR BODIES GET AFFECTED.
Stress isn’t something extraordinary or something to be afraid of if you get to understand it. Stress is useful at a small extent because in some situations it can push us to do stuff that we felt lazy doing, forexample if you have unfinished work and the deadline is approaching , a little stress can push you finish whatever you wanted to finish before the deadline.
There is something you should know that our bodies are designed to combat or deal with stress with the help of a hormone known as cortisol.
As much as we might have a stress hormone, chronic stress can still put our health at risk. When our bodies detect stress, we fall into fight or flight syndrome but its upto us to stay in that mode or become resistant. Below is the structure that shows how the body responds to stress.
When a person perceives a stressor or a stimulus, there happens to be a brief initial shock phase that makes a person want to react. The alarm reaction is considered as the first stage of how our bodies do respond to stress. During this stage our adrenaline levels start going up, as well as falling into the fight or flight syndrome, forexample if a person is working to finish a certain project but the deadline is coming up, they might start to feel pressured and because of that he or she will start looking for options on how he can finish the project early or give if on the project. We all do react to stressful conditions differently.
After we experience stress, our adrenaline levels can go back to normal or increase it all depends on how we perceive stress conditions. The stage two explains what happens to our bodies if we are unable to resist stress. When we get alarmed, we fall into fight or flight stage but we expect after some hours to be out of that stage by removing the stressor ( something causing stress), but failing to manage our stress makes us fall into stage three which is known as the exhaustion stage.
When the body falls into the exhaustion stage due to stress , it means that it will start to weaken because during this stage the body’s resources ( vitamins and minerals) get depleted. This is where you find a person experiencing physical pains because of stress or even starts to suffer from severe anxiety. It shows that a person has failed to manage their stress and don’t seem to have a break from fight or flight syndrome.
3 WAYS STRESS AFFECTS OUR BODY.
As a human being , we have different emotions and these emotions detect the state of mind we are in. When a person experiences stress, it affects the way a person feels, forexample if that person was happy or smiling but then all of a sudden stress can make them very sad or angry, just in a few minutes stress can change our emotions. Emotions play a big role in everyone’s life that is to say they determine the quality of life that your living. Researchers say that the success of someone’s life depends on their state of mind, which means that it is hard to perform when your angry or sad.
Stress depletes our body minerals which causes us to have physical pain. Chronic stress is harmful to our bodies because it interrupts the blood flow and the heartbeat. When you continue to suffer from stress, you will realize that you won’t have enough energy to do certain stuff and for some people they may end up having high blood pressure.
Behaviour is the way which one acts. Stress most of the times influence how we act or react in most cases. If your feeling stressed , you will find yourself feeling insecure, anxious or angry and that will definitely have an impact on how you act in the society. Most people are addicted to certain habits because they are stressed and they can’t break through from their stress disorder hence acting differently.
Note; The 3 above elements are very important when it comes to a person living a healthy life. The moment those elements are tampered with, then alot of things will change in your life.