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Stress’ Definition and Effects Essay

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Updated: Mar 12th, 2020

According to Dallman and Hellhammer (2011), networks of stress are attributable to anxiety, worry and negative feelings which weaken immune systems of individuals. Hormones, neurotransmitters, and peptides which are crucial for the proper functioning of the immune system are released through a physiological stress response system (Dhabhar, 2011).

Individuals whose stress levels are higher than those of other people are believed to engage in risky habits which lead to psychological and physical problems (Childs, O’Connor, 2012). The human body can detect stressors based on how sympathy-adrenomedullary (SAM) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis interpret, integrate and organize materials.

The hypothalamus controls stress, thirst, sleep, appetite and regulates temperature (Vedhara & Irwin, 2005). As a result, the communicative role played by the endocrine system in the whole body cannot be underestimated.

Women who experience nervousness when they think of attending a high school reunion after 20 years suffer from acute stress. Chronic stress can be explained by a single parent who does not have adequate financial resources but has to ensure that her children do not starve. A military officer who gets deployed in a country like Afghanistan and realizes that his wife wants to leave him for another man suffers from distant stress.

Stress is a process that starts when an individual has external or internal demands that are beyond his/her ability to adapt or adjust. This causes psychological and biological stress responses to be revoked until such a time when instability associated with the demands is suppressed or until sickness or death does away with the individual.

There is a close relationship between perceptions of stressors and Lazarus’ Process Model of coping. This is because Lazarus and his friends were able to find out how appraising an event, issue or a circumstance that happens to an individual correlates to the response given (Laureate Education, Inc., 2012). The primary appraisal shows the perception of an event or issue by an individual as good, irrelevant or stressful.

In cases where appraisal shows threat, possible responses determined by the ability of an individual to tolerate the threat are achieved through a secondary appraisal. (Goh et al., 2010; Laureate Education, Inc., 2012). The well-being of individuals is determined by how they appraise and manage stress. For example, a study of a young person who is battling with obesity can show how the person manages stress.

Studies conducted have indicated that the immunity of students is depressed as they sit for exams. Chronic mild depression among elderly or sick people lowers their resistance to diseases. Also, loneliness and being socially isolated are factors that affect the immune system of college students (APA, 2006).

After I was through with Rahe and Holmes self-evaluation (Wilson, 2006), I was amazed to discover that some of the things that drew my attention were deemed to be stressful. They include failure to spare time for fun and certain changes that have been part of my life since I joined the school.

I have a feeling that the fact that I have not been to a concert for five months has been causing me stress. Also, I anticipated numerous challenges as I joined college. I was nevertheless prepared for them. Rahe and Holmes self-evaluation has enabled me to appreciate my resilience and has increased my interest to examine the coping skills I possess to make them stronger.

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