Today, more than ever before, the fast-paced lifestyle coupled with shifting life experiences and tightening economic demands have placed a large burden on many people to a level that a life without stress is hard to imagine.
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While stress is a routine normal reaction to some specific life experiences, studies have revealed that a constant cycle of stress is not only dangerous to the health and wellbeing of the victim, but cannot be sustained. Stress originates from the brain and relays signals to all parts of the body, affecting individuals in ways they could in all probability never anticipated (Adeyemi para. 1).
Unpleasant feelings, such as worry, anger, and depression, plague us from time to time, bringing feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and frequent mood swings (Khan para 1). In most occasions, stressful events leads to negative feelings which have been noted to affect the physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing of individuals. This paper purposes to evaluate the medical, psychological, and social outcomes of stress and unpleasant feelings.
Stress and other fearful events cause the brain to increase the production of adrenaline, which initiates systematic stimulations in nearly all parts of our body, starting with the heart. A group of researchers observe that stress is a normal physical response to life experiences that make an individual to feel vulnerable and not in harmony with his or her balance in a major way (Smith et al para. 3).
Stress in small balanced spells have been known to assist individuals perform under very limited resources and even inspire them to do their best. But beyond a certain limit, stress ceases to become supportive and begins to cause major damage not only to your mind and body, but also to your disposition, performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life.
Medically, stress and unpleasant feelings are not only known to initiate some life-threatening conditions, but can exacerbate existing respiratory conditions like asthma. Long-term experience with stress and unpleasant feelings can lead to grave health ramifications.
Current literature demonstrates that chronic stress can affect nearly every system in your body, including suppressing the immune system, raising blood pressure, facilitating the risk of heart attack and stroke, not mentioning that it contributes to infertility and hastens the aging process (Smith et al para. 7).
Psychologically, chronic stress and unpleasant feelings have the potential to rewire the brain, leaving the individual more vulnerable to anxiety, aggression, and depression (Smith et al para. 7). Other psychological outcomes of stress and unpleasant feelings include panic attacks, feelings of guilt, angry outbursts, hopelessness, feeling overwhelmed, increased cynicism, mood swings, irritability, resentment, lack of interest in activities, and low memory (Stress-Relief-Tools para. 3).
Such outcomes adversely affect the victim’s feelings of self worth and self esteem, and in extreme cases affect the individual’s cognitive capabilities. Studies have revealed that people experiencing acute stress have shorter memory and are no longer in control of their own productivity (Cooper & Dewe 7). As such, stress is also positively correlated to poverty and low socioeconomic status.
In the words of three researchers, “…social support functions as an important stress buffer…The more social support people have, the less stress will have to affect them in a negative way” (Mills et al para. 2). The reverse seems to be true for people experiencing high levels of stress and unpleasant feelings – they are highly unlikely to be integrated into the established social support networks.
Victims of chronic stress and unpleasant feelings have experienced challenges establishing interpersonal relationships, and married couples have problems managing their intimate relationships (Cooper & Dewe 9). Many individuals experiencing negative stress basically do not have sufficient forms of social support available, not mentioning that such individuals may not have the boldness necessary to feel at ease requesting for assistance from others.
Studies have found that individuals suffering from stress may be depressed enough to exhibit long-term withdrawal symptoms, further lessening the nature and amount of the social support available (Smith et al para. 5). The social support deficit occasioned by stressful experiences is both a susceptibility factor for additional stress-related challenges, and also a self-fulfilling prophesy that social isolation results in further social isolation.
Adeyemi, D. The True Dangers of Stress. 2009. Web.
Cooper, C. L., & Dewe, P. Stress: A Brief History. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004.
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Khan, A. Unpleasant Feelings. 2008. Web.
Mills, H., Reiss, N., & Dombeck, M. Social Impact of Stress. 2008. Web.
Smith, M., Jaffe-Gill, E., & Segal, J. Understanding Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects. 2010. Web.
Stress-Relief-Tools. Psychological Effects of Stress. 2010. Web.