Stress is already a part of daily living. You may never know it but you are already affected by this issue. You shout at your kids or nag your partner about something. You seem to raise an issue out of a particular event even if it is not true. You also tend to be suspicious at some points. All these are due to stress.
Scientifically, stress is a state of high tension or pressure, resulting from an accident or injury or a psychological reaction of heightened emotional response. Certain occupations are particularly stressful, such as acting, advertising, controlling air traffic, politics, investing and gambling. As an effect of stressful emotions such as panic attacks, fear and anger, the blood pressure rises, the pulse beats faster, breathing is accelerated, digestion stops, and the adrenal glands become overactive.
Major Facts about Stress
The real issues behind stress can be best understood with a number of facts. Take a look at the following points:
1. It can be caused by many factors. Fear and anxiety are the greatest causes of psychological stress. In modern times people are constantly beset by the threat of calamities. They fear depression and inflation, unemployment, cancer and heart failure, missiles and bombs and famine. At home they may be confronted with marital incompatibility, quarrels, family illness, or financial troubles.
2. It can also cause something. Many illnesses are caused by mental stress, including ulcers, spastic constipation, diarrhea, high blood pressure and migraine headaches. Sometimes latent mental disorders are precipitated by stressful circumstances, as in the case of manic-depressive psychosis, schizophrenia, hysteria and neurasthenia.
3. It can worsen through time. When a person is subjected to repeated stresses, she is likely to develop what people call nervous breakdown, an unscientific but expressive term. The stress produced by the problems of everyday living has led to the widespread use of tranquilizers, a last resort when there seems to be no escape from a difficult situation.
4. It happens in daily living. Stress exists in almost every human activity and is not the same as nerve tension. Some stress is beneficial since it may stimulate action.
5. It can be lessened through healthy intimate relationships. Psychiatrists also found out that for the avoidance of excessive stress being married is better than being divorced or single.
6. There are major stressful events connected to it. Studies also showed that the death of a child is the most stressful of any life’s events. Other items include a jail sentence, major financial problems, divorce and the beginning of an extra-marital affair. Some of the environmental factors that may be related to stress are the status of health, the social class, and the size of the household.
7. There are also some stresses that cannot be controlled. Too much stress can show itself in various emotional, behavioral and physical signs, and the signs of stress differ extremely according to each individual.
Usual Physical, Emotional and Behavioral Signs of Stress
The physical indications of stress include sleep interruptions, tense muscles, annoyance, gastrointestinal problem, and exhaustion. Its emotional and behavioral indications consist of apprehension, fear, alterations in eating practices, depleted energy, and mood swings. All of the symptoms given cannot tell whether a person has an elevated stress level because these indications may be due to other medical or mental problems.
It is also a fact that persons in stress are most likely to maintain harmful activities like drug and alcohol addiction, excessive cigarette smoking, and poor eating habits. These harmful activities can extremely add to the severity of the indications connected to stress.
Remember that all people may be prone to stress – no matter what age you are in and no matter what status of life you have. The extent may vary also depending on how you take up the challenge that goes with it. If you have a support system with you, it is easy to do away with the situation. But at the worse, it may only lead you to panic attacks.