Stress is a person’s physical and mental response to environmental pressure. The body has a built in physical reaction to stressful events. When a person encounters pressure, challenge or danger, he needs to respond quickly and the body elicits hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
This hormones form part of the so called “fight and flight” response, which affects the rate of metabolism, heart beat and blood pressure resulting to a heightened state, that signals the body for optimum performance in engaging with stressful situation.
It is necessary to distinguish between temporary stress that will subside when a situation is settled and chronic or long term stress. Oftentimes, an individual can adjust with short term stress. It can be resolved by meditation, taking walks and interaction with friend or simply rest/sleep. While chronic or long term, on the other hand, is more difficult to deal, and eventually result to physical and emotional imbalance.
Walter Cannon, (1896) advocate on stress, made use of an x-ray instrument known as fluoroscope to observe the digestive system of a dog under stress. He also observed that it causes hormonal imbalance in the body. With this experiment, Cannon used the term Homeostasis, an equilibrium state of the body.
A Canadian Scientist, Hans Selye (1907–1982), observed that individuals who suffered from chronic diseases revealed some symptoms related to it. This time, the experiment on rats was done. When rats are exposed to various physical trauma factors: shock, poison, high temperature, and noise, their glands enlarged, and thymus gland and lymph nodes shrunken. Selye then created the three Stages of Stress Response consisting alarm, resistance and exhaustion.
Among the causes of physical or mental stress are unpleasant events such as death of a loved one, divorce/separation, imprisonment, injury or ailment, marital problem, loss of job, pregnancy or change of ones financial condition.
Stress is mediated by the hormone, cortisol which is released when a person is stressed over confrontation with other people or their environment that is thought to overpower their adaptation and threaten their welfare.
The perception elements of human beings and their reaction to it differ in various aspects. It all depends on the physical attributes, personality, coping mechanism and general health of an individual.
When one suffers from this, it is important to identify the aspect of life that causes it. Although it cannot be avoided, simply changing ones lifestyle makes a difference.