Stress: causes and consequences
What is stress?
Stress is a condition that disrupts the balance of the human body and is perceived as threatening to the individual.
Certain psychological conditions can participate in the appearance of the stress condition in an individual:
- Loss of Control
- The novelty
- The unpredictability
- The threat to the ego
- Anticipating negative consequences
- The ambiguity of the situation
The extent of psychological stress is determined by the individual’s assessment of the situation. For example, if the environment is perceived as threatening, the consequence may be stressful. However, certain attitudes or actions can help the individual to take charge of the situation, these attitudes are what are called coping strategies.
Certain physical conditions can also be at the origin of stress … Indeed, certain factors help to exert pressure on the physiological balance that tries to maintain the human body. Whether it is internal factors (genetic arrangements, for example) or external factors (use of drugs, alcohol or intensive exercises), they can have an effect on the physiological balance and make the individual more vulnerable Stress.
Acute stress vs chronic stress
An acute stress is the one that arises from a trigger at a specific time, such as a car accident or a speech that must be delivered to several people. Acute stress can have a positive effect in preparing the body for the new situation.
A stress becomes chronic:
When an individual undergoes frequent stress;
When great stress has not been controlled;
When an individual is unable to respond effectively to stress (ie, coping mechanisms are inadequate or non-existent).
Effects of stress
Diseases can develop as a result of chronic stress, especially if it is paired with family, environmental, hereditary and personal contexts that favor its presence.
These diseases can be at the level of different systems:
- Dermal (eczema)
- Cardiovascular (hypertension)
- Cognitive (memory impairment)
- Pulmonary (asthma)
- Psychic (anxiety disorders)
- Neurological (frequent headaches)
- Immunological (infections)
- Gastrointestinal (ulcers)
What if you are stressed out?
It must be understood that, in the face of stress, the individual has two choices: to cope with stress or to escape. This is the concept of “fight or flight response”.
In order to adequately cope with stress, a person has coping strategies:
- Good Alimentation
- Exercises, sports
- Assessing the problem from different angles.
- Social Support