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Environmental Stressors Essay

1828 words - 7 pages

Many situations that happen in an individual’s life can be classified as stress. However, other elements within the environment cause stress to individuals as well. This paper will define the concept of stress. This paper will also explain the physiology and psychology of stress, and how the quality of air, severe weather, and temperature can be stressful, and have an impact on individuals. Finally, this paper will present a number of strategies to manage the quality of air, severe weather, and temperature.Concept of StressLife can be stressful. The majority of psychologists classify stress as the psychological and physiological response to a situation that challenges or threatens an individual; requiring various types of adaptation or adjustment (Kalat, 1996). All organisms are subject to stress; the interrelationships between environment and behavior are essential in describing the role of stress on human functioning. Stress is a condition that occurs when individuals are exposed to demands from the environment which requires them to change in some way (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995). Everyone encounters a different mix of demands and adjustments in life, any individual may break down if the going gets tough enough. The response to stress is an evolutionary reaction to danger that is essential for survival. Stress affects each individual differently; every demand on the body stirs up certain specific responses. An individual’s perception of the environment as well as his or her attitude towards the source of stress will mediate the individual’s response; a negative connotation is associated with stress (Veitch & Arkkelin, 1995).Stress is a condition created when an individual responds to pressures that come from self-imposed demands, obligations, work, family, external sources as well as internally generated pressures (Butcher, Mineka & Hooley, 2007). In many cases stress can become a growing and chronic disorder if the individual does not learn to change his or her behavior to decrease stress levels. Stress is not discriminatory in claiming victims. Over time stress related symptoms appear will appear when a state of crisis is reached. Under conditions of overwhelming stress, even a stable person may develop temporary (transient) psychological problems, and lose the capacity to gain pleasure from life (Keegan, 2000). Life would be easy if the needs of each individual were routinely fulfilled; however, in reality many challenges, both environmental, and personal prevent this perfect situation. The concept of stress has been helpful in identifying environmental characteristics that interfere with human functioning creating physiological or psychological discomfort, leading to ill health (Kalat, 1996).Physiology and Psychology of StressAccording to Kalat (1996) the body goes through three stages in response to stress called general adaptation syndrome; (a) alarm a brief period of high arousal of the sympathetic nervous...

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