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Stress A Significant Factor In Modern Day Life

1435 words - 6 pages

Stress is a significant factor in modern day life and has affected everybody at some point in their lives. In this essay I am going to describe and evaluate potential sources of stress and how it can affect the body, and also methods of treatment for stress. Stress is a state of arousal which triggers the ‘Fight or flight’ mechanism, which initiates when a subject experiences fear. Adrenaline is released into the blood stream which reduces reaction times, heightens the physical senses and releases a burst of energy to the muscles, making the individual temporarily physically stronger, more alert and a have a higher tolerance to pain. This process can and has saved many lives as it is an important safety mechanism that is innate to humans and animals to keep us away from danger or to fight danger. However, the effects of stress can also have a negative effect upon a persons’ health, and in the most extreme cases can be fatal. General Adaptation Syndrome is a form of ‘Bad’ stress, is not a survival mechanism but prolonged exposure to stress. ‘Bad’ stress can accumulate (accumulative stress) from things such as noise, money worries, school work, bereavement, misbehaving children or being over worked.

Although stress is not very easy to define and can be largely subjective in nature, the common acceptances in both Psychology and Biology is that stress is a negative impact upon a persons physical or mental well being. Homeostasis is a concept where all the biochemical processes of the body are in a state or equilibrium, the body working in harmony, but is constantly in contact with internal and external stimulus that can disrupt homeostasis, this imbalance in homeostasis can also be defined as stress. Others believe stress is simply any demand on a persons mental or emotional resources.

The causes of stress can vary depending on the individuals mental strength and ability to deal with stress, but the most stressful of events according to ‘Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Scale or Life Events Scale’ the cause of the most severe cases of stress are Death of a spouse or close family member, Divorce, Jail terms or Marital separation. Such events are very distressing and may be a life changing stressor but usually the stress is lessened or elevated with time.

The Spinal cord and Brain (Central Nervous system) play a large role in the biology of stress. The sympathetic nervous system which is a branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) becomes active during a stress response, regulating much of the bodies’ physiological mechanisms which should make an organism more adaptive and responsive in their current environment. (Stress (biology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). The Hypothalamus (Located above the brains central cortex) also plays a large role in that it secretes hormones into the bloodstream having large effects upon physiological processes such as metabolism. These factors can be beneficial if these responses are justified as in...

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