Understanding Stress Essay

818 words - 4 pages

Have you ever found yourself with nervous before you speak that person you are infatuated with or felt your heart pound during a roller coaster ride? Then you have experienced stress both physically and mentally. This automated response is a common component to our everyday life. It is survival mechanism that preserves us in bewildering or perplexing events. Essentially, when we are faced with danger, our body reacts with the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) or the “flight or fight” response. This physiological response causes the emission of adrenalin and cortisol. Suddenly our heart rate elevates, blood pressure rises, and nonessential body functions like the digestive and reproductive organs are repressed in order to boost our energy and prepare us to respond swiftly to the ordeal.

Fortunately we are not faced with a daily threat of been attacked by a vicious animal or escaping quick sand. Yet we daily confront several common ordeals - paper deadline, orchestra concert, job interview, and driving test – that causes stress. However if this stress persists our sympathetic nervous system or “flight or fight” response will remained turned on. This can have a negative impact on our condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit. Additionally, the prolonged stress can detract from our physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual and environmental health.

Even short-lived, minor stress can have an impact. For instance, I shiver before a test. My body feels cold and I have tunnel vision. For most, they may get a headache before an examination or a presentation. This stress is generated by pressure points, the initiator for physiological and psychological uneasiness. These pressure points can cause severe consequences. For example, a fight with between spouses or a terrorist attack like September 11, 2001 can cause heart problems, death, or post-traumatic stress disorder. According to multiple studies done by Krantz, D.S., Whittaker, K.S. and Sheps, D.S. to test psychosocial risk factors for coronary artery disease, pressure points can lead to sudden emotional stress. These emotional stresses can trigger heart attacks, arrhythmias and even sudden death (Krantz, Whittaker, and Sheps, 2011).

When stress interferes with our daily functions, our well-being is been compromised. It causes wear and tear on our bodies. Sometimes this can exacerbate preexisting problems. In a study by Thorn, B.E. and Pence, L.B. on the effects of psychological and social factors on organic disease, about half the participants saw improvements in chronic headaches after...

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