What Is Stress? Essay

1893 words - 8 pages

Our society sees stress as a part of everyday life, we can see evidence of this in human evolution, the species that best adapted to the environment and its changes were those that prevailed, continued to evolve, and we can find today. This leads us to a question, what is stress? Actually scientists don’t have a concept of what stress is because is subjective sensations; however, one of the definitions says that “Stress is the term used to describe the physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral response to events that are appraised as threatening or challenging”(Ciccarelli and White).
The word stress was first used in psychology nearly 50 years ago by Hans Selye, a scientist that experimented with rats in order to see the physical reactions that they suffer when changes were made; the results of these experiments were similar to some consequences found in humans.
Stress may come from different sources, one of them is the stress that we acquired through the environment in which we live, this may be work, school, family, etc; which are defined as stressors. All this stress affects people in different ways; physical and emotional health has to do with the level of stress a person can tolerate. However, not all stress is bad for our health, it is often necessary for our daily functioning.
Stressors are situations or events that cause stress; these stressors may be physical and psychological. Most of the stressors are psychological, and exist in a large range of severity, from life threatening events as crashes and fires, to events that result annoying and irritating to people as losing something, delays, long lines to buy something, etc. There are two kinds of stressors; Eustress and Distress.
All people suffer from stress every day, either for things we consider important or simple changes and problems that arise throughout the day. It depends on the person to know what type of stress have, why was it caused, and how to combat it.
Eustress is the type of stress that is good for the health, is caused by changes in a person’s life that give a good outcome, for example, if a couple is expecting a baby their lives will definitely change, but they are happy of the event and anxious of what will happen. In other words, Eustress is the type of stress that motivates people to make some changes in order to get a desirable result. In the other hand, Distress is a kind of “bad” stress that may lead in health and psychological problems. Many external experiences and events can cause stress; catastrophes, life changes, strains, and every day hassles are the major causes of stress for a person.
Catastrophes or Catastrophic events are experiences, traumas, or evens that creates huge amounts of stress to persons, it can be unexpected, unpredictable, and it can even be life threatening. A good example of a catastrophic experience is the terrorist attack in the World Trade Center; it created a feeling of threat, and stress in a large scale among...

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