Are You Too Stressed Out?

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Are you too stressed out by the strenuous work doled out by every all your classes? Could this stress be potentially harming to your psychological and physiological health? A certain amount of stress in an individual is natural, yet too much stress could result in a serious. Personally, if I become excessively stressed out...which happens too often...I don't eat well, feel sick to my stomach, and focus only on the factor causing my stress. With the extraneous activities of adjusting to college it can be difficult to go a day without stressing about one thing or another, but it is good to know where to take a breath. The dictionary definition of stress is, "a process in which environmental demands strain an organisms adaptive capacity, resulting in both psychological as well as biological changes that could place a person at risk for illness." Those factors that cause us all stress are called stressors. These can range anywhere from an earthquake to divorce to disease. 

There are three theories of stress according to those who study it: 
1. Environmental Stress: Emphasis on situations that are related to adaptive demands.
2. Psychological Stress: Emphasis on individual's evaluations of their capability to cope withe demands presented to them by particular experiences in their lives.
3. Biological Stress: Emphasis on the activation of systems in the body that are regulated by psychologically and physically demanding events.
Thomas Holmes found that all changes in an individual's life can cause stress, whether good or bad. When someone is faced with a stressful situation the bodily reaction is the fight or flight phenomena. This causes increase in heart rate, accelerated breathing, and muscle becoming tense or an inclination to run away which would be the flight response. The response from the nervous system and the hormones from the adrenal glands released during this process cause the stopping of digestion, increase of blood sugar, and increase in the pumping of blood. 

After the fight or flight reaction, the  body will go into a second stage in which the sympathetic nervous system starts to decline in function and hormonal releases continue at above average levels. As the stress continues on and on there will be a decline in the functioning of bodily resources. There will be a decline in the levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine causing a depression like state. 

The oncoming of stress can weaken the immune system and put people at risk of developing an illness of disease. So whenever you feel stressed take a moment and think a way through it. Some people find relax in having control over the situation so take control and try to think through things calmly and logically. Something as simple as exercising or listening to music may also slightly help as a way to clear your head.  


1 Comment

If there was a competition to find the most stressful person, I'd have to be near the top. For as long as I can remember, I've stressed about this, that and the other thing. School work, working out, finding time to hang with friends, what I should eat -- anything you can stress about, I probably will. This is definitely not something I wear as a badge of honor; in fact, I do everything possible to try and combat this. In the past when my stress levels have been at an all time high, I typically get sick (hello lowered immune system), get cold sores (the worst) or have even had shingles (twice in a year). Over the years, one of the best ways for me to deal with stress has been talking with people I love and remembering how great life is and how trivial my stress is or exercising. An article from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America talks about the benefits exercise can have with anxiety and states, "When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. Or, if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress." Check out the rest here,

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