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The Clinical And Health Significance Of Stress Manifestation And Propagation

Updated on February 23, 2014

Survival in This Stress-soaked Environment

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A General Overview

Stress is an ever present and growing element in our working lives. It requires both simple and complex techniques to deal with it- techniques which become essential skills for survival in this stress-soaked environment of ours. The dynamics, fluidity and complexity of the modern day require that the executive is on the alert to achieve his or her goals and objectives.

Effective stress management seeks to strike a balance between theory and practice, providing advice and guidance on application of proven methods of stress management in the workplace and also in everyday life.

Definition: Stress is the state of non-specific body disturbance which follows the occurrence of an event or a change in the prevailing life situation or circumstances”. It can also be defined as any interference that disturbs a person’s healthy, mental and physical well being.

It manifests when the body is required to perform beyond its normal range of capabilities or when there is a mismatch between perceived demands and perceived ability to cope. In short, stress is the wear and tear of life but can be extremely damaging to the body in the long term as a result of failure to balance conflicting demands. According to Epictetus, “Men are disturbed not by things but by the views which they take of them”.

You can imagine two vehicles of the same make and age moving at the same speed and passing through the same pot hole. One would crash at the impact of the pot hole while the second would bounce and continue with the journey because it has good shock absorber. Effective stress management is therefore aimed at equipping us with “psychological shock absorber” such that in circumstances where others crash, we will bounce back in control of the situation and continue with life’s activities.

Stress Is The Way You React Physically, Mentally And Emotionally To Various Conditions

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Stress Manifestations

Stress is the way you react physically, mentally and emotionally to various conditions, changes and demands in your life. Stress is a common part of life events, both large and small. It comes with all of life’s daily hassles as well as with crises and life-changing events. The inability to regularly release the tension caused by stress can increase your risk for physical and mental illness.

At the first sign of alarm, chemicals automatically released by the nervous systems trigger physical reactions to stress:

  • The heart rate increases
  • Blood pressure goes up
  • Rapid breathing
  • Digestion slows down
  • Heavy perspiration
  • Dilation of pupils
  • A feel of the rush of strength

The body becomes tense, alert and ready for action. After the natural “alarm” reaction to a real or perceived threat, the body stays on alert until the feel of danger has passed. Once the brain signals send “all clear”, the body stops producing the chemicals causing the physical reactions and gradually return to normal.

Problems with stress occur when the brain fails to give the “all clear” signal. If the alarm state lasts too long, one begins to suffer from constant stress. The person may find it difficult to see the relationship between stress and physical health problems, because the long- term effects of stress are subtle and slow. However, experts in every field of medicine are discovering links between stress, diseases and poor health. Follow the slide down to read more on stress.

© 2014 Funom Theophilus Makama

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