Psychology Paper; How Stress Affects the Human Mind

My topic of choice is stress. My first article informs you about the effects stress can have on your body and what you can do to avoid stress to keep your body healthy. (http://www. webmd. com/mental-health/effects-of-stress-on-your-body). The Effects of Stress on Your Body Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life that happens to you and many things that you do yourself put stress on your body.
You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. How Does Stress Affect Health? The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds. Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress — a negative stress reaction. Read also Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try and relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems. Consider the following: * Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. * Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. * The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually. * The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

My second article below, talks about the myths of stress. What we should believe and the other factors of stress that are simply not true or unrelated to stress. (http://www. apa. org/helpcenter/stress-myths. aspx). Six myths surround stress. Dispelling them enables us to understand our problems and then take action against them. Let’s look at these myths. Myth 1:  Stress is the same for everybody. Completely wrong. Stress is different for each of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another; each of us responds to stress in an entirely different way.
Myth 2:  Stress is always bad for you. According to this view, zero stress makes us happy and healthy. Wrong. Stress is to the human condition what tension is to the violin string: too little and the music is dull and raspy; too much and the music is shrill or the string snaps. Stress can be the kiss of death or the spice of life. The issue, really, is how to manage it. Managed stress makes us productive and happy; mismanaged stress hurts and even kills us. Myth 3:  Stress is everywhere, so you can’t do anything about it. Not so. You can plan your life so that stress does not overwhelm you.
Effective planning involves setting priorities and working on simple problems first, solving them, and then going on to more complex difficulties. When stress is mismanaged, it’s difficult to prioritize. All your problems seem to be equal and stress seems to be everywhere. Myth 4:  The most popular techniques for reducing stress are the best ones. Again, not so. No universally effective stress reduction techniques exist. We are all different, our lives are different, our situations are different, and our reactions are different. Only a comprehensive program tailored to the individual works.
Myth 5:  No symptoms, no stress. Absence of symptoms does not mean the absence of stress. In fact, camouflaging symptoms with medication may deprive you of the signals you need for reducing the strain on your physiological and psychological systems. Myth 6:  Only major symptoms of stress require attention. This myth assumes that the “minor” symptoms, such as headaches or stomach acid, may be safely ignored. Minor symptoms of stress are the early warnings that your life is getting out of hand and that you need to do a better job of managing stress.
My articles presented facts on stress I was unaware of. Such as how a little stress can be good for you, because it keeps you alert and well managed. An individual with too much stress could have quite the opposite effect and become severely depressed and even eventually, lead to death. Another thing I came across is that everybody can have stress; however, everybody deals with stress in different ways. The stress I have most likely isn’t the same kind of stress that my parents have, and that means we all cope with stress with different techniques.
The stress that I most often experience has to do with school, work and dealing with my addict mother. From what I’ve read, school and work are some of the most frequent stressors that a person my age has to deal with. However, living with a severe drug addict has increased my stress in work and school exponentially. My articles also explain the negative and harmful effects that stress can have on a person’s body. If someone is too overwhelmed with stress they then start experiencing a condition known as distress.
Distress is followed by headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pains and problems sleeping. When I’m stressed and have a lot on my mind, I find that I have difficulty sleeping. The lack of sleep then results in more stress and it becomes a vicious cycle. Also, seeing how people become stressed from being overworked, some people turn to substances to compensate and relieve stress. However, research has shown that substances can worsen the effects of stress tremendously. Substances such as alcohol keep the body in a stressed state and eventually cause more problems.
Any form of stress that you may be experiencing should be brought to attention. Covering up stress with medication and not treating the source could be damaging in the long run. The minor symptoms of stress are signs that your life is getting somewhat out of hand, you need to make necessary adjustments for your mental and physical well-being in order to avoid further stress. This is what is recommended anyways, but this is said so much easier than done. It’s insane how many people do not take these precautions and let their lives slip through their fingers.
Some Forty three percent of adults suffer health effects from stress and seventy five to ninety percent of doctor office visits are stress related, and if stress is camouflaged or ignored it can lead to an emotion disorder. Fifty percent of emotional disorders are the result of untreated stress. As I said earlier, everybody experiences stress differently, therefore, not everybody will have the same exact regiment to treat stress as others have. Stress not only affects you, but also affects the people at home and in your work environment. Stress can cause even the closest of relationships to diminish.
Stress is also present in your work atmosphere. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually. Reading several articles pertaining to stress and my knowledge from class has presented me with different outlooks on how to avoid stress and more importantly how to handle stress in every task. By doing so, I can prevent myself from harming my body, mentally or physically. It’s imperative for people to realize that stress is an inevitable factor of life and that there are ways to cope with it.

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