Take it Easy: An Introduction to Stress
Emotions are a part of life for humans. We feel pain when we are hurt, we feel happiness when we see smiles on each other’s faces. We can able ourselves to feel nothing when such circumstances arises. But what triggers these feelings?
Stress, as commonly defined, is the reaction we have when we are forced to change, adjust or act upon the given situation- be it mentally, physically or emotionally. Hans Selye as coined the term “stress” as the condition and “stressor” as the one who causes the stress, or called stimulus. He had created a model, known as General Adaptation Syndrome or GAS, which explains all the levels of reactions we have when we are exposed to stress.
Alarm is the first level. It is like the invisible bell in our head that signals our body for a fight or flight response. Let’s use a very vicious dog as your stressor, it that hinders your way onto your favorite café. You can sense that the dog is very angry and is about to attack anyone that comes his way. The moment you saw that dog and it is processed by your brain, it would start to send signals to all your body system to be ready.
Next level is resistance. This means that if the stressor is still present, our body will tolerate it until we decide what to do. Our body will use coping mechanisms to combat the stimulus. In this instance, when the dog sees you, you have the urge to stand still and look around for something to throw at the dog to make it go away.
When you decide to step back and run away, then it is called exhaustion. This means that our normal bodily functions like heart beat and sweating had given up on resisting the stressor and ultimately made a decision.
Stressors vary form one person to another. There are times that the environment gives us enough stressors to either break us or make us stronger. People often associate stress to a negative thought or responses, but in reality, there are what you call “ good stress”.
An example of a good stress is a wedding. There are a lot of emotions and stimuli that present themselves in a wedding. We do not see this as negative thing because it makes us happy. Even laughing is a good kind of stress. Sometimes we call these “stressors” as” de-stress”- for we are required to make some reactions but this time, your guards are down.
You can notice on a person when stress is getting up to their nerves- they are cranky, develops ulcers or sometimes they vomit. It is pitiful to see a stressed person, that’s why companies are offering out of town vacations or outings to release their employees’ stress. It is always great to have a break from your stressors in order to have a creative result or insight. De-stress can come from different things for different people, but one thing is for sure, that the only way to combat stress is to de-stress.