Warning: Effects of Stress Will Harm You
Staying up all night? Got loads of paperwork all piled up on your desk? Beware: stress can cause you not only injuries in the physical aspect but the psychological and behavioral as well.
What is stress anyway? Stress can simply be defined as something inside and outside of a person that exerts force and affects his behavior or way of thinking. According to MedicineNet.com, the outside factors of stress is the person's physical environment, composed of things he holds in association with other people such as relationships at home and at work. It is also composed of other aspects of an individual's life in connection to the society such as his job, his organizations, among others. Internal factors, according to the said website, “determine [a] body's ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors.” Internal factors include a person's amount of rest and relaxation, his state when it comes to nutrition, his genes, etc. It is important to note, however, that each person responds to stress differently. Something that causes stress to one person may not do so to another.
Stress can also be thought of as something that stimulates a person choose fight or flight in situations that he should handle. Stress triggers a person's body to release particular hormones to help him cope up with the situation.
There are basically two types of stress: eustress and distress. Eustress, also known as good or positive stress, makes people stronger and prepared for more challenges. In the physical aspect, eustress can be seen in a person pumping iron to make his muscles larger. Eustress can also be seen in a person going through swimming training in order to prepare himself in a swimming competition, like the Olympics. A person who goes to review classes for a university entrance exam is also experiencing eustress.
On the other hand, distress is the bad stress (Remember the phrase “damsel in distress”?). Distress makes people undergo unpleasant chemical reactions in their body. It also affects the way they handle a certain situation. A person undergoes distress when he cannot function in his job because of personal problems stemming from his family. Distress is also seen in a single jobless mother of nine children. In the psychological sense, distress prevents an individual from “self-actualization and connecting with 'significant others,'” according to the medical section of TheFreeDictionary.com.
What are the effects of stress? In the physical aspect, the American Institute of Stress lists the following as the effects of stress: headaches, allergies, frequent sweating, fast heartbeat, faintness, excessive flatulence, tremors, muscle aches, dry mouth, diarrhea and others. Aside from all these, DiscoveryHealth.com wrote that stress can also affect a person's brain. In a study, it is suggested that long term stress can stimulate the development of proteins connected with Alzheimer's Disease and memory loss.
Behavioral effects include sleepless nights and lack of appetite. Psychological effects of stress include frequent mood swings, intensified anger and intolerance even for the smallest irritation.