Stress is any action or situation that places certain physical and/or psychological demands upon you. Stress is necessary to well-being. A lack of it may be harmful. But, stress causes some serious ailments. And research has determined that the stressors we find in modern life are more harmful than those found in the days gone by.
There are three responses to stress. There is an emotional response that reveals itself in annoyance, fear, etc. The second response is behavioral that causes a change in performance. The third is physiological. This results in changes in body functioning and psychologically-induced illnesses. However, the brain influences the nature of stress by its ability to control environmental events and our ability to look ahead.
Some people are less susceptible than others to the influences of change because they interpret their environment as less threatening, challenging, or demanding. They have certain personality traits in common. They are flexible in their attachments to other people, groups, and goals. They easily shift to other relationships when established ones are disrupted. These individuals are aware of their psychological limitations. The healthiest people show little psychological reaction to events and situations that cause extreme reactions in others.
What are the signs of stress? The visible signs of stress include: increased breathing rate, frowning, clenching of jaw and/or fist, muscle tension, and perspiration. The invisible signs are: increased heart rate, redistribution of blood from internal organs to large muscles, decreased perception of fatigue, breakdown of fat stores, increased coagulation of blood, decreased blood clotting time, urge to urinate, increased cardiac output, increased blood pressure, and increased sympathetic nervous system activity.
Take time to notice the signs of stress within yourself as well as when, how often and how severe they are. Learning how to avoid and reduce stress are our next two tasks.
Copyright 2011 Lynn Borenius Brown
© Lynn Borenius Brown and The Loving Path, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lynn Borenius Brown and The Loving Path with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.