Showing posts with label chronic stress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chronic stress. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What is Stress?


Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. These chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength. This class will discuss different causes of stress, how stress affects you, the difference between 'good' or 'positive' stress and 'bad' or 'negative' stress, and some common facts about how stress affects people today.

Two categories of stress:
1. Eustress
Eustress is the good stress that motivates you to continue working. Stress can be a motivator and provide incentive to get the job done. This "good stress" is what eustress can be identified as and some people enjoy it. Everyone needs a little bit of stress in their life in order to continue to be happy, motivated, challenged and productive. It is when this stress is no longer tolerable and/or manageable that distress comes in.

2. Distress
Bad stress, or distress, is when the good stress becomes to much to bear or cope with. Tension builds, there is no longer any fun in the challenge, there seems to be no relief, no end in sight. This is the kind of stress most of us are familiar with and this is the kind of stress that leads to poor decision making. Physiological symptoms of distress include and increase in blood pressure, rapid breathing and generalized tension. Behavioral symptoms include overeating, loss of appetite, drinking, smoking and negative coping mechanisms.

There are different types of stress--acute stress, acute episodic distress, and chronic stress

Acute distress is the most common of the types of stress. It comes on quickly and is usually short-lived. It is the most intense stress.

Acute Episodic Distress refers to a situation where acute stress seems to be a way of life. Life is constantly filled with one stressful event after another after another. Chaos and crisis reign along with Murphy's Law.

Chronic Distress is the type of stress that arises out of long-lasting events and circumstances beyond your control. According to Monika Fleshner, a neuroimmunophysiologist at the University of Boulder, Colo. who has studied stress and the immune system. She says "It’s only under the circumstances of chronic stress or extreme, severe stress that we suffer negative effects."