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Stress and Health

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Psychology
Stress And Health
Stress and Health

Psychology

Andrew Arnold

March 25, 2010

Ever wonder about how stress affects our bodies and our health? This word stress is thrown around by the media so much it’s losing its meaning but have you ever wondered how they define stress? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines stress as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation. Our text book defines stress as the term used to describe the physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to events that are appraised as threatening or challenging. Stress-causing events are called stressors, they can come from external sources or from within us and can scale from relatively mild to quite serious.

There are things, events, and conflicts that cause people to “stress-out.” These are called stressors. Stressors can be anything from something small, like being stuck in traffic during rush hour or something big like an earthquake or hurricane. Stressors can also be imaginary, such as financial stress such as, where the next mortgage payment will come from. There are two kinds of stressors, one is distress which is the bad stress and eustress which is the good stress that motivates us as people to do well.

There are certain environmental factors that can affect our stress levels and sometimes we cannot control the outcome of these events, these are basic ups and downs of life. An example of an external stressor is a catastrophe. Catastrophe is an unpredictable, large scale event that can create a magnificent need to adapt or adjust your lifestyle. An example of a catastrophe would be an earthquake or your house burning down. Another huge stressor in our lives could be a major life change. It could be something from a death in the family, to a family move from one city to another, or it could be as simple as a job change. The hardest part about any of these chances is coping and adjusting to your...

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