Physiological or biological stress is an organism’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus. Stress is a body’s method of reacting to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body’s way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. In humans, stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being.
Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. It’s important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feel familiar, even normal. You don’t notice how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll.
The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything. Stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently. Not only can overwhelming stress lead to serious mental and physical health problems, it can also take a toll on your relationships at home, work, and school.
When you are stressed the following happens:
Blood pressure rises
Breathing becomes more rapid
Digestive system slows down
Heart rate (pulse) rises
Immune system goes down
Muscles become tense
You do not sleep (heightened state of alertness)
Most of you have varying interpretations of what stress is about and what matters. Some of you focus on what happens to you, such as breaking a bone or getting a promotion, while others think more about the event itself. What really matters are our thoughts about the situations in which you find yourselves.
Numerous surveys and studies confirm that occupational pressures and fears are far and away the leading source of stress for adults and that these have steadily increased over the past few decades. While there are tons of statistics to support these allegations.
Increased levels of job stress as assessed by the perception of having little control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.
Stress is a highly personalized phenomenon and can vary widely even in identical situations for different reasons. One survey showed that having to complete paper work was more stressful for many police officers than the dangers associated with pursuing criminals. The severity of job stress depends on the magnitude of the demands that are being made and the individual’s sense of control or decision-making latitude he or she has in dealing with them. Scientific studies confirm that workers who perceive they are subjected to high demands but have little control are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.