Describe and evaluate the potential sources of stress

Stress is your body's way of giving an answer to any sort of demand. This can be the systems physical reactions to stress that can be assessed, for example changes in human hormones secretions, pores and skin reactions, and other physical functions. It can even be defined by specific internal interpretation or specific reaction to a specific stressor (stimuli that cause stress). Dr Simon Green in 1994 said that "a state of stress exists when there is a discrepancy between the perceived demands with an organism and its perceived ability to cope. "

Stress can be both bad and the good for folks and can be brought on by both good and bad experiences. Singularly a person responds to exterior stimuli and their body reacts by launching chemicals in to the bloodstream. Early studies on stress (conducted by Walter Cannon in 1932) founded the exsistence of the well noted 'combat or flight' response. Sudies show that whenever a person encounters a surprise or perceives and threat/danger is their environment then your body releases hormones in response compared to that perception. Thus giving people more strength and energy by increasing the heartrate and blood pressure, delivering more oxygen and blood sugar to electric power important muscles. Blood is diverted away from the skin to the center of our bodies, reducing loss of blood if we are harmed. And the as this, these hormones target our attention on the hazard, to the exclusion of everything else. All of these changes significantly increases the ability to react and make it through life-threatening occurrences.

Unfortunately, the combat or airfare response can be stimulated when faced with non life-threatening incidents and this can have negative repercussions on individuals, particularly if there is absolutely no outlet for the excess energy and strength that the body is confronted with. Recent reseasch research demonstrates we experience the fight-or-flight response when simply encountering something unexpected. This speedy response put your body into an extremely energised point out and boring maintenance of your body is ceased to divert energy to working with the crisis. The sympathetic autonomic system (SAS) stimulates the neuroendocrine system to create many human hormones, the heart is better than faster and blood circulation pressure is raised and more sugars is released in to the blood. The faster heartrate and increased glucose give the body more energy for extreme work. In the struggle or flight status individuals can be excitable, restless, jumpy and irritable which can reduce our ability to function effectively. In the event the chemicals released during fight or journey (adrenaline) enhances out heart and soul and blood circulation pressure individuals could find it difficult to implement precise, manipulated skills and can hinder making reasonable judgements. People in this talk about frequently or persistently could find thenselves more accident-prone and less able to make good decisions. This hormonal, fight-or-flight response is a standard part of every day life and an integral part of every day stress, although often with an intensity that is so low that people do not see it.

Studies on stress by Dr Hans Seyle discovered an additional response known as the 'general adaptation symptoms' with that your body reacts to major stimulus in response to longer-term contact with causes of stress. He assumed that stress was a non-specific response, that is, the body responded just as to any tense happening. Seyle's three stages of stress are: the alarm phase when responding to the stressor, the amount of resistance phase once we adapted to and cope with the stressor as soon as this resistance is exhausted the ultimate exhaustion period where level of resistance declines substantially (this is also known as burnout).

Stress is an individual interpretation to our environment and how stressed we feel comes from this. To be stressed one must feel threatened by a situation and secondly we must mistrust our abili8ty to cope with a threat/perceived risk. Survival stress is a reply to danger. When you are afraid or stressed of something or someone the body naturally responds with the fight or flight response. However, this is open to interpretation by individuals. For example, in 1995 Tennes discovered that the stress hormone cortisol was raised in above cleverness children on days and nights when that they had a test but was not raised in below average children. That is probably because academics success was more important for children of above average intelligence.

Most stressors are subtle and occur without obvious danger to success (struggle or flight response). These are often termed mental stress and will come from things such as daily routines (work overload, conflicting priorities, travel problems) connections (home, relatives and buddies) etc. Stressors can also manfist over a longer period such a a sudden loss (grief), a significant life changes, looking after someone or yourself having long-term health problems. Gleam third rtype of stress which is internal, this is when people fret about things they can not do anything about or people stressing for no reason by any means or where people put themselves in situations they know to be difficult. Environmental stress is a reply to things around you that can cause stress such as noises and crowding.

In 1975 tests by Mason produced a whole lot of evidence to show that your body responded in various ways to different stressors. For example, for some nerve-racking events your body produced three important hormones and then for others two. The reason for this difference is the fact some stressful events are more psychologically upsetting to individuals than others. However, this theory does not consider the many factors that effect the respond to stress. For example it ignores specific differences in the stress response. In 1986, Kobasa's studied executives who were in highly demanding situations. Some believed stressed and developed physical health problems, whereas others didn't. The ones who didn't show symptoms of stress actually experienced a greater sense of control and commitment and understand things as challenging rather than nerve-racking.

Gender difference can also impact on stress reactions as examined bt Frankenhauser in 1991. For example, men release more adrenaline under stress and are in a higher threat of heart attack; or the difference may be their coping mechanisms. In 1996 Brannon reports that women's friendships are more likely provide emothional support which helps women cope with stress better.

Occasional stress can increase production, be motivating and even improve performance for a few. However, too much or long term stress is bad and can cause physical symptoms such as

difficulty sleeping


lack of appetite

difficulty concentrating

There are also more severe symptoms of stress that can lead to life intimidating conditions; stress can result in heat disorders. The physiological ramifications of stress energize the sympathetic branch of the autonomic stressed system which makes the pulse faster and boosts blood pressure. In addition, hormones that can harm the cardiovascular system are released. In 1974, Rahe completed a retrospective study on people who possessed sudden heart episodes. He found that those that passed away had experienced more life changes than those who didn't have a fatal coronary attack. However, retrospective studies rely on people's memories and can be unreliable. Rahe therefore carried out a further prospective review which also supported his prior theory that anxious people were more probable to have a coronary attack.

In 1990 Karasek found that that having a demanding job was positively correlated with heart disease. The studies assessed job demands (to how emotionally involving the job was and how skilled it was ) and job control (how much the staff could stride the stream of work).

However, Karasek's and Rahe's studies are correlational and from correlation manage to survive infer causation. These isnore a large volume of cariables that have an impact on the strain response. Perhaps for reasons uknown people who are overweight do not get high status careers and so get jobs with high requirements and low control. Therefore the correlation between requiring jobs and heart attack would be anticipated to overweight rather than the work stress.

On balance, the evidence supports the theory that stress is harmful to the heart and soul. However, the theory tends to ignore individual distinctions and gender. Being stressed does not actually lead to a coronary attack. It is also possible that the result of stress are indirect; stressed people tend to smoke more, to consider less exercise, and eat even more junk food. Many of these are risk factors that can lead to coronary attack.

Stress can also have a detrimental impact on your body iummune system; your body's defence against disease. In 1975, Ader provided evidence that the immune system of rats can be affected by psychological situations and so could be damaged by stress. However, these results can't be generalised from rats to humans as the physiological systems may too different.

Due to the ethical problems of inducing stress on humans there have been natural tests on humans which do not increase the stress levels but simply take advantage of a naturally taking place situations. In 1983, Jemmott needed blood examples from students during examination periods which demonstrated lower degrees of antibodies in their bloodstream during examinations thus proving the strain of the examinations acquired reduced the efficiency of the disease fighting capability.

These studies can be criticised as they does not show that damage to the human disease fighting capability definitively leads to health problems. They just show that stress has been shown to reduce the amount of immune functioning however, not with a dangerous amount; the amount of immune system performing is still within the normal range for the control organizations.

So to summarize, since stress lowers the body's immune system and the disease fighting capability is the body's defence against illness, it is likely that stress makes the individual more prone to a number of disorders. .

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