Free «Extra Credit Paper: Stress and Stressors » Essay Sample

Extra Credit Paper: Stress and Stressors

Each person faces stressors every day. They may occur both from the environment and as a result of own thoughts, worries, concerns, and emotional state. It is evident that stress affects the human organism, and its impacts are more often reflected in a psychological state. However, sometimes, it causes negative effects on one’s physical condition. Accordingly, it is very important to know the major stressors of daily life, whether they always have a negative impact on people, and whether it is really necessary to try to avoid them. Thus, the aim of this paper is to consider these and other aspects of stress such as the role of modern technologies in the appearance of stress, ways to reduce the negative impact of stressors, the possibility of having “a good stress” and cases when stress is self-induced.

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It would be appropriate to start with determination of the major stressors of modern life. The most common stress factors are death of family members or beloved ones, own problems with health and illnesses of family members, addiction to alcohol or drugs (either person’s own or someone’s from an inner circle), divorce, and job loss or its change. Moreover, among other reasons are change of educational institution, moving, relationship problems with close people and others, and academic troubles (inability to remember information and conflicts with teachers), among others. Undoubtedly, financial problems are big stressors as well (Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC, & Zwolinski, 2012). It is evident that this list is quite extensive and is not exhaustive. For example, in the workplace, people can face not only one but a set of stressful situations. It can be too long working day or too large volume of work, dangerous working conditions, lack of encouragement to work, misunderstanding with co-workers or boss, as well as job dissatisfaction in general. In addition, naturally, a person who has become a victim of crime is heavily exposed to stress as well as the one who worries about such victims (Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC, & Zwolinski, 2012). In fact, there are internal concerns of a person, which can also be stressful. For example, among them are the lack of self-confidence, fear about the future, and strong anger at someone, to name but a few. Thus, it is obvious that every aspect of human life is filled with different stressors.

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Evidently, there are some ways to suppress the effects of stress factors on one’s organism, prevent at least some of them, and take control over the way of life and thoughts, and stress management is one of such techniques. Firstly, to cope with stress, a person needs to move more. Accordingly, a few minutes of daily exercise, including walking to the store or bicycle riding, among others, will help to limit the negative impact of stressors as well as to avoid them in the future (Robinson, Smith, & Segal, n.d.). Secondly, it is necessary to be more socially active. It is very useful for the nervous system to communicate with people who will listen, understand and support. Moreover, communication with beloved or close people creates hormones of happiness that help fight stress. Further, in order to cope with stressful situations, it is necessary to be able to express the feelings and emotions and not to keep them inside, while doing it quietly and politely. For example, if someone is distracting a person from work and they cannot concentrate, they do not need to accumulate anger but can try to calmly explain the reason behind discomfort and find a compromise. Also, in order not to suffer from a large amount of work and responsibilities in the future, it is essential to learn how to manage time, to plan all affairs in advance not to postpone all on the last day, but do not forget about the rest. It is worth mentioning that rest and relaxation is one of the most powerful ways to cope with stress. It is essential to find time in the daily schedule for complete relaxation, for example to have a massage and to find a hobby that brings positive emotions. In addition, the healthy lifestyle will help to increase resistance to stress. For example, any kind of diet, healthy and restful sleep, decreased consumption of caffeine and sugar are the enemies of stressors (Robinson, Smith, & Segal, n.d.). Nevertheless, these are not all ways to avoid the negative effects of stress factors or to reduce them but are the most important ones and perhaps the most easily achievable.

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However, shocking stressful situations or permanently ongoing stressful moments oppress a person and have a negative impact on health so that people should try to protect themselves from such situations, at least with the help of methods mentioned above. However, people should not try to organize their lifestyle in such a way to fully protect themselves from normal daily stressors, at least for two reasons. Firstly, it is simply impossible. A person, as a social creature, cannot completely avoid the influence of the environment and society. Accordingly, attempts to completely protect oneself from all stressful situations look as infinite flight from the problems and the desire to live "in a cocoon" which is a priori impossible because any aspect of life has its difficulties. It is much simpler to try to cope with everyday stressful situations and simply to reduce their negative effects. Secondly, many stressors of life have advantages. Small everyday stress promotes the production of neurotrophins in brain and reinforces connections between neurons and brain. Thus, all these help to improve the general operability of brain. Moreover, studies show that the body's response to stress helps improve memory skills. Also, when the body comes under the influence of stress, it produces a special substance known as interleukins that protects the immune system as if preparing it to some danger (MacMillan, 2014). However, these are not all the benefits of modern stressors. It challenges the widespread point of view that they always have negative influence on one’s organism. Moreover, people can experience a state of a "good stress," which is positive and is called eustress. It adds energy, creates a feeling of pleasant exhilaration, improves performance and generally makes a good effect on body (Mills, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2008). For example, such useful stressors can be the birth of a child, the celebration of Christmas, and an unexpected premium, among others. In addition, frequent experience of stress makes a person more resistant and less vulnerable to such situations in the future; thus, the person becomes psychologically stronger and develops a sense of control over the situation. Furthermore, stressful situations are a kind of challenge that gives motivation to perform duties seriously, focus, and do everything as good as possible in order to achieve success (MacMillan, 2014). It becomes evident that it is a kind of a shakeup. Therefore, people should not strive to fully protect themselves from the daily stresses because it is probably unrealistic, and stressors often have a positive effect on people.

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If talking about internal stressors, it is necessary to emphasize that sometimes, it may be self-induced stress. The reason may be a strong uncontrollable fear of something, when, in fact, there is no real threat which justifies this fear (Stanford, n.d.). For example, a teen is afraid of getting lost in the city, and this obsessive phobia does not allow them to go further the nearest shops and usual places, although they know the city quite well and have good orientation skills. Also, self-induced stress can occur when the expectations that were a priori unrealistic do not come true. In fact, this happens most often with people who tend to perfectionism (Mills, Reiss, & Dombeck, 2008). Another cases of self-induced stress happen because of "what ifs" when a person is constantly focused on the fact that something bad is going to happen, but in reality, everything is going well and the probability of an accident is too low (Stanford, n.d.). For example, a man is making a speech in front of a large audience. He is speaking well but is assured that now he will forget something, begin to stammer, and someone will interrupt him, among others. There are many other situations when stress is self-induced. Therefore, this kind of stress occurs only in one’s head usually for no reason, but it causes huge discomfort.

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As for a role of advanced technologies in the increase or reduction of stress, the answer is ambiguous. For example, modern robotic devices in the household significantly make life easier for housekeepers and allow them time to relax more. As a result, a person experiences less stress. Moreover, devices and gadgets designed for entertainment give pleasure and help to remove the negative effects of stress. On the other hand, some kinds of advanced technology are influential stressors. For example, innovative ways to connect with other people give a person access to constant information, the amount of which may be too large. Also, people often develop addiction to some modern devices. The regime of rest and sleep is violated. In addition, modern information technologies always provide news that serve as stressors for people. News from the outside world may be both negative and positive, but in any case it affects people. In general, one can say that advanced technologies reduce stress as they make life easier, access to information faster, and communication more convenient. Thus, it is only necessary to correctly use them.

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In conclusion, stressors exist in virtually all aspects of human life. They can occur from objective situations (even as a result of the advanced technology created to simplify people’s lives) as well as be self-induced. However, their influence is not always negative since sometimes, stress have a positive effect on one’s body, and there is also good stress. Furthermore, there are many ways to limit the negative effects of stress. In any case, it is better not to try to avoid stress constantly but learn how to cope with it.

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