Stress is frequently applied in the description of the emotional, cognitive, behavioral as well as physical responses to things which may be threatening as well as challenging, however, in psychology, the term stress is used when referring to demand or pressure placed on organisms to adjust or adapt. Stress can also be defined as the physical as well as the psychological states which result when resources available to individuals are not adequate enough to meet the pressures as well as the demands of a given situation. It is of paramount benefits to note that stress is capable of preventing an individual from achieving his goals and this may imply to an individual or to an organization.

On the other hand, a stressor may be defined as the origin of stress and there are several stressors like psychological factors, like examinations for school students, relationship problems, life changes like the death of individuals, divorce, as well as termination of jobs. Other causes of stress are the daily hassles like traffic jams, as well as environmental factors like being exposed to very high temperatures or very high levels of noise. The word stress should not be confused with distress since distress refers to physical suffering/ suffering or mental pain/ suffering. A given level of stress is healthy for individuals since it is beneficial in ensuring that individuals are very active as well as alert. It should, however, be noted that intense or prolonged stress is capable of overtaxing the coping capacity and it may result into emotional distress like depression or anxiety and in the end, it may result into physical complaints like fatigue as well as headaches.

Causes

There are a number of things that may cause stress ranging from emotional issues to work issues. It should be noted that what results into stress may be emotional, mental, as well as physical tension and the tensions are usually as a result of several demands on a person and the demands could be too big to be managed by the individual. It should also be noted that the demands may generate from the individual or from outside the individual and when the demands are not balanced by the individual’s capacity to cope, the individual will experience stress.

As noted earlier, stress may be caused by several things, for instance, conflicts as well  concerns regarding relationships or marriage may make an individual to be stressed. Similarly, concerns about children may make a parent to be stressed and children too may be stressed by concerns about their parents as well as their family members. Stress may also be caused by health issues and problems and besides, the death of a loved individual may also make one to be stressed. Family pressures may also make one to be stressed and again, the relationship that an individual has with the friends may make him to be stressed so much.

At the top of the causes of stress are financial problems since a number of individuals are usually worried about their inadequate finances. Career or work related issues also make a number of individuals to be stressed. Work related stress is usually caused by several things like very poor working conditions for individuals, work cultures which may not be favorable to employees, very poor relationships with other workers within the organization, as well as balancing work with family.

Besides work, household responsibilities are also capable of making an individual to be so much stressed. It should be noted that some individuals are always stressed because they may have very minimal personal or free time and gain, social lives always make individuals to be stressed. The appearance of an individual may also make an individual to be stressed. Besides, the habits as well as the behavior of individuals may make them to be so much stressed. A number of people are also stressed from boredom or by just feeling so lonely (Brooker, & Eakin, 2001).

Effects

There are a number of things that are caused by stress, the magnitude of the effects, however, depend on the level of stress. First, stress may result into impaired performance. When an individual is stressed, the individual will not be capable of handling tasks effectively and efficiently. If the affected individual is a student, the student will not be able to study effectively. If the affected individual works, the performance will be affected (Brown, Westbrook, & Challagalla, 2005).

Stress is capable of causing physical exhaustion as well as mental exhaustion, and besides, emotional states accompanying stress usually comprise of feelings of hopelessness as well as helplessness (Beehr, & Newman, 1978). A number of psychosomatic disorders are also caused by stress; psychosomatic disorders refer to the physical disorders which are caused by being continually exposed to psychological battles and include disorders like asthma, peptic ulcers, hypertension as well as chronic headaches. Given kinds of menstrual issues are in some cases stated to be caused by stress.

Stress is also said to cause posttraumatic stress disorder. It should be noted that the effects that are brought about by stress are sometimes not immediate. They may become evident after a given duration of time and this may take place after the stress has been solved. For instance, in Vietnam War, the victims Symptoms included sleep disturbances, paranoia, emotional numbing, and guilt about surviving the war, alienation, and difficulties with social relationships (Peterson & Wilson, 2004).

There are several other problems associated with stress, for instance, drug abuse, sleep disturbances, sexual difficulties, eating disorders, as well as dismal academic performance. Similarly, stress is associated with several other things, with psychological disorders like depression. It also associated with psychoses, as well as neuroses (Billings, & Moos, 1984). It should also be noted that stress is associated with a number of illnesses. A number of stresses may lead to illness. For instance, stress on a long term basis is capable of leading to chronic physical as well as psychological damages to the body of individuals. It is also capable of developing into long-term disorders such as depression as well as anxiety disorders. Chronic stress is also capable of leading to heart diseases as well as very unstable angina. It should be noted that angina may cause chest pain and it is always is a result of inadequate oxygen supply in the chest of individuals and besides, it is capable of triggering heart attacks. When an individual is exposed to a given amount of stress, the stress is capable of leading to problems associated with high blood pressure. With induced high blood pressure, the risk of getting stress is increased (Weiten, 2005).

Long-term stress is also capable of dragging down the immune system of an individual and also making the individual exposed to infections like flu as well as colds. If an individual experiences prolonged stress, the person may experience digestive problems like constipation as well as diarrhea and it is also capable of leading to bowel syndrome. The digestive problems mentioned above are capable of making an individual to be highly predisposed to getting peptic ulcers.

People who are highly stressed may start comfort eating. The problem, however, will come as a result of obesity. To other individuals, stress makes them to lose their appetite as well as lose their weight and in the long term, stress is capable of causing diabetes. When an individual is suffering from persistent pain such as arthritis, chronic stress is capable of exacerbating the problem further. It should be noted that chronic stress is capable of leading to a decline in the desire for sex and in some cases, it is capable of causing erectile dysfunction as well as reproductive problems. Some physiological effects include substance abuse, diabetes, cancer, alcohol, as well as cardiovascular diseases.

Conclusion

It should be noted that there are a number of things that may make an individual to be stressed. The paper notes that the key issues that make individuals to be stressed so much are related to work or careers of individuals. Besides, social lives as well as health related issues also leads among the causes of stress to individuals As noted, the effects that stress has to individuals are very many and they are highly dangerous. Individuals should therefore learn the art of managing stress so as to reduce its effects.

References

Beehr, T. A., & Newman, J. E. (1978). Job stress, employee health, and organizational

effectiveness: A facet analysis, model, and literature review. Personnel Psychology, 31(4), 665-99.Billings, A. G., & Moos, R. H. (1984). Coping, stress, and social resources among adults with

unipolar depression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(4), 877-891

Brooker, A.S., & Eakin, J. (2001). Gender, class, work-related stress and health: toward a

power-centered approach. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 11, 97-

109. Retrieved on October 29, 2005 from the Academic Search Premier database.

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