Stress is one of the most problematic issues today and for people of all ages, it has proven to be a considerable challenge. Stress can be easily defined as how the brain and the human body respond to various demands, be they work, school, or trauma. In modern psychology, stress is a developing issue as counselors often take on new clients who try to find the best ways to deal with minor and significant stress in their lives. However, despite the negative perceptions of stress by many, there are positive outcomes of stress as it has often been highlighted as a motivator, as it pushes individuals to reach their true potential.
So, what causes stress? Since stress starts with new demands or changes in the environment, pleasant or otherwise, these stressors demand adaptation as the individual tries to cope. Beyond a certain point, the stress becomes “distress.” Some overt examples of stressors can be identified in the form of injuries or sickness, where these significant changes in the health of an individual force a transition. As the individual tries to tackle the new reality, the new physical conditions create stress. Another dominant cause of stress is the change in the physical environment where aspects such as climate change, pollution, or even noise become the origin of stress. Even mundane daily activities like work, family, and social activities can be significant sources of stress as they impose the need to change for the individual.
Stress can be temporary as its effects can be maintained over a short time, after which new changes end it. For students, college can be stressful since the deadlines and tough academics can create fear and demand proactive action but after graduation, the stress melts away. However, for such a student, finishing college is not necessarily the end of stress since new or related stressors can be introduced, creating long term behavioral, emotional, and physiological effects. For example, many new graduates face new realities of having to settle the repayment of college debt, securing jobs, and dealing with the pressures of work every day. To deal with stress, therefore, many people learn new ways of handling stress while some settle for behavioral medicine to promote their wellness.
However, what are the effects of stress? As mentioned earlier, stress is not always negative since positive stress can be a source of motivation, challenging the individual to strive for better performance. The effects of stress can be divided into 3 categories, that include:
What are the best ways of coping with stress? Despite the effects of stress, various options help to turn the tide and ensure that the individual survives the effects of various stressors. Some broad types of coping with stress are instrumental and emotional coping. Instrumental coping refers to focusing on the problem by finding ways of eliminating it while emotional coping focuses more on tackling the feelings that arise from the problem. Whichever way one chooses, stress is manageable. The conclusion of any stress essay should include the various solutions to avoiding the long-term impacts by adopting healthy strategies. Some useful techniques for eliminating and managing stress include:
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