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He is in the middle of a traffic jam and does not have time to get to that important date, but he will also be late for lunch and all afternoon work will be delayed. Things accumulate, he lacks time and almost does not rest. Run from one place to another overflowing activity, but your body begins to complain. He feels overwhelmed, nervous, overloaded, way of exhaustion and to top it off an unpleasant eczema on his face. It is clear, suffer the evil of our day, suffer from stress.
What is stress
Canon was the first to use the term stress, in relation to homeostasis, which refers to the balance of an organism, so that, being decompensated by an external agent, it immediately tends to recover its previous situation. Selye describes the general adaptation syndrome, which consists of a set of coordinated physiological reactions with which the body responds to any agent from abroad (stressful agent). This response has three phases, the alarm phase in which the body's defenses are mobilized (the hormonal axis starts hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal); the adaptation phase, in which the organism is coupled and the released hormones (corticosteroids) return to normal. If the adaptation does not occur and the stressful agent continues to act, it enters the exhaustion phase, which, in the long run, can cause death. The psychological perspective is initiated by Wolff, who speaks of vital stress as a specifically human response to different types of harmful agents and threats that come from the social environment of the subject. Lazarus systematically systematizes the stress concept. For him it is a complex process that ranges from stressful stimuli to the body's response through the intermediate psychic and biological processes. It presents as a central axis the sensation of threat that triggers the psychobiological response and that has to be previously known by the subject. Holmes and Rabe highlight the value of vital events such as the death of a family member, a divorce, a dismissal, economic changes, changes of address, vacations ...
Lazarus, based on the sensation of threat, explains the reactions or responses to stress that manifest in four aspects:
Verbal descriptions of accompanying emotional disturbances
The stressed person usually explains his mood as "I am nervous," "sad," "irritated," "I feel bad," "I can no longer."
Modifications of cognitive activity
Stress can improve cognitive performance by raising attention and level of awareness. But most often, this type of intellectual activity, reasoning, judgment, social relations, etc., gets worse in this prolonged situation.
Specific motor behaviors ranging from tremor to muscle stiffness
Expressions of the face or change of work or place of residence.
The entire neuroendocrine structure undergoes alterations, especially the axis hypothalamus-pituitary gland adrenal and vegetative system. The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands, which release corticosteroids in the blood and exert their effect throughout the body (they alter insulin production, facilitate gastroduodenal ulcers, cause calcium losses from the bones, lead to menstrual irregularities and induce hypertension The vegetative nervous system responds with sympathetic stimulation and release of catecholamines, such as adrenalin, which alters blood pressure, sex hormones and thyroid among other things.
It is clear that in the face of stress the block organism reacts both in the biological or bodily aspect and in the psychological aspect. As a consequence, it acts as a trigger for diseases, especially the immune, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and psychosomatic systems. Hypertension, gastroduodenal ulcer, intestinal rhythm disorders (constipation and diarrhea), heart attack, decreased defenses and propensity to infections, pre-menstrual tension, all kinds of psychosomatic disorders and even cancer are closely related With stress The stress maintained causes physical exhaustion and psychological fatigue. Energy expenditure weakens the body's forces, and one feels tired; but the psychological weakening is the origin of situations of total exhaustion even if nothing has been done, because fatigue is psychic.
Not all people respond equally to stress, depending on each reaction of the individual personality, the defense mechanisms that are put in place, the coping style of each person and the socio-environmental circumstances that occur in each moment. For example, a single woman does not live a pregnancy in the same way as a married woman who has been waiting for three years to have a child or one who already has two others. There are people more likely to suffer from stress, such as those who change residence or work, those who have few financial resources, or do not have an emotional and emotional balance.
Ways to cope with stress
Virtually all people, each in their midst, are under stress, some defend themselves properly and others fall apart. To confront it, you have to structure a whole plan that relies on the following measures:
- Psychological attitude: at all times you have to know what you are facing, the demands it imposes and the possible consequences. Assess one's own skills when selecting the way of life and activities. It is advisable to prepare for each situation waiting for it what will bring with it, neither more nor less.
- Maintain a healthy life from a hygienic, dietary and physical point of view: eat a balanced and complete diet (containing all the immediate principles and cover the body's needs), avoid tobacco, coffee and alcohol, and perform regular physical exercise, are basic points to maintain physical fitness and avoid stressful stress overload.
- Relaxation techniques: they are extremely effective; you have to learn them with a technician, but then the subject can start them on his own as soon as he needs them. There are two fundamental techniques: Jacobson's progressive relaxation and Schultz autogenous training. Jacobson's technique consists in provoking the contraction and relaxation of muscle packets progressively. Autogenic training is a global method that combines mind and body.
- Maintain a stable emotional situation And satisfactory is basic to cope with stress. Being emotionally fit, having friends, getting along with others, and, after all, having social support is essential.
- Organize work and the rest of the activity so that energy consumption and recovery is controlled. We offer here a series of recommendations or useful tips:
- Spend some time daily to the hobbies themselves: read, listen to music, walk, go to the movies ...
- Maintain regular communication and daily with other people.
- Schedule activities without stress, do nothing more than one thing at a time and do not start a new one until the previous one has finished.
- Avoid excessive responsibilities and not wanting to cover more than you can.
- Learn to take some time for everything
- Note that nothing is final or irreplaceableEverything can be and everything can be done.
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