Chronic stress may result into substantial amount of detrimental damage on an individual’s health, both physically and mentally, if not checked at the appropriate time. The internal progression that takes place while an individual is faced with a requirement that he or she believes cannot be achieved is known as stress. Whenever there is responsiveness of disproportion between the rigors of the requirements deemed to be in stipulation and the capacity to carry them out, then the experience of stress sets in. The impact of stress is so intense that it is considered as a negative force. Nonetheless, not all forms of stress are considered to be detrimental to ones health. There exists some type of stress that is helpful and an example is the type that is exciting and enjoyable referred to as eustress. Consequently, this type of stress, eustress, aids in keeping us vital. Effects of stress on health
The resultant effects brought about by chronic stress follow a gradual pathway. Initially, an individual encounters physical symptoms, which are somewhat placid, like never-ending headaches and heightened vulnerability to cold. Increased exposures to stressful situations or conditions that enhance chronic stress, eventually, result into extremely severe health tribulations (Bessel, McFarlane, Weisaeth, 2006). Consequently, the body is forced to respond in such a way that adrenalin is released leading to changes in the functions of the autonomic nervous system. Generally, after danger is eliminated, the relaxation response triggers the return of the body to normalcy but in the case of chronic stress, this is not achieved and the resultant effect is injury to the body. Thus, the efficiency of this system is hampered.
The manner in which the body automatically responds to stress is through the flight or fight reaction. This reaction is accelerated in case of chronic stress. The Hypothalamus is triggered due to stress and it in turn affects the entire process of the body to counter stress. Amalgamation of chemical and nerve signals triggers the adrenal glands to discharge adrenalin and cortisol. Heart rate is eventually enhanced due to adrenalin release and blood pressure is augmented as well. On the other hand, blood sugar increment that boosts the efficient utilization of glucose by brain is brought about by cortical hormone (Davidson, Kring, Neale and Johnson, 2009). In addition, cortisol stimulates repair of body tissues and restrains non essential task such as growth progressions, reproductive system and digestive system. The brain’s core that is responsible for the management of motivation, fear and mood, is also influenced by cortisol. All these processes are hampered during chronic stress and this may implicate severe health problems such as digestive and heart predicaments, physical illness, depression and memory impairment.
Emotional harm, intricate with physical sickness, strikes an individual’s health away exposing the individual to risky health factors. Some of the conditions that are nearly attributed to the consequences of chronic stress include; depression, heart disease, sexual dysfunction, obesity, compulsive obsession, unexplained chronic pain, infertility, high blood pressure and diabetes. Further more, stress brings chaos in the digestive system and may thwart conceiving in women, and diminutive growth in children. Stress heightens, in women, the risk of having a low-birth weight baby or a premature birth (Bessel, McFarlane, Weisaeth, 2006). For instance, studies indicate that women who were in the vicinity of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, experienced diminutive gestations and significantly undersized babies as compared to women who were far placed from the bomb site. Another case is that, where women affected by earthquake, had lower gestation periods compared to those who had not been affected by the earthquake. Studies indicate that stressed women with low-income as a result of hardships in getting food or not being employed, are vulnerable of having babies with low-birth weights.
Chronic stress in the form of racism, also contributes to difficulties in pregnancy. Studies indicate that women of African-American origin may encounter racist gestures in their entire lives. This aids in highlighting the reason why African-American women deliver babies with low-birth weights and prematurely. The premature and low-birth weight babies are very small and thus, will be extremely vulnerable to the impacts of stress as these babies face health difficulties while in their infancy stage, disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, and fatal effects at times.
In conditions of chronic stress, the stress hormones chemicals by products make an individual to be fatigued .Increased quantities of these hormones occur mostly during chronic stress and may cause a constant experience of depression (Bessel, McFarlane, Weisaeth, 2006). Chances of an individual to become depressed are heightened by habitual prototypes of opinions that manipulate an individual’s appraisal. During depression, symptoms such as: - fatigue, self-hate, agitation and feelings of hopelessness occupy the affected individual. Also connected with depression, is the notion of suicide that enhances an individual’s vulnerability to subsequent mental disorders.
The alteration of a person’s model of ideas, behaviour and emotion, which constitute an individual’s personality, may be due to stress. With regard to stress hormones response coupled with environmental interactions, an individual’s personality may be changed. Some of the changes include; - frustrations, anger, hostility, communication difficulties, aggressive behavior and decreased efficiency in carrying out chores. Such outlines tend to expose an individual to heightened vulnerability of harboring anxiety sentiments. An anxious individual gets so worried about future situations that his entire life is affected negatively.
Psychosomatic mayhem is thought to result from chronic stress. The holding up of emotions leads to the body experiencing difficulties to function under duress. However, this condition eventually is exposed through the mental signs that emerge from inner stress. Psychosomatic sickness can be manifested in the form of rage, anxiety, fear of disappointment, grief and anger (Davidson, Kring, Neale and Johnson, 2009). In this way, the entire body is affected as the mind and body function in a mutual manner. To complicate matters, a lot of psychological stress effects end up being conditioned and become deeply established in an individual’s nervous system. Over the ages, this condition persists and forms part of one’s personality.
As much as current life is filled with worries and tensions, which in most cases lead to development of chronic stress, an individual should strive to reduce stress. Though stress is not an ailment, it is regarded as the primary root cause of a variety of health problems. Hazardous conditions such as acidity, heart attack as well as depression are derived from stress (Bessel, McFarlane, Weisaeth, 2006). To successfully reduce stress, experts have proposed several stress management techniques which are very essential in ensuring good health. Since stress is brought about by a wide range of reasons, depending on an individual’s life, it cannot be ultimately done away with. Nonetheless, the control of stress is possible.
To cut down on stress, an individual may engage in activities such as regular exercises to relax the body. A balance between work and resting time should be considered. Furthermore, diet is very crucial in boosting a person’s health. Vegetables and fruits combined with balanced diet, aid in effective management of stress. It is believed that a problem shared is half solved. Thus, communicating to people about the stressing issue tends to minimize the intensity of stress. Other effective stress reduction techniques include; - meditation and prayer as a person’s mind is pacified and relaxed during this period. Getting rid of stress determines a lot on an individual’s well being and as so, the earlier it is done, the better.