To better understand causes and symptoms of stress, we have to get back to the notion of the stress.
Stress is the physiological-hormonal adaptation reactions in the body’s organ systems that are triggered by physical and mental stressors. For this, there can be several causes including pain, cooling, fear, and flight. From an evolutionary point of stress, the response that is conserved in all higher species, including all primates, rodents, and reptiles is very important. A man may feel stress not only to overstimulation, but also during stimulation.
The term stress was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye.
Stress can manifest itself partly as an acute stress reaction, and provide a post-traumatic stress disorder. Stress can be positive and improve work performance, but prolonged negative stress can cause several diseases.
Stressors are factors that lead to stress, elevated internal state. What is a stressor for one person may not be so for another, but this depends on the person’s ability and self-concept, and is related to requirements versus resources. The individual differences in the ability to cope with stress is are usually explained by stress-vulnerability model.
Stressors are situations and challenges that include requirements, which the individual experiences as stressful in that they are perceived as trying or exceeding capacity. Stressors causing mental anxiety lead to thoughts of failure, which in itself are mentally exhausting. Stressors can also be defined as factors that the body perceives as alarm signals, which people can react to with escape, attack, or inaction. Stress can be positive, and humans need a certain element of stressors in moderation. A body briefly exposed to stressors strengthens the health and performance by strengthening the so-called stress muscle. For stressors to have a positive effect, the body needs rest after and stressors must include various activities.
Stressors can be both negative events and trauma (distress), and positive life changes and challenges (eustress). Distresses may also include such stressors, to which an individual is not able to adapt to for any personal reasons. As distress stressors include a mental crisis, loss of family member, financial problems, problems with the loved one, illness, being exploited or neglected, unemployment and fighting. Eustress can be caused by positive emotions from get promoted, get married, have children, or start an education. Some stressors can be positive for some, but the distress to others, among them high demands at work, a public representation, sports competitions, and the lack of guidance for a new or difficult task.
Stressors may be of different nature: physical, social, and psychological:
- Physical stressors include cooling, noise, viruses, drugs, and pain.
- Social stressors are those dealing with individuals in their social context, and may include unemployment, marriage, bullying, or powerlessness.
- Psychological stressors are those with empathic requirements and peaks in the tolerance level: the very thoughts of failure, lack of competence, or a fear to perceive something as a threat.
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