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Don't Stress

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Abstract Stress is an unavoidable consequence of life. However, just as distress can cause disease, it seems plausible that there are good stresses that promote wellness. The objective of this research paper is to examine some of the common causes of stress, its effect on our physical body, our mind, emotions and our behavior. Another and equally important objective is to explore some of the stress management techniques and treatments available to the individual and medical practitioners. The paper is concluded by highlighting some of the key points and observations from the research. Don't Stress With the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, a job promotion, or a new relationship, we experience stress as we readjust our lives. According to Volpe (2000), stress takes us out of our "comfort zone" and forces us to change and adapt. In so adjusting to different circumstances, stress will help or hinder us depending on how we react to it. Stress plays an active role in our daily lives and can wreak havoc if left unmanaged. While this is the common cause of many of our problems, what exactly is stress? According to the article, Managing Stress, stress is the reaction our bodies and minds have to any threat to our calm and stability (www.lifeworks.com). ...read more.


Stress not only affects the individual, but can also affect their employer. According to Anthony Renshaw in his article Don't stress!, the peak period for heart attacks is Monday morning (when people are returning to work), the cost of stress leave in Australia is more than $60 million annually, and "60-80 percent of industrial accidents are due to stressed workers." (2001, paras. 6-8). More than seventy percent of workplace absenteeism is due to stress-related factors (Renshaw, 2001). For this reason, businesses have significant financial interest in helping employees minimize stress. Minor indicators of stress can be characterized by symptoms such as emotional detachment, temporary loss of memory or de-realization. Major symptoms of prolonged stress can cause more debilitating disorders such as Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Both major disorders are similar except Acute Stress Disorder is differentiated as a time limited disorder while Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is more permanent. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychological condition triggered by a major traumatic event, such as rape, war, and a terrorist act, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, or a catastrophic accident. It is marked by upsetting memories or thoughts of the ordeal, "blunting of emotions, increased arousal, and sometimes severe personality change" (Lon M.D., Jacqueline L. ...read more.


This agrees with Renshaw's finding that if the mind, as the root of stress, is happy, confident, and self-reliant, then stress has little on which to take hold (2001). In summary, stress is prevalent. It inhabits our lives daily in both good and bad ways. Stress may push us to excel in ways we thought unachievable, or it may debilitate us from action in ways we thought unimaginable. For all the damage stress can cause, it is remarkable that it is only "a condition of the mind" (Renshaw, 2001, para.1) responding to life's events. This mental trigger does have very real effects on our physiology: increased heart rate, increased hormonal responses, and inhibition of our immune system. To reduce or eliminate stress it is important that we actively deal with it by focusing on the individual's mind. In order to minimize or eliminate the negative effects that stress can have on us, on our family, on our friends, and on our place of work, we must acknowledge the stress as a mental phenomenon. It is then important to actively deal with the stress by taking advantage of others as sounding boards, of rejuvenation techniques, and of learned self-reliance exercises (Renshaw, 2001). If this fails, let out a good belly laugh, as Sandy Baker recommends (2000). These actions will help reestablish your individual control over the stressor and move you in the proper direction. ...read more.

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