Discuss how physical and mental stress can have good/ bad effects on the body

Authors Avatar by anishakaur52gmailcom (student)

Both physical and mental stress impose a degree of strain on the body; however stress can be perceived as either facilitative or debilitative for health. “Stress arises when individuals perceive that they cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on them or with threats to their well-being.”  Lazarus, R.S. (1966). According to McEwen, Sterling and Eyer, the human body has biological systems that are associated with managing and adapting to stress. These systems can be perilous to health when their activity is prolonged for longer than they are required. An additional definition of stress based on the assumptions postulated by Bruce S. McEwen can be accepted as: “any factor, acting internally or externally that makes it difficult to adapt and that induces increased effort on the part of the person to maintain a state of equilibrium,” (Humphrey, 1992) Evidently, it is clear that stress poses some degree of strain on an individual; however, the distinction between the benefits of physical stress and adversity of mental stress have yet to be discussed.

Join now!

The fight or flight syndrome (Walter Cannon 1932) explains that the stress response is activated through sympathetic stimulation of the central medulla region of the adrenal glands. The reaction involves the hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal axis in which the release of catecholamines prepares the body to cope with stressful stimuli. Physiological changes induced through stress enable the body to react at peak efficiency. For example, increased cardiac output, blood pressure, ventilation rate and stimulation of glycogenolysis provide an increased flow of oxygenated, glucose rich blood to the brain and skeletal muscles, preparing the body for the means to react to danger. ...

This is a preview of the whole essay