Stress has different meaning to different people. To some, it may be great breakdown in their lives, while to others; it may be used as a stepping stone to new opportunities in life. Therefore, stress is the intense feeling a person undergoes when faced with threatening situation or when in difficulties. A person under stress feels out of control ,he /she is tense ,he is not in any position to figure out where to direct his energy ,lacks proper concentration at work ,or in studies ,and pressure overweighs him so much. Stress represents the psychological and the physiological reaction to a difficult situation that requires urgent action to be taken and solutions found. If stress is not dealt with urgently and no proper solution is administered, it may impact negatively on someone’s health, because it is a response that operates on cognitive action and biological levels. Stress therefore is not only the pressure exerted on someone, but how that pressure affects the feelings of a person. Other people view stress as the survival mechanism that was programmed into a human’s body so as to add internal awareness of threats and turn all the body sources to a state of readiness.
Five different sources of stress and why they are perceived to be stressful. Stressor refers to any environmental situation that creates a feeling of tension due to threat. It requires either change or coping with it. Stressors do not only comprise of bad events but also good situations such as a wedding event can be exciting and stressful, because of the strains involved. The life stressors that I had to deal with over the past year included the changes in life, frustrations from the family and friends, and pressure from the college work.
Stress can occur as a result of internal generation by an individual himself. This is being so anxious and worrying so much about a particular activity which is beyond human control. For example, a person may wish to hurry his life plans, and encounter close relationship problems resulting from personal behaviors. A person’s personality can affect the way someone experiences stress. For instance, someone who likes perfectionism may cause stress to himself and even to others if they fail to meet that high level of perfectness.This is perceived to be stressful in that, failure to meet the perfect ness set, one is left annoyed and frustrated so much.
Another source of stress is change. Being the only thing that is constant in the world, there is need for people to learn on how to accept it whenever it occurs so as to avoid being stressed. For instance, the world is experiencing industrial revolution and technological development; therefore those who are against change suffer a great deal, while those who appreciate and accept change benefit and are stress free. Change is perceived to be stressful because some people do not like change or react so slow to it and due to this, it leaves them crushed and disappointed, thus, successful life depend on the adaptation or coping with and acceptance of change in all life situations.
Other source of stress is the family. It is perceived to be stressful because a family is a unit where we interact thus, interactions and the personality influence the entire unit. Incase a member of the family is depressed; the entire family will be affected in one way or the other. A family is like our body where if one part of the body is not functioning well, the other part tries to compensate for it so that the whole body may function properly. Just like family when one person has gone a stray the family lacks control and thus has to offer compensations so as help the person come back to the required level and enable the family be functional again.
Relationships as a source of stress. This is perceived to be stressful because when two different people who have different goals and tastes in life begin staying together, they encounter stress .This is a result of the different expectations brought forward by the couple. Relationships can be stressful when couples are faced with difficult situations such as the loss of beloved one, loss of a job by a partner, the physical sickness and unfaithfulness between the couple. All these turn of events affects the relationship negatively hence stress.
The nutrition and chemical is the other source of stress. The food we eat daily cause stress especially poor balanced diet always leads to discomfort and may even cause diseases which produces stress. For example, dietary excess may result into obesity, thus physical discomfort. Too much salt in our foods put the body under chemical stress (Philip, 1999).
How the stressors mentioned above affected my personal life, physical health, and/or emotional well being.
Personal life was affected due to the internal generation in that because of too much worrying and anxiety I developed high blood pressure thus affecting my health .Emotionally I was disturbed because no one met or approved my view of perfection in all we do. Change affected my emotional status in that having been used to the way of working, I had to adapt the new changes that were brought up making it hard for me to settle again thus more stress. Stress affects the immune and nervous system, chronic stress can result into high mood disorders like anxiety problems and personality changes, which leads to mental and emotional problems.
Coping mechanism used to deal with the stressors mentioned above and their effectiveness
Coping mechanisms are aimed at reducing and controlling of tension that result from a stressful situation these includes relaxation. The best way to overcome the above mentioned stressors is through relaxation where you find a quiet place, sit down, close eyes then try to relax the muscles. One is advised to continue with this exercise for about ten to fifteen minutes while putting much concentration on the breathing. This is proved to be effective in that it makes a person to relax and forget his stresses.
Meditating as a coping mechanism is so effective because it helps lower anger and hostile feelings and thus eliminating the judgment formed earlier. This can work well with family and relationship stressors.
Humor, this coping mechanism encourages one to be of great humor by accepting any change that occurs because it helps in learning new things. Then lastly, have a balanced diet, exercise daily and create some time for yourself in that once you meet your needs you will be in position to even help others.
Taking of this course affected me positively because it contains enjoyable learning experience like causes of stress, it sources and mechanisms of coping with it. The aspect of the course that was stressful was the discussion board entries. This is because of fear of carrying out discussions infront of others. To deal with this stress, I had to carry out more discussions so as to overcome my fear.
My advice to the students thinking to enroll in this course is that, they should not be discouraged about it because it is a nice course which educates a lot and it’s also simple and easy to understand and pass highly because it deals with current life situations that we encounter daily.
In conclusion, coping with stress is part of our lives and how to deal with it makes the difference in keeping our health. What reduces stress is different from person to person, just like it is with its causes. Stress can not be eliminated completely, thus it’s good for people to learn how to cope with it by finding the right coping mechanism that works for them.