What is stress? Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”. Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and . Aug 12, · Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness; Traumatic stress, which happens when you are in danger of being seriously hurt or killed. Examples include a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster. This type of stress can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
See also strain 1 def. Dad is always stressing out over his job. Embellish your word knowledge with the words from the week of August 17 to August 23, !
Origin of stress First recorded in —; noun Middle English stresse, aphetic variant of distresse; verb derivative of the noun; see origin at distress. Words nearby stress streptonigrinstreptosepticemiastreptothricinstreptozocinStresemannstressstress ballstressbusterstressed-outstress fracturestressful.
Words related to stress weightnervousnesstensionanxietyhardshipcrunchagonyintensitystrainheattraumaburdenhasslefearworryrepeatunderlineunderscoreforceimportance.
Example sentences from the Web for stress Obsessive exercising and inadequate nutrition can, over time, put people at high risk for overuse injuries like stress fractures.
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Satan Sanderson Hallie Erminie Rives. Derived forms of stress stressfuladjective stressfullyadverb stressfulnessnoun. Word Origin for stress C stresse, shortened from distress. An applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform a body. The resisting Stress set up in a body as a result of an externally applied force.
A physical or psychological stimulus that can produce mental tension or physiological reactions that may lead to illness. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. The force per unit area applied to an object. Objects subject to stress tend to become distorted or deformed. Specifically, acute and chronic stress have been shown to raise serum lipids and are associated with clinical coronary events. However, it is possible for individuals to exhibit hardiness —a term referring to the ability to be both chronically stressed and healthy.
This suggests that there are individual differences in vulnerability to the potential pathogenic effects of stress; individual differences in vulnerability arise due to both genetic and psychological factors.
In addition, the age at which the stress is experienced can dictate its effect on health. Research suggests chronic stress at a young age can have lifelong effects on the biological, psychological, and behavioral responses to stress later in life. The term "stress" had none of its contemporary connotations before the s. It is a form of the Middle English destressederived via Old French from the Latin stringere"to draw tight". In the s and '30s, biological and psychological circles occasionally used the term to refer to a mental strain or to a harmful environmental agent that could cause illness.
Walter Cannon used it in to refer to external factors that disrupted what he called homeostasis. Upon immediate disruption of either psychological or physical equilibrium the body responds by stimulating the nervousendocrineand immune systems. The reaction of these systems causes a number of physical changes that have both short- and long-term effects on the body. The Holmes and Rahe stress scale was developed as a method of assessing the risk of disease from life changes.
These include things such as a major holiday or marriage, or death of a spouse and firing from a job. Homeostasis is a concept central to the idea of stress.
Environmental factors, internal or external stimuli, continually disrupt homeostasis; an organism's present condition is a Stress of constant flux moving about a homeostatic point that is that organism's optimal condition for living. A life-threatening situation such as a major physical trauma or prolonged starvation can greatly disrupt homeostasis. On the other hand, an organism's attempt at restoring conditions back to or near homeostasis, often consuming energy and natural resources, can also be interpreted as stress.
The ambiguity in defining this phenomenon was first recognized by Hans Selye — in In a commentator loosely summarized Selye's view of stress as something that " First to use the term in a biological context, Selye continued to define stress as "the non-specific response of the body to any demand placed upon it".
As of [update] neuroscientists such as Bruce McEwen and Jaap Koolhaas believe that stress, based on years of empirical research, "should be restricted to conditions where an environmental demand exceeds the natural regulatory capacity of an organism". Stress can have many profound effects on the human biological systems. The central nervous system brain and spinal cord plays a crucial role in the body's stress-related mechanisms.
Whether one should interpret these mechanisms as the body's response to a stressor or embody the act of stress itself is part of the ambiguity in defining what exactly stress is. The central nervous system works closely with the body's endocrine system to regulate these mechanisms. The sympathetic nervous system becomes primarily active during a stress responseregulating many of the body's physiological functions in ways that ought to make an organism more adaptive to its environment.
Below there follows a brief biological background of neuroanatomy and neurochemistry and how they relate to stress. Stress, either severe, acute stress or chronic low-grade stress may induce abnormalities in three principal regulatory systems in the body: serotonin systemscatecholamine systemsand the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Aggressive behavior has also been associated with abnormalities in these systems.
The brain endocrine interactions are relevant in the translation of stress into physiological and psychological changes. The autonomic nervous system ANSas mentioned above, plays an important role in translating stress into a response.
The ANS responds reflexively to both physical stressors for example baroreceptionand to higher level inputs from the brain. The ANS is composed of the parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous systemtwo branches that are both tonically active with opposing activities. The ANS directly innervates tissue through the postganglionic nerves, which is controlled by preganglionic neurons originating in the intermediolateral cell column. The ANS receives inputs from the medullahypothalamusStress, limbic systemprefrontal cortexmidbrain and monoamine nuclei.
The activity of the sympathetic nervous system drives what is Stress the "fight or flight" response. The fight or flight response to emergency or stress involves mydriasisincreased heart rate and force contraction, vasoconstrictionbronchodilationglycogenolysisgluconeogenesislipolysissweatingdecreased motility of the digestive system, secretion of the epinephrine and cortisol from the adrenal medulla, and relaxation of the bladder wall.
The parasympathetic nervous response, "rest and digest", involves return to maintaining homeostasis, and involves miosisbronchoconstrictionincreased activity of the digestive system, and contraction of the bladder walls. The HPA axis is a neuroendocrine system that mediates a stress response. Neurons in the hypothalamus, particularly the paraventricular nucleusrelease vasopressin and corticotropin releasing hormonewhich travel through the hypophysial portal vessel where they travel to and bind to the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor on the anterior pituitary gland.
Multiple CRH peptides have been identified, and receptors have been identified on multiple areas of the brain, including the amygdala. The secretion of ACTH into systemic circulation allows it to bind to and activate Melanocortin receptorwhere it stimulates the release of steroid hormones. Steroid hormones bind to glucocorticoid receptors in the brain, providing negative feedback by reducing ACTH release. Some evidence supports a second long term feedback that is non-sensitive to cortisol secretion.
The PVN of the hypothalamus receives inputs from the nucleus of the solitary tractand lamina terminalis. Through these inputs, it receives and can respond to changes in blood. Other regions of the hypothalamus both directly and indirectly inhibit HPA axis activity. Hypothalamic neurons involved in regulating energy balance also influence HPA axis activity through the release of neurotransmitters such as neuropeptide Ywhich stimulates HPA axis activity. Generally, the amygdala stimulates, and the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus attenuate, HPA axis activity; however, complex relationships do exist between the regions.
The immune system may be heavily influenced by stress. The sympathetic nervous system innervates various immunological structures, such as bone marrow and the spleenallowing for it to regulate immune function. The adrenergic substances released by the sympathetic nervous system can also bind to and influence various immunological cells, further providing a connection between the systems. The HPA axis ultimately results in the release of cortisol, which generally has immunosuppressive effects.
However, the effect of stress on the immune system is disputed, and various models have been proposed in an attempt to account for both the supposedly "immunodeficiency" linked diseases and diseases involving hyper activation of the immune system. One model proposed to account for this suggests a push towards an imbalance of cellular immunity Th1 and humoral immunity Th2. The proposed imbalance involved hyperactivity of the Th2 system leading to some forms of immune hypersensitivitywhile also increasing risk of some illnesses associated with decreased immune system function, such as infection and cancer.
Chronic stress is a Stress sometimes used to differentiate it from acute stress. Definitions differ, and may Stress along the lines of continual activation of the stress response,  stress that causes an allostatic shift in bodily functions,  or just as "prolonged stress". For example, students who are taking exams show weaker immune responses if they also report stress due to daily hassles. Acute time-limited stressors, or stressors that lasted less than two hours, results in an up regulation of natural immunity and down regulation of specific immunity.
This type of stress saw in increase in granulocytesnatural killer cellsIgAInterleukin 6and an increase in cell cytotoxicity. Brief naturalistic stressors elicit a shift from Th1 cellular to Th2 humoral immunity, while decreased T-cell proliferation, and natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Stressful event sequences did not elicit a consistent immune response; however, some observations such as decreased T-Cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, increase or decrease in natural killer cell cytotoxicity, and an increase in mitogen PHA.
Chronic stress elicited a shift toward Th2 immunity, as well as decreased interleukin 2, T cell proliferation, and antibody response to the influenza vaccine.
Distant stressors did not consistently elicit a change in immune function. Some studies have observed increased risk of upper respiratory tract infection during chronic life stress. A link has been suggested between chronic stress and cardiovascular disease. The immune system also plays a role in stress and the early stages of wound healing. It is responsible for preparing the tissue for repair and promoting recruitment of certain cells to the wound area.
Chronic stress has also been shown to impair developmental growth in children by lowering the pituitary gland 's production of growth hormone, as in children associated with a home environment involving serious marital discord, alcoholismor child abuse. More generally, prenatal life, infancy, childhood, and adolescence are critical periods in which the vulnerability to stressors is particularly high.
Chronic stress is seen to affect the parts of the brain where memories are processed through and stored. When people feel stressed, stress hormones get over-secreted, which affects the brain. This secretion is made up of glucocorticoidsincluding cortisol, which are steroid hormones that the adrenal gland releases, although this can increase storage of flashbulb memories it decreases long-term potentiation LTP.
For instance, extreme stress e. Chronic stress also shifts learning, forming a preference for habit based learningand decreased task flexibility and spatial working memoryprobably through alterations of the dopaminergic systems. Selye published in year a model dividing stress into eustress and distress.
Persistent stress that is not resolved through coping or adaptation, deemed distress, may lead to anxiety or withdrawal depression behavior. The difference between experiences that result in eustress and those that result in distress is determined by the disparity between an experience real or imagined and personal expectations, and resources to cope with the stress. Alarming experiences, either real or imagined, can trigger a stress response.
Responses to stress include adaptation, psychological coping such as stress managementanxiety, and depression. Stress management encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with psychological stresswith stress defined as a person's physiological response to an internal or external stimulus that triggers the fight-or-flight response.
Stress management is effective when a person uses strategies to cope with or alter stressful situations. There are several ways of coping with stress,  such as controlling the source of stress or learning to set limits and to say "no" to some of the demands that bosses or family members may make. A person's capacity to tolerate the source of stress may be increased by thinking about another topic such as a hobby, listening to music, or spending time in a wilderness.
A way to control stress is first dealing with what is causing the stress if it is something the individual has control over. Other methods to control stress and reduce it can be: to not procrastinate and leave tasks for last minute, do things you like, exercise, do breathing routines, go out with friends, and take a break.
Having support from a loved one also helps a lot in reducing stress. One study showed that the power of having support from a loved one, or just having social support, lowered stress in individual subjects. Painful shocks were applied to married women's ankles.
In some trials women were able to hold their husband's hand, in other trials they held a stranger's hand, and then held no one's hand. When the women were holding their husband's hand, the response was reduced in many brain areas. When holding the stranger's hand the response was reduced a little, but not as much as when they were holding their husband's hand.
Social support helps reduce stress and even more so if the support is from a loved one. Lazarus  argued that, in order for a psychosocial situation to be stressful, it must be appraised as such. Both personal and environmental factors influence this primary appraisal, which then triggers the selection of coping processes.
Problem-focused coping is directed at managing the problem, whereas emotion-focused coping processes are directed at managing the negative emotions. Secondary appraisal refers to the evaluation of the resources available to cope with the problem, and may alter the primary appraisal. In other words, primary appraisal includes the perception of how stressful the problem is and the secondary appraisal of estimating whether one has more than or less than adequate resources to deal with the problem that affects the overall appraisal of stressfulness.
Both negative and positive stressors can lead to stress. The intensity and duration of stress changes depending on the circumstances and emotional condition of the person suffering from it Arnold.
E and Boggs. Some common categories and examples of stressors include:. Physiologists define stress as how the body reacts to a stressor - a stimulus, real or imagined, that causes stress. Acute stressors affect an organism in the short term; chronic stressors over the longer term. The general adaptation system GASdeveloped by Hans Selye, is a profile of how organisms respond to stress; GAS is characterized by three phases: a nonspecific mobilization phase, which promotes sympathetic nervous system activity; a resistance phase, during which the organism makes efforts to cope with the threat; and an exhaustion phase, which occurs if the organism fails to overcome the threat and depletes its physiological resources.
Alarm is the first stage, which is divided into two phases: the shock phase and the antishock phase. Resistance is the second stage. During this stage, increased secretion of glucocorticoids intensify the body's systemic response. Glucocorticoids can increase the concentration of glucose, fat, and amino acid in blood.
In high doses, one glucocorticoid, cortisolbegins to act similarly to a mineralocorticoid aldosterone and brings the body to a state similar to hyperaldosteronism. If the stressor persists, it becomes necessary to attempt some means of coping with the stress.
The body attempts to respond to stressful stimuli, but after prolonged activation, the body's chemical resources will be gradually depleted, leading to the final stage. The result can manifest itself in obvious illnesses, such as general trouble with the digestive system e. The current usage of the word stress arose out of Hans Selye 's s experiments. He started to use the term to refer not just to the agent but to the state of the organism as it responded and adapted to the environment.
His theories of a universal non-specific stress response attracted great interest and contention in academic physiology and he undertook extensive research programs and publication efforts. While the work attracted continued support from advocates of psychosomatic medicinemany in experimental physiology concluded that his concepts were too vague and unmeasurable.
During the s, Selye turned away from the laboratory to promote his concept through popular books and lecture tours. He wrote for both non-academic physicians and, in an international bestseller entitled Stress of Lifefor the general public.
A broad biopsychosocial concept of stress and adaptation offered the promise of helping everyone achieve health and happiness by successfully responding to changing global challenges and the problems of modern civilization.
Selye coined the term " eustress " for positive stress, by contrast to distress. He argued that all people have a natural urge and need to work for their own benefit, a message that found favor with industrialists and governments.
Selye was in contact with the tobacco industry from and they were undeclared allies in litigation and the promotion of the concept of stress, clouding the link between smoking and cancerand portraying smoking as a "diversion", or in Selye's concept a "deviation", from environmental stress. From the late s, academic psychologists started to adopt Selye's concept; they sought to quantify "life stress" by scoring " significant life events ", and a large amount of research was undertaken to examine links between stress and disease of all kinds.
By the late s, stress had become the medical area of greatest concern to the general population, and more basic research was called for to better address the issue. There was also renewed laboratory research into the neuroendocrinemolecularand immunological bases of stress, conceived as a useful heuristic not necessarily tied to Selye's original hypotheses. The US military became a key center of stress research, attempting to understand and reduce combat neurosis and psychiatric casualties.
What is Stress? People have very different ideas with respect to their definition of stress. Probably the most common is, “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” Another popular definition of stress is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the. Mar 11, · Stress is a natural feeling of not being able to cope with specific demands and events. However, stress can become a chronic condition if a person does not take steps to manage it. Aug 04, · Stress is a normal feeling. There are two main types of stress: Acute stress. This is short-term stress that goes away quickly. You feel it when you slam on the brakes, have a fight with your partner, or ski down a steep slope.
Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress – a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body's internal balance or equilibrium, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches, an upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, sexual dysfunction, .
What Is Stress? Stress is a response to pressure or threat. Under stress we may feel tense, nervous, or on edge. The stress response is physical, too. Stress triggers a surge of a hormone called adrenaline that temporarily affects the nervous system. As a result, when you're nervous or stressed you might feel your heartbeat or breathing get. Stress definition, importance attached to a thing: to lay stress upon good manners. See more.
Stress, either physiological or biological, is an organism's response to a stressor such as an environmental condition. Stress is the body's method of reacting to a condition such as a threat, challenge or physical and psychological barrier. Stimuli that alter an organism's environment are responded to by multiple systems in the body. In humans and most mammals, the autonomic nervous .
Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress – a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body's internal balance or equilibrium, leading to physical symptoms such as headaches, an upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, sexual dysfunction, . Stress, either physiological or biological, is an organism's response to a stressor such as an environmental condition. Stress is the body's method of reacting to a condition such as a threat, challenge or physical and psychological barrier. Stimuli that alter an organism's environment are responded to by multiple systems in the body. In humans and most mammals, the autonomic nervous .
Sep 10, · Stress is emotional or physical tension. Stress typically causes the "fight or flight" response, a complex reaction of neurologic and endocrinologic systems that produces some characteristic symptoms.. Signs and symptoms of stress can be emotional or physical. Emotional symptoms can include becoming easily agitated, feeling frustrated, feeling overwhelmed, mood .
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