A definition of stress and the bodys physical and emotional response

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A definition of stress and the bodys physical and emotional response

Stress is not a useful term for scientists because it is such a highly subjective phenomenon that it defies definition. Selye had noted in numerous experiments that laboratory animals subjected to acute but different noxious physical and emotional stimuli blaring light, deafening noise, extremes of heat or cold, perpetual frustration all exhibited the same pathologic changes of stomach ulcerations, shrinkage of lymphoid tissue and enlargement of the adrenals.

He later demonstrated that persistent stress could cause these animals to develop various diseases similar to those seen in humans, such as heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

At the time, it was believed that most diseases were caused by specific but different pathogens. Tuberculosis was due to the tubercle bacillus, anthrax by the anthrax bacillus, syphilis by a spirochete, etc.

What Selye proposed was just the opposite, namely that many different insults could cause the same disease, not only in animals, but in humans as well. Some people used stress to refer to an overbearing or bad boss or some other unpleasant situation they were subjected to.

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For many, stress was their reaction to this in the form of chest pain, heartburn, headache or palpitations. Others used stress to refer to what they perceived as the end result of these repeated responses, such as an ulcer or heart attack.

This created even more confusion when his research had to be translated into foreign languages. There was no suitable word or phrase that could convey what he meant, since he was really describing strain.

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Apparently, the male chauvinists prevailed, and le stress was born, quickly followed by el stress, il stress, lo stress, der stress in other European languages, and similar neologisms in Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic. Stress is one of the very few words you will see preserved in English in these and other languages that do not use the Roman alphabet.

Because it was apparent that most people viewed stress as some unpleasant threat, Selye subsequently had to create a new word, stressor, to distinguish stimulus from response. However, stress can be helpful and good when it motivates people to accomplish more.

As illustrated to the left, increased stress results in increased productivity — up to a point, after which things go rapidly downhill. However, that point or peak differs for each of us, so you need to be sensitive to the early warning symptoms and signs that suggest a stress overload is starting to push you over the hump.

Such signals also differ for each of us and can be so subtle that they are often ignored until it is too late. Not infrequently, others are aware that you may be headed for trouble before you are. Any definition of stress should therefore also include good stress, or what Selye called eustress. For example, winning a race or election can be just as stressful as losing, or more so.

A definition of stress and the bodys physical and emotional response

A passionate kiss and contemplating what might follow is stressful, but hardly the same as having a root canal procedure. Selye struggled unsuccessfully all his life to find a satisfactory definition of stress.

This is actually a pretty good description of biological aging so it is not surprising that increased stress can accelerate many aspects of the aging process.Stress is not a useful term for scientists because it is such a highly subjective phenomenon that it defies definition.

And if you can't define stress, how can you possibly measure it? The term "stress", as it is currently used was coined by Hans Selye in , who defined it as "the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change".

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timberdesignmag.com is the place to go to get the answers you need and to ask the questions you want. Stress is the body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response.

Stress can help you to grow stronger—as in the case of intense exercise, for example—or it can undermine your ability to cope.

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any emotional, physical, social, economic, or other factor that requires a response or change. Examples include dehydration, which can cause an increase in body temperature, and a separation from parents, which can cause a young child to cry.

Ch. 3 The Body's Response to Stress. STUDY. PLAY. we can seldom resolve psychological threats to the ego with physical activity in order to resolve stress.

Symbolic threat tends to last longer because of emotional input and internal dialogue, and therefore is not as easily dissipated.

In the case of hypertension as a response to stress.

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