Stress is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives, brought on by many different aspects of life. It comes and goes, but often times for some people, stress stays and becomes apart of their lives and can affect it dramatically. Stress has been studied on so many levels and it’s suggested that it can cause several phycological disorders including depression, anxiety, ans schizophrenia. It can also be linked to physical diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and many more. It’s a known fact that having high blood pressure for a long period of time will cause heart disease. Staying in a state of stress constantly can cause high blood pressure which in turn leads to heart disease. Heart disease kills thousands of people each year.
There are certain types of personalities that tend to stay stressed out more than others, causing stress on themselves more than necessary. People with type A personalities tend to exibit anger and hostility and being impatient and urgent all the time. There were studies done on people with heart disease and it was found that an elevated amount of the people had a temperment of anger and hostility more so than not. So it’s evident that our emotions play a part in contributing to all the physical attributions that cause disease in the long run. It is even believed that heart attacks can even be brought on by emotional triggers in some people. There have been studies that suggested even diabetes and arthritis can be caused by stress. One of the biggest reasons stress can cause so many physical illnesses is it directly affects the body’s immune system and how it functios. Stress can weaken the immune system and when it does not operate as it should, it makes your body more sustible to diseases. There were tests done on animals to confirm this theory. It simply can not be said that stress is the actual cause of diseases, because there are so many other factors that play into why people get diseases and suffer from them. The type of personality one has, the lifestyle they live in regards to food and usage of drugs and alcohol all play a role in someone’s health, but stress does contribute to a person’s well being.
When a person has a healty lifestyle, including social support, medical care, diet and excercise the risk of stress decreases. It’s a known fact that when human’s basic needs are not being met, it will cause emotional instability, wich leads to long term stress. It’s also important to note the significance in how someone handles stress and whether or not they make it apart of their everyday lives or recover quickly from it, not allowing it to dictate their well being. A person’s attitude towards life in general and problems that arise, has a great impact on how stress influences them. A positive person that takes time to nurture relationships and sees the good n situations is less likely to allow stress to become a problem than someone who see’s the glass half empty as the saying goes. A person’s mindset has more power over their well being and health than more people realize. I’ve often heard that people who are given death sentences with a particular disease and that see it as an opportunity and part of their process in life liv a lot longer than someoe who receives the same and gets depressed and withdraws because they can’t handle it.
On a more positive note, stress can motivate someone to improve themselves and seek better opportunity, which in return benefits a person in the long run. It can serve as a way to make people evaluate their lives and make better choices for their future, simply because they do ot want to be put back in the situation that caused them stress.
I can speak from personal experience on how negative stress can be for someone’s health. My husband works in law enforcement, and the stress that comes with that job is on a very high level. Over the years, I have seen first hand what that level of stress can do to someone. My husband went from a healthy man, taking no medications, to now having high blood pressure, which he has to take medication for, and high anxiety over the smallest of situations. It has effected how he reacts to people and situations in general. It’s like being in that state for so long, he has literally trained his body to stay in it and it’s affected his health in general in a negative way.
The biggest concept I have learned from this chapter is that stress can actually be a positive thing when used the right way. I always associated stress as negative, but never really looked at it as the opposite. Even though personally, I have used situations I have been through that have caused me much stress and depression, to motivate me to better myself and my circumstances so I can have a better life. I’m thankful I have a personality that allows me to use stress as a driver to make things better. I’ve learned a lot in this chapter and also confired alot that I already knew about the effects stress can have on a person’s health and life in general.
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