English 102: Composition II
March 14, 2015
Cause and Effect: Stress
Stress is an ongoing problem that occurs in all of our lives daily. It is a natural response to negative events or situations that occur throughout one’s life which affect us emotionally and physically. It is surprising how even the smallest of problems can bring on massive stress to an individual. The key to tackling stress is learning how to manage and understand it. Although small amounts of stress can be good for us by giving us motivation to do our best, it is still extremely important for one to be able to manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Stress is a state of mental and emotional strain or tension resulting from harmful or very demanding circumstances. Feeling stress is common in adults and children, and each person perceives and responds to stress differently. Stressors are anything that causes stress, such as, situations, thoughts, or pressures. When high demands are put on an individual it can become stressful. These demands can be positive or negative, for example, getting married or driving in heavy traffic. Stress can also be self-generated by excessively worrying about something that may or may not happen. Modern life exposes people to all sorts of stressors, and prolonged stress can really take a toll on an individual’s health.
Stress affects the mind and body in many ways and is a natural physical response to situations that make a person feel threatened. When a person is faced with danger their muscles tighten, heart begins to beat faster, blood pressure raises, and heavy breathing occurs. As these body changes happen to an individual it keeps them focused, increases their strength, and enhances their speed time. This reaction is known as the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight response is our body’s natural reaction for protecting you, causing a person to either flee or fleet from a dangerous situation. This reaction helps an individual stay focused and alert, giving them extra strength to defend themselves from a threat. This response can also help people accomplish challenges through life and keeps a person thinking sharp.
Stress has been connected to various diseases and ailment conditions. Chronic stress is said to be involved in more than half of all illnesses. Stress may even cause or increase severity in an illness if it is prolonged. Heart disease and high blood pressure are often associated with stress hormones that act on the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Stress is also known to suppress the immune system and increase an individual’s aging process. The extended increase of blood sugar is another added difficulty due to the fact that it increases a person’s chance for diabetes. In some case stress is even thought to influence the development of some cancers.
Stress influences mental health as well as physical health. For example, an individual dealing with a busy school schedule, an argument with a friend or having a lot of bills to pay, their body will react just the same as if it were a life-or-death situation. This activates a person’s stress system and it makes it more difficult to shut off. People who cope poorly with stress and go through high levels of stress for an