Stress What Is It Exactly?
When first hearing the word, you may immediately think of feeling nervous or overwhelmed! It is, however, also a force which can create a variety of physical symptoms such as an upset stomach, a fear that gnaws at you, migraines and/or frequent headaches, and rashes or hives.
It is also something you might experience during severe grief. Ongoing stress can cause some people to start drinking excessively and sometimes even possibly produce violent rages in others. It can reduce our ability to think clearly, our memory is dulled, and we perform less efficiently.
Believe it or not, it can also have a positive effect on our lives. It can motivate you to make difficult decisions, it can motivate you to reevaluate your daily living situation,it can encourage you to keep going when the tough gets going, it helps us to mature and grow, it can spur you into action in the midst of a crisis, and it can even make life more exciting at times.
The term was first used in engineering and physics, referring to the heavy forces that might be placed onto a bridge or building, i.e., heavy ice formation or the power of heavy winds causing a building or bridge to collapse. Eventually the term found its way in medicine, sociology, physiology, economics, and other fields of science, but for most of us, the term has a distinct psychological meaning.
After a period of time, however, it was the works of a biologist by the name of Hans Selye who gave us the following definition for the psychological meaning. According to Hans, "Stress is essentially the wear and tear of living. Stress for one person may differ from that experienced by someone else, but every day each of us experiences physical and emotional wear and tear resulting from the pressures of life." According to Hans, it is not just simply nervous tension, nor is it always a "negative" feeling or something unpleasant that we all should try and avoid.
One example of a pleasant form of stress could be a ride on a roller coaster, an extremely fun and exciting way to experience it. All of the emotions and feelings of excitement that you feel in the pit of your stomach while going up and down the hills and around those sharp curves comes from stress. Playing sports is yet another example of a fun but also healthy way to experience stress. Being involved in these types of activities can bring you enjoyment and are a direct result of the different forms that give you pleasure.
Watching television, going to the movies, or even reading a book are just a few more examples. People experience all kinds of emotions when enthralled in their favorite television show or movie, or when reading a good book, that have us on the edge of our seats, in tears, or laughing until the end!
Therefore, you now understand that there are different kinds of stress and that we actually even seek out and enjoy some of them.
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