SOSC1980 Psychology and Everyday LifeThought PaperStress and Coping
TSE YU SHAN
15th Octocber 2014
Stress is a common in everyday life. We come across different situations that exert pressure or stress on you both consciously and unconsciously. Stressful events aren't limited to traumatic or cataclysmic events, such as tornados or bombing. Different everyday events (e.g. studying, shopping or even getting married) can be sources of stress. It is absolutely certain that stress affects our mental, cognitive states and even physical health. In the paper, it first explains brief idea about stress, followed by the possible effects of stress on physical health with some research evidences.
1. What is STRESS?
Stress is the experience of any positive or negative events threaten one's well-being, and significantly ...view middle of the document...
Yet, stress can also be related to more serious diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, tuberculosis, arthritis, diabetes, cancers and the common cold (Elliott & Eisdorfer 1982). The followings are 2 research evidences supporting the argument.
2.1. Type A Personality and Coronary Heart Disease
Type A person are highly competitive, easily angry and hostile, and always under stress. It is found that the risk of coronary heart disease is associated with Type A personality. According to Irabarren el al., 2000, participants with above-average hostility scores were twice times more likely to show atherosclerosis than those with below-average hostility scores.
This may due to people with type A personality react to stress in higher level of physiological arousal, as well as creating more stress for themselves, which cause them to put themselves under lots of pressure. So, the frequent up and down in heart rate and blood pressure produces wear and tear in the cardiovascular system. (Irabarren el al., 2000)
2.2. STRESS and IMMUNE FUCTIONING
It is always suggested that stress and different forms of sicknesses are linked to each other. By the experiment of the effect of stress on human immune system (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 1984), the baseline samples from medical students were collected before and on the first day of final exam respectively, and so their immune response were assessed according to those samples. The result showed the students' levels of immune system greatly reduced during the exam time.
Stress hormones do suppress the effectiveness of immune system and so reduce the system's fight off ability to disease could be one of the possible explanations.
In order to minimize the negative impacts of stress on health, one should learn to how to cope with stress well and may take stressful events positively as challenges. Also, we can use stress management techniques (e.g. meditations) to relive the stressful feelings.
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