Psychology and Health Issues: Stress By: Kimberley Messina HCA/250 Have you ever heard of the term “fight-or-flight” stress response? You will feel this when you have more to worry about and handle then you are used to, or simply, when you are stressed. When your body is going through the fight-or-flight stress response, your body will make more hormones that will speed up your heart rate, give you a burst of energy, and make you breathe faster than normal (Healthwise, 2009). There are times when a little bit of stress could be useful, such as if you need to react quickly or if you need to work harder on something.
For example, If you are trying to win a race or finish any work that is important on time. When you have stress that lasts for a long time or if you have stress too often, then your body will most likely have a bad effect from stress. When you are overly stressed, you can experience headaches, back pain, sleeping issues, and an upset stomach. Furthermore, stress can lower your immune system which will make it harder for your body to fight off the disease. With people who have existing medical problems, stress can make your problem worse. Stress has been known to make a person moody, depressed, and tense.
This has caused many people to not do as well with their school or job, as well as having their personal relationships suffer. The mind and the body are connected, which means that stress will impact a person’s psychological health just as much as their physical health. Stress can impair your thought process, mental exhaustion, and can cause depression, psychoses, and some neuroses. You will feel pressured, overwhelmed, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, insecurity, and can have panic attacks, social withdrawal, and migraines (Healthwise, 2009).
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When your psychological health becomes affected by stress, it can affect anything that you are doing, such as your job, parenting, and school work. As we mentioned earlier, stress can be beneficial if it is a small amount, this goes for your psychological health as well. It can have a positive affect on your motivation, reaction to your environment, and your adaptation. There are many psychology education programs that can help you identify your major stressors and help you manage any stress.
One in particularly is called the Worksite Wellness Program, which is a site that was provided from my workplace. This website provides information on how to set up different activities and offers some guidelines on how to create some supportive policies and environments that revolve around stress management (). Within the website you can answer stress management questionnaires that can help employees assess their personal listening skills and their ability to handle stress. They also have handout notes that explain the workplace demands of the employees.
Furthermore, there is an evaluation you can take within the website that will allow you to identify whether or not your worksite is ergonomically suitable so that you can reduce any risks for repetitive motion strains. Finally, the website my job offers has handouts that you can print that will help the employees learn how to manage their stress at home and within the workplace. There are many psychological health issues when it comes to stress, as I have mentioned above. The major psychological health issue with stress would have to be its ability to mentally impair you.
What I mean by this is that when you are under an unhealthy amount of stress, it will negatively affect the way you think and act. Our lives are made up of many decisions that we must make, and when under this amount of stress, it can become difficult to think clearly and make the better choice. This is because when a person is stressed, it changes the brain and causes them to have an addiction, anxiety, or depression. Stress affects many different individuals and groups and according to the American Psychological Association, the top three causes of stress is due to the economy, work, and money.
The developmental, social-cultural, and gender factors all impact stress. Developmental traits such as any behavior towards children that is abusive can cause them to have long-term abnormalities in the hypothalamus-pituitary system, which is what regulates your stress (UMMC, 2011). Also, children face stressors throughout school, whether it is bullying, peer pressure, and tests for classes. Personality traits could also impact stress. There are people who tend to over-respond to stressful situations, which will cause them to stress more than they should.
Older adults’ response system to stress becomes more difficult. The older a person becomes will impact their stress because they have to worry about higher risks for medical problems, the loss of a spouse or friends, and financial stressors (UMMC, 2011). Women, especially working mothers, will face higher stress levels because they carry a heavier load of stress than men and other women. They are also at risk for more medical problems due to having a child. Divorced or widowed people tend to have more stress than people who are married. They also tend to live shorter lives overall.
Furthermore, people who are isolated or lonely, are targeted for sexual or racial discrimination, and experiencing a financial strain are impacted by stress much more then other people. There are a many risk factors related to stress. Some can be controlled while others cannot. You can control some situations to avoid stress such as looking for better ways to manage your time so you can get more tasks completed without feeling pressure. Also, you can try out new ways of thinking such as stopping the worry thoughts and letting go of the things you cannot change (UMMC).
Taking good care of yourself such as getting enough rest and eating well can help avoid stress because you feel better throughout your day. Finally, speak up and talk about your needs and concerns because it can cause stress if you do not. The stressors that can not be controlled are events such as a car accident or another traumatic event, and a serious biological illness. There is no cure for stress, but there are treatment options to help you manage your stress. You can have self-care in your own home or take medical treatments.
Self-care in your own home would consist of removing yourself from the stressful situation or address it, regular exercise, healthy diet and nutrition habits, meditate, acupuncture, and creating social support for yourself. Furthermore, you can also write in a journal, make a hobby for yourself, and express how you are feeling with someone you trust. It is good to laugh, cry, talk, and even express your anger in healthy ways. There are medical treatments depending on the different types of symptoms you are experiencing and how severe these symptoms are.
You can receive counseling by mental health professionals and medical intervention for any of the physical problems that are discovered (Melissa, 11/25/12). There are a few health promotion strategies to address stress. Educating yourself is the first step in promoting good health against stress. Having the knowledge on how to handle stress when it comes your way is a good way to prepare you on how to react when it happens. When a person becomes stressed, most of the time they react in a negative way, which makes things worse.
Knowing how to relax and get a grasp on the situation will help you better control your emotions and make better decisions. The next step would be to make lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes will consist of exercise, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and using relaxation or other alternative techniques such as herbal or natural remedies (HPI, 2012). Exercise is a great stress management technique that distracts you from the stressful event and balances out the negative affect that stress takes on your body. You can do aerobics, take walks, go swimming, and take yoga, or tai chi.
There are many options to choose from and all you have to do is pick one. Cognitive-behavioral therapy will help you identify the source of your stress, reconstruct your priorities, change your response to stress, and find different methods that will allow you to manage and avoid stress. Relaxation or other alternative techniques can lower your blood pressure, respiration, and pulse, and release muscle tension and emotional strain (HPI, 2012). These techniques would include going for a massage, meditating, acupuncture, listening to music, going on vacation, and hypnosis.
Herbal and natural remedies such as aromatherapy and valerian can help with your anxiety and overall stress. All herbal and natural remedies should be talked with your doctor first. Throughout this paper, I have provided an overview of stress and how psychology plays a role with it. Then I reviewed a current psychology education program called the Worksite Wellness Program that was provided from my employment. After that, I discussed the risk factors that can be controlled as well as how to control them, and which factors that couldn’t be controlled.
Next, I discussed how developmental, socio-cultural, and gender factors impact stress. Then, I talked about the treatment options that are available to the public as well as the promotion strategies to address stress. Finally, I provided information on the lifestyle changes that people will need to enhance their health and methods to prevent stress. References: Healthwise. (October 14, 2009). Stress Management: Topic Overview. WebMD. Retrieved on November 21, 2012. From http://www. webmd. com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-topic-overview. UMMC. (2011). Stress- Risk Factors.
University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved on November 21, 2012. From http://www. umm. edu/patiented/articles/who_at_risk_chronic_stress_or_stress-related_diseases_000031_6. htm. Melissa Conrad Stoppler. (November 25, 2012). Stress. eMedicine Health. Retrieved on November 22, 2012. From http://www. emedicinehealth. com/stress/page6_em. htm. Health Promotion International. (2012). Lifestyle, stress and work: Strategies for health promotion. Oxford Journals. Retrieved on November 22, 2012. From http://heapro. oxfordjournals. org/content/1/3/363. abstract. [pic]
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