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Effects of Stress on Individual - Term Paper Example

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According to the paper "Effects of Stress on Individual", stress can be defined as a reaction within the body to any change that may require a response or an adjustment. Stress can be experienced from the environment one is in the thoughts of a person or the body…
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Extract of sample "Effects of Stress on Individual"

Download file to see previous pages Positive effects of stress occur when a person can remain alert, ready to avoid danger and motivated as a result of stress (Bond, and Bunce, 2000, 156). On the other hand, the negative effects of stress on a person occur when a stressed person continues to face challenges without relaxation or relief between stressors. Whether positive or negative, these effects occur along the biological pathway, physiologically, and psychologically to a person experiencing stress. When one is in a stressful situation, the body activates biological pathways in preparation to respond to the stressful situation. A cascade of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline hormones is triggered. Upon perceiving stress, hypothalamus, a small area of the brain sends to the pituitary gland a chemical message which then allows the brain to send a new chemical message to adrenal glands (Lupien, McEwen, Gunnar, and Heim, 2009, 434). The stress hormones have to take part in the binding of receptors which receive the chemical message carried by stress hormones. Thus, when the body of a person is under stress, the biological pathways tend to be activated especially when the stress hormones are produced. The release of these stress hormones ensures availability of energy stores for immediate use of the body. Further, it emerges a new pattern of energy distribution that allows the diverting of energy to the tissues. The tissues then become more active as personal experience stress. At the same time, immune system cells become activated migrating to the battle stations (McEwen, 2008, 180). The blood pressure levels increases at the same time certain blood vessels are contracted as other dilated to see the distribution of energy to the organs that need it most increased. Similar, an individual having stress will experience physiological effects, the heart pound and breathing quicken up as the beads of sweat appear. There is an area in the brain which makes the contribution to the emotional processing, amygdala, first sends a distress message signal to the hypothalamus (Crnic, Greenberg, Ragozin, Robinson, and Basham, 1983, 214). The hypothalamus also signals the pituitary gland and autonomic nervous system starting the process of producing stress hormones that produce epinephrine. This allows the process of the body accessing energy that allows it to move from danger causing stress (Winkel-Shirley, 2002, 220). Also, the autonomic nervous system controls blood pressure, breathing, and other involuntary body functions. The body experiences muscle tension which occurs as a reflex reaction to stress. Once the stress passes, the muscles tend to release their tension after tensing up during the stressful situation. Other physiological effects caused by stress to an individual involve one breathing harder. Even though breathing harder does not occur as a problem for most people, it is often difficult for those with health issues such as asthma and emphysema, a lung disease (Dhabhar, and McEwen, 1999, 1060). Elsewhere, one with stress can have rapid breathing or hyperventilation. A stressed person often eats more or less compared to the usual way of eating. Likewise, the brain of a stressed person is more alert to sensations in the stomach that makes the stomach to react with nausea or pain. The nutrients absorbed by the intestines and the entire digestion system are affected by stress. An individual that is in a stressful situation also experiences a lot of psychologically related issues. These issues range from delusions, depression, anxiety, cognitive problems, bipolar disorder, and personality changes. As stress occurs, a person tends to produce stress hormones in return whose byproducts function as sedatives. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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