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Essay on Stress
Stress can be described as a natural physical response to events that often makes one feel threatened, or they upset one’s balance in some way. For example, it is important to note that when one sense danger whether this danger is real or imagined, the body’s defenses often kick into high gear in an automatic process that is known as the fight-flight-freeze reaction. Therefore, it can be argued that the stress response is the body’s way of protecting the body, when working properly it often helps one to be focused, alert and energetic. In fact, when it comes to emergency situations, stress is often known to be extremely important.
Stress also helps one to rise to the occasion in order to meet challenges. In fact, it can be argued that it is indeed stress that keeps one on toes during a presentation. It can, in fact, be described as an unavoidable part of life, the quickening of the heartbeat, as well as the heightening of one sense, often tells an individual that the body is preparing itself to respond to stress. However, beyond a certain point, stress often stops becoming helpful and instead it starts causing damage to one’s health mood, productivity and the general quality of one’s life.
The pressure in one lives commonly. However, it turns to stress when one is unable to cope. It is important to understand that indeed stress is not an illness itself, however, it is often known to be a high-risk factor in causing several illnesses if it is not properly addressed. Therefore, it is extremely important to start recognizing the symptoms of stress at an early stage. This is because the recognition of the signs, as well as the symptoms of stress, will help one to figure out the different ways of coping with it. Therefore, if stress is not managed properly, it is indeed a major risk factor for the development of disease.
When one has an infection or anything that causes an inflammation such as an injury or burn, there are many different kinds of cells that come from the immune system and stream into the site. All of the cells often have a specialized function. All the cells must coordinate their actions, and this is often done in signals in the form of molecules. It is these molecules that go into the bloodstream in order to signal the brain to do something. These signaling molecules from the immune system at times activate the part of the brain that is known to control the stress response. The hypothalamus in the brain causes the blood levels of Cortisol to rise.
Therefore, if one is chronically stressed, the part of the brain which controls the stress response constantly pumps out a lot of stress hormones. Research has shown that cortisol in huge amounts suppresses the immune system in a bid to tone down the inflammation that exists within the body. Studies that have looked at caregivers taking control of relatives who have fatal diseases, students undergoing stress, couples with marital problems and Army Rangers going under extreme physical stress, people in these studies often show a prolonged healing time, as well as a decreased ability for their immune systems to respond effectively to vaccinations, and increased susceptibility to viral infections such as the common cold.
When stressed the elderly are often more susceptible as compared to other persons? The retirement age in the U.S is 70; however, it is important to understand that that many people work into their 70’s. With the rapid velocity of technology in the workplace, it is often stressful for the elderly people to compete with their coworkers who are younger. In fact, seniors have been known to be pressured to retire sooner that they would have liked. Further, a person often faces many challenges upon retiring. Income, Lifestyle, as well as identity, are all affected. The movement into a skilled nursing facility is the top stressors that exist for the elderly people. This is because they have to bear a lot of losses.
Firstly, they may no longer be able to keep their personal belonging. Secondly, they are known to lose control, as well as privacy over their daily life. It is obvious that with the increase in age, the loss of a spouse becomes eminent. The loss of a spouse can be said to be the single greatest loss that an individual can experience. It often leads to a loss of companionship and security. In their old age, elderly persons may not have a family unit close by. This is because their adult children are often busy running their lives, and consequently there is nobody available to help the aging parent.
The Long terms stress is known to increase the risk for heart disease, digestive problems, and high blood pressure, as well as sleep disorders. The elderly are often at an elevated risk when it comes to getting this condition because they often have multiple stressors such as illness and the loss of a spouse. In fact, at times, the multiple stressors are often too much for a person to deal with, and this might lead to depression.
It is important to understand that because the immune system’s defense mechanism often becomes impaired as one grows older, the ability to resist infection consequently progressively declines. Further, the ability to respond effectively to other different and diverse causes of inflammation also changes. In fact, stress is often widely believed to accelerate biologic aging and this literature is supported by the adverse effects that stress has on the immune system. Studies have shown that stress reduces the immune system of persons and especially the elderly, and it exposes them to disease. In fact, it reduces the immune response to pneumococcal vaccine and influenza.
Interventions and lifestyle changes related to a risk factor
The first level when it comes to coping with stress is often learning to recognize it. For example, if one has suffered a loss, is struggling with a disability or illness or is having trouble dealing with a major change in life, one should recognize them and understand that these symptoms are normal, and they are not in any way a sign of weakness. Prolonged sadness, loss of interest in life, anxiety and giving up activities that a person once enjoyed cannot be described as a normal part of getting older. In fact, they could be signs of depression. In order to cope with pressure, there are several strategies that one should take.
Firstly, one should take care of themselves in the best way possible. In fact, studies have shown that plenty of sleep and the maintenance of a healthy diet are known to reduce stress levels dramatically. Therefore, persons that are stressed should ensure that they try as hard as possible to get sleep. Sleep is important as it reduces the activities of the body, and it is at this point that the stressed person has peace of mind. The peace of mind during sleep often means that the cortisol levels in the blood decrease because there is no stress. There is also a need to avoid alcohol as well as caffeine at this time when one is suffering from stress.
Another important strategy for coping with stress is getting regular exercise. The first effect of exercising in uplifting stress is the fact that during exercise that there is pumping up of endorphins. The endorphins are often known as the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Therefore, they give the person a sense of joy, and this might be extremely important to a person that is suffering from stress.
Exercise is also a meditation in motion. It is important to understand that after a fast paced game, one often finds that he has forgotten the day’s irritation and only concentrated on the body’s movement. Exercise helps one to regularly shed their daily tensions through physical activity, and they might find that they are focusing on a single task and this result into more energy as well as increased optimism.
This can help one to remain calm as well as clear in everything that they do. Exercise is known to decrease the incidence of stress by improving one’s mood. Research has shown that regular exercise can often increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms which are often associated with mild depression, as well as anxiety.
The exercise is also known to improve one’s sleep, which in most cases is disrupted by anxiety, depression and stress. Therefore, exercise can help one to ease the stress levels in his or her body and give them a sense of power over their body as well as life.
Participating in social activities is another important way to cope with stress. One should try to find activities that he or she enjoys and which will give them more social interaction. The interaction with people gives a person the human perspective, and he or she understands that suffering and stress is not his or hers alone.
Further, the engagement in an activity that one likes gives that person joys, and this automatically helps in the elevation of the mood of that particular person. It also focuses the person from the stressors in his or her life and gives them a chance to be happy doing something else and forgetting about the problems that one has.
One should talk about their feelings with their loved ones and friends. This is an important way to get the bottled up emotions out in the open and when this happens one can start to deal with them. Further, one can also get advice from the loved ones and friends regarding how he or she can be able to tackle the problem at hand.
If one is struggling with stress after trying different strategies of coping with stress, one should talk with their healthcare provider. It has been noted that sometimes treatment with medication or counseling is often needed to get one back on track. In fact, treatment is not something that one should be ashamed of; this is because it is a treatment for something that will help one to get better quality of life.
When it comes to the elderly, their senior years do not have to be filled with sadness or stress. Studies have shown that older adults do feel happy about their lives. Stresses from the inevitable losses that come as a result of aging are normal and never should they ever define one’s life. If one is struggling with stress, the best thing that one should do is to recognize it and take different lifestyle changes in order to manage it. It has been said that stress in many cases accelerates the biological aging process. Therefore, one should not let stress rob what can be some of one’s best years of his or her life.
Health teaching regarding stress
There is little information that exists amongst the population regards how to cope with stress. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that people understand why stress is risky and how it is a major factor when it comes to acquiring some dangerous diseases. Almost all cardiovascular diseases are accelerated by stress, and this is something that people in the populace should understand (Gordon, 2003). There is a need for health promotions that will help in giving information to the communities regarding how to cope with stress and the strategies that they can have in order to minimize the effects of stress in the first place.
There exists no quick-fix cure for stress, and there is no single method that can work for everyone and consequently, there is a need for persons to change their lifestyles in order to change the common life problems which can cause stress or even make stress a problem (Verghese, Holtzer, Lipton, & Wang, 2012). They include exercise, relaxation techniques and the talking of issues through.
Stress should be diagnosed early in order for a person to work on it. The acceptance that there is existence of stress is the first step towards dealing with it. It is of the essence to understand that when one accepts a problem, one starts to look for ways in which he or she can deal with the problem. Stress is a daily part of life and, therefore, because one cannot wish it away, one should instead get different strategies and methods in which one can be able to cope with it (Zhang, Shi, Wang, & Liu, 2012).
In conclusion, stress is a daily part of life and in fact, some stress helps to motivate a person. Stress becomes negative when one is unable to cope. Stress levels affect the immunity of a person against vaccinations as well as several viral infections. The elderly are especially prone to stress because they have multiple stressors with the losses that come as a result of aging. Stress has been described as a big factor when it comes causing disease.
In fact, it is important to comprehend that indeed almost all cardiovascular diseases are exacerbated by stress. There are several ways that one can deal with stress; firstly, one should take care of their body by eating right and regularly sleeping. Secondly, one should exercise and ensure that they do so regularly. Finally, one should join social groups and go for therapy in order to elevate the situation.
Gordon, S. (2003). Common stressors experienced by the well elderly: clinical implications. Journal of Gerontological Nursing , 38-46.
Verghese, J., Holtzer, R., Lipton, R. B., & Wang, C. (2012). Mobility Stress Test Approach to Predicting Frailty, Disability, and Mortality in High-Functioning Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , 1901-5.
Zhang, Z., Shi, Z., Wang, L., & Liu, M. (2012). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression among the Elderly: A Survey of the Hard-hit Areas a Year after the Wenchuan Earthquake. Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress , 61-8.