Learning how to relax with the sounds of our planet

Stress

Stress is a physical and psychological reaction to everyday pressures. (Mayo Clinic) It usually appears when we need to make an extra effort in order to respond to life demands.

It is a normal reaction. It can be really useful because it prepares our bodies to face danger and allows us to keep working for an objective even though we are tired.

Stress is a complex phenomenon in which we can find three main elements:

♦ ‘What make us feel stressed’– Stressors (external component): They are the environmental demands and everyday pressures.

♦ How we respond– Response (internal component):

The physical and psychiological reaction that happens when we feel stressed.

♦ ‘The interaction between the stressors and how we respond– (Stimulus-response interaction)

All of the factors that have influence in the way we respond when we are stressed.

There are three main types of stress: (American Psychological Association)

  • Acute Stress: It happens during a short period of time. We can feel it when we face a new or exciting situation or when we face dangers, it disappears right after the situation ends. When someone suffers acute stress regularly on his everyday life it is called episodic acute stress.
  • Chronic Stress: It appears when we feel stressed for a long period of time or when we can’t handle everyday pressures anymore so stress doesn’t disappear after a stressful situation. We feel chronically stressed everyday throughout different situations.

Three Stages of Stress. Hans Selye (GAS)

Alarm: It is the inmidate body’s response, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. And the body produces significantly greater quantities of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

Resistance: Body focuses resources against the stressor and  tries to become more resilient to stress. The nervous system returns many physiological functions to normal.

Exhaustion: If stressor continues beyond body’s capacity, organism exhausts resources and becomes susceptible to disease.

Long-term stress produces serious effects on people’s health. It contributes to insomnia, weakens the inmune system and it is related to different major diseases like depression, overweight, heart desease and cancer.

There are factors that have an impact on the way we respond when we feel stressed. Different techniques like meditation, breathing exercises, cognitive restructuring or coping skills training can help you manage stress what will reduce physical and psychological effects.

In our next posts we will comment some of these techniques and continue explaining other psychological concepts.

Stay tuned!

References:

American Psychological Association, Comprendiendo el estrés crónico. Recuperado en Abril de 2020 de https://www.apa.org/centrodeapoyo/estres-cronico

American Psychological Association, Los distintos tipos de estrés. Recuperado en Abril de 2020 de https://www.apa.org/centrodeapoyo/tipos

Belloch, A., Sandín, B. y Ramos F. (Eds.) (2009). Manual de Psicopatología (2ª edición). Vol II. Madrid: McGraw Hill

Mayo Clinic, Conceptos básicos sobre el estrés. Recuperado en Abril de 2020 de https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-basics/hlv-20049495

Reducir el estrés