The Effects of Stress

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Over the last few years, the term stress and its causes have drawn so much interest. The term stress itself can be historically seen as a rediscovery of the concept which has developed over a number of centuries (Cassidy, 1999, cited in Cooper & Dewe, 2004). In addition, some authors stressed that the term evolved with the feeling of pressure, strain and hardships associated with the 17th and 18th centuries and that what people feel today has been exactly the same centuries over the years (Hinckle, 1973, cited in Cooper & Dewe, 2004). Therefore, the condition has always been there. However, the study of stress has gathered momentum with many different definitions with a typical one describing the concept as the emotional and physiological responses to circumstances that are too difficult to cope with or to solve and which one has no choice but to endure them (1). This essay will aim at discussing causes and effects of stress as well as the factors triggering stressful feelings, while drawing on opinions and theories of major psychologists and researchers in the field. To begin with, stress can be caused by a number or a combination of psychological and physical elements such as pollution, crowding, or noise pollution also referred to as stressors (McEtarffer & Weseley, 2007). When it comes to crowding, although many people find it enjoyable to have a crowd in a concert or football match, others can be psychologically affected by large numbers of people (lesson: causes). This fear of density was further shown in studies by Sundstrom (1978) who found that people were less friendly and more aggressive in cities and Pandey (1999) who surveyed an Indian town and concluded that people in cities have less control on their lives and led ... ... middle of paper ... ...ce of culture should not also be underestimated where it is possible for an authoritarian country to produce nervous and anxious subjects. In a word, culture, gender and personal traits can all combine to trigger stressful events (Cooper & Dewe, 2004). To sum up, stress is not a recent phenomenon but has always been with humans. It is not only caused by external elements such as noise pollution or crowding (stressors), but also by some innate factors and individuals’ reactions to events surrounding them. The effects of these factors whether singlehandedly or combined can dramatically change people’s lives and cause various states from helplessness and anxiety to major heart diseases. Unless remedial actions are taken into account such as providing ways to deal with stress and ensuring sporting and health programs are in place, the future will not look bright.

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