Coping with Stress

Coping with Stress

“Non-specific response of the body for any demand for change”, has been defined as stress by Hans Selye in 1936. In 1951 a scientist published in the British Medical Journal that, “Stress in addition to being itself, was also the cause of itself, and the result of itself.”Stress was generally considered as being synonymous with distress and dictionaries defined it as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances”. Thus, stress was put in a negative light and its positive effects ignored as stress can be helpful and good when it motivates people to accomplish more.

In 1932 Walter Cannon established that when an organism experiences a shock or perceives a threat, it quickly releases hormones that help it to survive.Stress occurs as one experiences that one cannot cope with pressure, which comes in many shapes and forms, and triggers physiological responses. He presented these changes as the fight or flight response, a hard-wired reaction to perceived threats to our survival. One’s response to a challenge decides the type of stress.

The fight-or-flight response is the body’s sympathetic nervous system reacting to a stressful event. The body produces larger quantities of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, which trigger a higher heart rate, heightened muscle preparedness, sweating, and alertness – all these factors helps oneprotect oneself in a dangerous or challenging situation.

Managing stress is an art of managing the response to the stress, as how we respond to stress denotes the status of our health. The fight or flight response decides the following state:

  • Tendency to sweat
  • Blood pressure rise
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in weight
  • Hair loss
  • Heart rate (pulse) rises
  • Immune system going down
  • Muscles becoming tense
  • Sleep deprivation (heightened state of alertness)
  • Headache
  • Muscular aches
  • Childhood obesity
  • Alzheimer’s


All these factors can affect thinking and feeling with:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insecurity feeling
  • Forgetfulness
  • Instability
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness


And also affect one’s behavior with:

  • Eating too much or too little
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Social withdrawal
  • Relationship problems
  • Abortion
  • Fear of crime
  • Uncertainty


Deal with stress with three methods or stress relief tips

  1. Self help
    1. Exercise with gentle walk
    2. Division of labor
    3. Assertiveness and avoid dwelling on problems
    4. Not taking shelter of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine addiction
    5. Indulging nutritious diet
    6. Time for one self


  1. Stress management technique
    1. Relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga
    2. Listening to soothing music
    3. Reading books
    4. Talking to family, friends
    5. Seeking help of a counselor


  1. Medications
    1. Coping with anxiety, depression
    2. Medications can mask the stress

Stress can be measured from the appearance, mood, thoughts, perceptions and judgments of a person about oneself and others. It is like opting for a very adventurous roller coaster ride with the remote control in one’s own hand.

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