The Oxford dictionary (2005) . The first definition for stress refers to the pressure or tension extended on material object. The second definition for stress refers to the state or mental or emotional strain or tension, resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
According to B.K. S Iyengar (2005) stress has always been in people lives. However, today people suffer too much from culturally and personally created stress. The modern lifestyle has created too much unnecessary tension around people and within their thoughts and experiences. Because of that, the body and the mind instead of moving forwards the same direction they pull towards the opposite direction.
Industrialization and urbanization play the major role in the fast paced lifestyle that people experience nowadays. Science and technology, have given the physical comfort and leisure but on the other hand, they have paused the mind to think.
B.K.S Iyengar (2008) defines that people’s desires, needs and demands are ceaseless. The mind is attracted by the external world and the attention is irresistibly drawn towards it. On the other hand, people tend to look inward to discover their inner self. However, because the desires and satisfaction come from the external influences people are left having the feeling of dissatisfaction, exhaustion, and disappointment, which can cause high levels of stress.
Levels of stress. Healthy versus Unhealthy stress:“Stress can motivate an individual to develop creativity and to strive for achievement. This is positive stress. Negative stress can lead to ill health and depression”. B.K.S Iyengar (2008)
It is very important to distinguish and explain the differences between the positive and the negative stress because there are two sides of the same coin. One side usually predominates.
Starting the explanation of the two different sides of stress we must understand how stress is created in the body and the mind. There is nothing in this world that people do and it is stress free. Although the level of stress in the activities is what can motivate or harm the body and the mind. Positive stress is a measure to the natural challenge. It is constructive ad it does not harm the nerves. This type of positive stress according to the American institute of stress (2015) is called Eustress. Some activities that happen in people daily lives and have a positive impact is: marriage, promotion at work, winning money and having financial stability, new friends and graduation. Any type of personal goal that an individual will set up and it motivates him makes him happy.
On the other hand, the American institute of stress ( 2015) identifies three main categories of negative stress: Distress, chronic stress and acute stress.
Distress “stress in daily life that has coronations” For example, divorce, punish, injury, negative feelings, financial problems, work difficulties.
Chromic stress is the long-term stress for reasons such as daily living cost, bills, kids, and job. This type of stress is constantly ignored and uncontrolled and it affects both the body and the immune system.
The last type of negative stress is the acute stress. For instance, a fear of flying. The body prepares to defend itself. It takes ninety minutes for the metabolism to return to normal when the response is over.
Effects of unhealthy levels of stress:
All the unhealthy levels of stress have short an long term effects for the body and the mind. Short term of stress can be divided into four categories. Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, Behavioral. All the above are referred in Web MD (2015).
Emotional sign of stress are: Aggregation, frustration, feeling overwhelmed, loosing control.
Physical signs of stress are:
Low energy, headaches, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, acnes, pain and tense muscle, insomnia, frequent colds and infections, loss of sexual desire- ability, dry mouth, clenched jaw and grinding teeth.
Cognitive symptoms are:
Constant worrying, racing thoughts, forgetfulness and disorganization, inability to focus, poor judgment, being pessimistic, having negative thoughts.
Behavioral symptoms are: Change in appetite eating too much or too little, procrastinating an avoiding responsibilities, increased use of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, exhibitions nervous behavior such as nail biting, fidgeting and pacing.
Long term stress is ongoing and creates log term problems:
Mental health problems: Anxiety, depression, personality disorder.
Cardiovascular disease: Increase heart beat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke.
Obesity and other eating disorders.
Sexual dysfunction: premature ejaculation, loss of sexual desire.
Skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema hair loss.
Gastrointestinal problems such as Gard, gastritis, ibs
Stress and the effects of stress