Definition of Stress Outlined

Positive and Negative Factors Relating To Stress

Stress is a critical concept and there are wide numbers on the actual definition of stress, documented in different psychology and medical journals. The definition has different shades and different perspectives.

What is it exactly? We all hear the term daily. Everyone feels stressed! Whether it is about their family or work, you always see someone with a big frown on their face or they are running their hands through their hair.

Stress is an emotional experience that has a bi-fold nature. This means that it has two parts, that is both positive and negative features.

While some amount of stress is absolutely necessary for our survival, the experience of stress and anxiety beyond a threshold point, may turn out to be exhaustive and sometimes it can also be life-threatening.

Definitions of Stress Disorders

1. Separation Anxiety

When stress is perceived as an outcome of separation anxiety, we can define it as an emotional response, occurring as a result of early separation from mother. Stress as separation anxiety, may lead to the development of depression and substance abuse in adult life.

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2. Biopsychosociological Reaction

The definition of stress as a biopsychosociological reaction is first explained by Hans Selye, an Austro-Canadian endocrinologist. In his explanation, he adopted a stress model, popularly known as General Adaptation Syndrome or GAS model during 1936. He explained that the stimuli of stress or stressors, are perceived through three individual stages – alarm, resistance and exhaustion. While stress is perceived at alarm stage, the body breaks down during exhaustion stage.

3. Eustress and Distress

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD – Wikipedia Image

In 1974, this definition was proposed by Richard Lazarus, a psychology professor and cognitive-meditational theorist from the University of California. In this definition of stress it was explained as either of two types – eustress or distress. While the definition of eustress suggests a perception of healthy stress, distress is characterized by an unhealthy one.

In the definition of eustress, all the good stress experiences are documented such as preparing for examination, meeting a goal, marriage, buying a new property, receiving the news of promotion, etc. On the other hand, the same event can be listed under distress if those incidents are perceived from a different angle, say, taking excessive pressure before an examination.

4. Post Traumatic Reaction

This definition is the result of a post traumatic reaction, is explained as post traumatic stress disorder, which is characterized by an intense fear regarding personal safety without any specific cause, recurrent thoughts of traumatic events, nightmares and poor quality sleep, feeling of detachment, emotional numbness, etc.

There are many other definitions of stress, but the above explanations are widely known by many people around the world.

Since the understanding of stress needs an in-depth study, it can become too complicated and the information here is meant to just give a general overview.

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About Jennifer Johnson

I suffered with social anxiety and stress for years. I discovered what my triggers were and learned to control them. Hopefully some of the natural anxiety relief techniques I have tried, will also be your solution.

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