Stress is an unavoidable part of our regular lives. We cannot do away with it nor can we wish it away. In verity, we may have to figure out ways to deal with it. Coming up with a definition of stress is by no means a simple task. Over the decades, there have been many debates to come upon one conclusion on what stress really is. However, that conclusion still is not unanimous amongst the researcher's fraternity; different researchers have a different perception of stress.
Stress has been defined in conservative terms as a cause and effect relationship between the body and the environmental factors influencing it. The scientific definition of stress encompasses both the positive as well as the negative effects of stress to define this phenomenon. A definition states that stress is a condition when a person perceives that “demands exceed the personal resources that the individual can make available.” Stress is a regarded as a medical condition and it can have a serious repercussions. It is thus, very crucial to cope up with it and to accurately pin point the cause of stress. The intensity of stress greatly depends upon the cause of stress. For example, stress could be a combination of stressors related to the work place and an individual’s inability to cope up.
Stress is a critical feature of our everyday lives. Though observed very commonly, it has numerous psycho physiological aspects. Though it sounds scary, what we need to understand is that the brain is the true origin of stress. In order to have a reaction on the emotional or physical level, the brain must process the happening sin the surroundings and must initiate a perception and appraisal system. The senses of our body provide the necessary inputs for this perception system. The scary part of the scenario is that the brain need not be provided with ' real' stressors; either of the sensory organs can even perceive stress and communicate as such to the brain. Thus, stress cannot have a definite form since the brain of each person works uniquely and differently. It may not even be possible to uniquely attribute stress to a particular event, since what may be perceived, as a stressor by an individual may not be a potential stressor for someone else.
Stress is known to affect the normal functioning of the body. As a result, it can cause severe illnesses. Some of the known physical signs are a dry mouth and throat, tightening of the neck and back muscles, chronic neck and back pain, indigestion, headaches, muscle tics, tremors, insomnia and fatigue. A wear down of the emotional functioning is also a result of stress. During stress, patients experience a quickening of heartbeats, increase in blood pressure and the body releases adrenaline, which quickens the body's rate of metabolism. If this situation continues for prolonged periods, it can result in a weakening of the immune system. Stress has been recognized as a form of illness to be regarded with due seriousness. Though stress itself does not signify a particular disease with perfectly known symptoms, it can trigger the onset of a variety of diseases.