Stress is something that every human being goes through constantly. What's interesting is that the idea of stress, when relating to people, didn't come around until recently. The term was used before for structures and how much "stress" they could take before collapsing and the same applies for people: the body and mind has pressures on it and it can collapse as well. Stress can be a helpful thing as well as damaging. Stress can be positive when it motivates us do things but too much of it can be harmful. There are different levels of stress as well; events that can cause long term psychological damage are called traumatic events whereas everyday annoyances are called hassles. How people deal with stress is something that varies. Everybody has the flight or fight reaction but what's interesting in women is that they often use the tend and befriend reaction. This is when the person befriends or turns to others for support, and this is because they have more to lose with child-bearing. Another interesting thing about stress is that it can actually affect our immune system: if you are particularly stressed about something it can lead to sickness or disease (including long term, terminal illnesses) so maintaining a low stress life is essential.
Chapter 12: Stress, coping, and health
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