Friday, 23 October 2015


I recently posted a quote by Richard Carlson which read "Stress is nothing more that a socially acceptable form of mental illness." I thought this would be a good opportunity to address this topic. First of all in part I do agree with this quote as in this day and age we all suffer with the effects of  stress but because we think it is normal we don't take into account that it is not a natural state to be as stressed as we are.

I was in the library earlier and as I couldn't find the books I was looking for I ended up reading about mental health for an hour. More importantly I read about stress. (Quoted information is from the 1998 update edition of Abnormal Psychology And Modern Life.)

What is stress?

"The term stress has typically been used to refer both to the adjustive demands placed on an organism and to the organisms internal biological and psychological response to such demands." Adjustive demands are events in our life in which we need to adjust ourselves to be able to cope with. "There are three categories of adjustive demands - frustrations, conflicts and pressures." In simple terms, we feel stressed when we are under too much emotional or mental pressure. Whilst it is not considered an illness it is a huge contributor to many other illnesses.

The effects of stress

The effects of stress vary greatly, the milder symptoms include headaches, muscle tension or a disturbance in sleeping pattern. Sever symptoms however include alterations to the body's ability to fight off invading bacteria and viruses through a weakening of the immune system resulting in a chance of catching more serious illnesses. On a psychological level, "it becomes difficult or impossible for the person to see a situation objectively or to perceive the alternatives actually available. This process often appears to be part of suicidal behaviour."

How to deal with stress

As much as we all wish we could have a stress free life, that is impossible and so we have to learn to deal with the stress. Try these things to distress:
    Take a bath
    Go for a run
    Drink herbal tea
    Practice mindfulness
    Do yoga

Extra Information about Stress

Studies suggest that the way in which we react to stressful situations is linked to our way of thinking and our mental state. It has been proved that those who suffer with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety tend to find certain situations more stressful and so in turn they suffer more than someone who doesn't have these illnesses.

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