The word stress widely came into use when a Candia endocrinologist named Hans Selye (1907 - 1982) the recognized "father of stress" published a book titled "The stress of life" (1978) while he was in medical school.
Stress is a feeling of mental pressure and tension. Stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand. It is a widespread phenomenon all around during all human lifespan. Stress is defined as the physical pressure and strain that result from change.
It is anything that cause people to become tense, angry, frustrated or miserable. Stress is the demand made on the organism to adjust. It refers to a challenge made on a person’s capacity to adopt to inner and outer demands.
Stress is anything that causes people to become tense, angry, frustrated or miserable. Stress has had its influence on people from all walks of life, from the rich to the poor, the educated to the illiterate, the trader to the industrialist etc.
Selye (1978) defined stress as the non-specific response to the body to any demand or unexpected even in the environment the requires an adjustment.
According to Quick and Quick (1982), "Stress is an adoptive response to a situation that is perceived as challenging or threatening to the person's well being.
Causes of Stress
Stressful experiences typically produce physiological and emotional arousal and elicit cognitive and behavioral efforts to cope with the stress. Stressors are the environmental events that stimulate these changes.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Events that lead to stress are called stressors. Stressors put physical or emotional demand o the person. Stressors range from infrequent to common place situations. The main causes of stress are:
A) Environmental Factors:
It includes social, technological, political change, economic and financial condition, race and class, community conditions etc.
- Physical environment
- Political factor
- Economic factors
B) Organizational Factors:
Work is the most stressful part of our lives work satisfaction not only influences personal happiness but also of survivors.
- Task demand
- Interpersonal demand
- Physical demand
- Organizational structure
- Role demand
- Organizational leadership
C) Individual Factors:
Stress also from individual factors such as: family, and social relation, economic problem associated to elf and inherent personality etc.
- The family unit
- Financial resources
- Acculturative stress
- Genetic factor
Consequences of Stress
1. Physical consequences:
(Heart disease, diabetes, headaches, hypertension, asthma, cancer etc.)
2. Psychological consequences:
(Sleep disturbance, sexual and reproductive dysfunction, memory, concentration and learning defects, emotion related problems etc.)
3. Organizational consequences:
(Performance, withdrawal, attitudes, job burn out etc.)
4. Behavioral consequence:
(Eating problems: weight gain, weight loss eating disorders etc.)
Individual Differences in Stress
People differ in the way they interpret and respond to stress. Some people are able to manage stressful situations even if they are exposed to numerous major potentially stressful events.
Other people develop physiological, psychological and related symptoms due to stress. There are certain factors lying behind the individual when stress is experienced:
- Job experience
- Social support
- Locus of control
- Self efficacy
- Hostility and optimism
- Type A and Type B personality