Stress is something that just about everyone has to deal with, and yet very few people know everything there is to know about it. Most people have a vague idea about what stress is, and most tend to define it by the way that they feel when they experience it, but learning about this issue is key to understanding how to confront it and cope with it effectively.
The Five Most Common Stressors
According to the American Psychological Association, the five factors that are most likely to cause a person to become stressed are; work, money, economic outlook, relationships and family. One glance at these facets and most people will realize that they are also some of the most common facets of everyday life, which shows just how important it is to learn how to deal with stress.
Stress doesn’t just cause people to feel ill; it can actually make them ill. Studies conducted in recent years have shown that stress has been linked to inflammatory diseases, cardiac disease, a lowering of the immune system, hypertension and even cancer.
It Can Break Your Heart
A condition called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as “broken heart syndrome” causes the underside of a person’s heart to balloon into a pot-like shape. This condition is directly caused by a stressor, albeit of an extreme nature, that causes hormones to flood the heart.
It Can Lower IQ Levels
A recent study has shown that high cortisol levels in mothers during the later stages of their pregnancy can actually cause a lowering of IQ in their children. Cortisol is released into the body when a person experiences heightened stress levels. What is more, high stress levels in mothers during late pregnancy have been known to increase the child’s vulnerability to developing autism.
Violent Video Games Ease Stress Levels
Violent video games have been blamed for a host of ills within society, from rising gang crimes to murder, but according to researchers, this can also aid in lowering stress levels. After being given a particularly frustrating task, individuals were asked to play video games by researchers within the Texas A&M International University, and it was found that those playing particularly violent video games were the most at ease afterwards.
Stress Increases Vulnerability to Addiction
Many people are aware that stress can make a person do things that they might not ordinarily do, but one thing that people should keep in mind is that it could make them more vulnerable to developing an addiction. A recent study conducted on rats showed that animals who were exposed to stress were more likely to self administer doses of cocaine.
Stress has been around since the dawn of humankind, and possibly long before that, so it isn’t likely to be going anywhere. Stress helps people stay alive by making them aware of danger and helping them react appropriately, but when left unchecked, it can cause havoc in people’s lives. To deal effectively with stress, people need to learn as much as they can about it and use this knowledge to develop effective and reliable coping techniques.