Best Full Body Workouts Without Weights
Like the term fitness, stress is a word many people use without really understanding its precise meaning. Stress is popularly viewed as an uncomfortable response to a negative event, which probably describes nervous tension more than the cluster of physical and psychological responses that actually constitutes stress. In fact, stress is not limited to negative situations: It is also a response to pleasurable physical challenges and the achievement of personal goals.
Whether stress is experienced as pleasant or unpleasant depends largely on the situation and the individual. Because learning effective responses to stress can enhance psychological health and help prevent a number of serious diseases, stress management can be an important part of daily life.
This chapter explains the physiological and psychological reactions that make up the stress response and describes how these reactions can be risks to good health. The chapter also presents methods of managing stress.
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WHAT IS STRESS?
In common usage, the term stress refers to two different things: situations that trigger physical and emotional reactions and the reactions themselves. This text uses the more precise term stressor for a situation that triggers physical
Stressor Any physical or psychological event or TERMS condition that produces physical and emotional reactions.
Stress response The physical and emotional reactions to a stressor.
Stress The general physical and emotional state that accompanies the stress response.
Autonomic nervous system The branch of the nervous system that controls basic body processes; consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions.
Parasympathetic division A division of the autonomic nervous system that moderates the excitatory effect of the sympathetic division, slowing metabolism and restoring energy supplies.
Sympathetic division A division of the autonomic nervous system that reacts to danger or other challenges by almost instantly accelerating body processes.
Answers (Test Your Knowledge)
1. All three. Stress-producing factors can be pleasant or unpleasant and can include physical challenges, goal achievement, and events that are perceived as negative.
2. All three. Regular exercise is linked to improvements in many dimensions of wellness.
3. All three. Chronic or ongoing stress can last for years. People who suffer from long-term stress may ultimately become violent toward themselves or others. They also run a greater-than-normal risk for certain ailments, especially cardiovascular disease. and emotional reactions and the term stress response for those reactions. A first date and a final exam are examples of stressors; sweaty palms and a pounding heart are symptoms of the stress response. We’ll use the term stress to describe the general physical and emotional state that accompanies the stress response. So, a person taking a final exam experiences stress.
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