Life In The 21st Century Stress Psychology Essay

2021 words (8 pages) Essay in Psychology

5/12/16 Psychology Reference this

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Today, human activity with the rapid diversification, people come personally with several causes of stress and the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Life in the 21st Century is much more far complicated than it has never been. People never consider living in this complex, modern world with its many hassles on people. People normally live in a crowded, noisy society that they often refer to as the “rat race”. (Segal 2008)

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The word “stress” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a state of affair involving demand on physical or mental energy”. This order on mind-body occurs when it tries to cope with non-stop changes in life. Stress is a normal physical response to events that make one feel threatened or upset one’s balance in some way. Stress is connected to a person who is observed failure to deal with environment demand and this might lead to the person’s level of stress happen by depending on their self-confidence. (McGrath 1976)

There are some examples of causes of stress such as major life changes, work, relationship difficulties, financial problems, being too busy, children and family. However, long term of stress is caused typically by situations that are stressful or events that occurs over an extended period of time. Many people experience busy and stressful life on a daily basis, and many of the stressors are the same for everyone. Some people are more subjected to stress naturally, or more likely to be stressed by something. Statistic 1 shows that the percentage of causes of stress. (Smith 2008)

Figure 1: Percentage causes of stress

Recent research data has shown that this chronic stress besides happen on adults but old folks, teenagers and children. Thus, this report investigates the causes and effect of stress and defines whether stress is always a bad thing.

This study draws on information gathered from various Malaysian and international articles, World Wide Web sites and video documentary.

2.0 Positive effects of stress

Positive stress can be defined as eustress which is a type of short-term stress that increases our primary strength. There are a few good types of stress that can really be healthy for one’s body. There are also positive ways to relieve stress that allow one to help when one is coping with bad stress. (Jane 2007)

2.1 Fight or flight response

Fight or flight response may happen when everyone is going to meet some kind of stressful or dangerous situation in their lifetime, and fortunately, one’s body has a natural, built-in stress response to threatening situations. This response triggered in one’s body during illnesses or traumas and this type of stress response helps provide a defence against infection in one’s body. Besides that, this response enables people to physically fight or run away when faced with danger. The stress reaction has served its purpose and enabled one to appropriately confront a danger and resolve the situation. This natural stress reaction is automatic and immediate and designed to help one survive in dangerous situations. For example, an animal has a sudden fright and that actually triggers a psychological response which activates the brain. The animal will usually respond based on the nature of the fright, and the response is either to run away or to fight. (Johnson 2002)

2.2 Complete a task

Eustress may help one to complete a task. This stress helps an individual feel motivated to finish certain project or get a creative mindset to complete a task. This helps one to complete a job before deadline in order to achieve one’s target. For example, scientists stressing themselves out over a point to bring into light the most unthinkable secrets of the phenomenal world. There is a research suggests that stress can increase one’s performance and stress can stimulate one’s abilities and discover one’s true potential so one can explore deeply into it. (Licenblat, 2007)

2.3 Discoveries and solutions

Furthermore, one of the positive effects is helps to come up with discoveries and solutions. This might help a person to take up a new job and change their life plan. This is very important to achieve something they interested in. This positive stress may challenge one’s thinking and helps to solve every problem easily. This has trickles one’s brain to think more and increase one’s competencies by approaching to new problems. When a person was positively stressed, many solutions and finished tasks will achieve easily and successfully. For example, when a person has given a task by someone and it has to complete by deadline given, the person start to face stress to complete the task and find the way out to complete the task. (Licenblat 2007)

2.4 Make necessary changes in lives

This positive stress also helps an individual to make necessary lifestyle changes. It even improves a person ability to make the right decisions about career and life goals. This choice will affect one’s future so everyone has to think deeply and consider about it. This eustress also helps individuals to change their daily schedule, change of lifestyle or moving to other house. Actually the positive stress is something good, productive and effective when one is facing with certain challenge. (Jell 2006)

3.0 Negative effects of stress

Long-term exposure to stress can lead to many kind of serious health problems such as increase of blood pressure, restrain the immune system, raised the risk of heart attack and stroke, infertility contribution. Long-term stress can rewire the brain, leaving one more exposed to anxiety and depression. (Yarian 2002)

Sleep problem

One of the effects is sleep problem. Doctor says that less or not enough sleep usually affects an individual’s performance and this happens because people nowadays are leading more stressful life as compared to those who had led peaceful life for some three-four decades ago. However, in spite of such stressful episodes, one’s hectic schedules don’t allow to take a break and empty one’s mind from tensions either by discussion with closer ones. Moreover, one of the reasons for less sleep in night due to stress is uncontrolled thoughts. Usually, one’s routine works complete free but at night when one go to sleep, the mind floods with thoughts. The more the mind get occupied with thoughts, the less the person sleep. (Mishra 2009)


Depression is one of the effects of stress. This stressful situation appears to be a complex relationship and it is obvious that some people develop depression after a stressful event in their lives. Not every person would develop depression in stressful event. There are same type of stressor may lead to depression in an individual, but not another. The effects of stress may be more complicated for those who fight with more chronic depression. A stressful event is more likely to come before a first or second depressive event. After that, further depressive events may develop spontaneously. (Benson 2004)

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Stress has great effects on the body’s production and storage of fat and this will lead to obesity. Stress can lead to increase in body fat and obesity. Recently, many people especially youth, are now living in a hectic and stressful lifestyle. Hence, they tend to eat comfort foods to get rid of stress. Stress can make one feel hungry even though one just ate. Because of this reason, the person will tend to eat more portions. (Yarian 2002)

Difficulty in making decision

Difficulty in making decision might happen when one is facing stress. Stress plays a very important role for an individual makes decisions. Problem solving and decision making in challenging real-world situations can be subject to delicate stress effects which able to seen in a variety of ways depending on the type of decision. Under great stress, the process of thinking is considered by loss of concentration, inability to notice new information, troubled in short-term memory, lack of initial planning of actions, and hasty decision making. It will results nothing at the end if an individual continuously facing this problem. (Massa et al, 2002, pg 1)

3.5 Health problem

Moreover, health problem is one of the effects of stress. Instant disorders such as dizzy, anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness and muscle cramps can result in chronic health problems. Even physical causes of stress such as vigorous activity and exercises can place some pressure on the heart muscle of the weak people who is already suffering from coronary blockage. This stress might affect one’s health and lead to many kinds of disease which are high blood pressure, asthma and even cancer. Figure 1 shows that the stress effects on human health. (Farhi 1994)

Figure 1: Stress effect on human health

4.0 Methods to overcome this problem

If the methods of coping with stress are not helping due to emotional and physical health, it is time to find the healthier ones. There is much kind of healthier ways to manage and handle with stress. (Lester 2008)

4.1 Relaxation and visualization

Relaxation and visualization is one of the methods to overcome stress. One can use imagination to create a powerful vision when an individual has reached the goals. Having well defined goals and a belief in one’s ability to achieve them will start to help the person beat stress. (Lester 2008 p22)

4.2 Make a list of long and short term goals

Make a list of long and short term goals might help a person to deal with stress. One can try to list the different areas of life, work and home, and then break them down into smaller categories. One can think about what one want to achieve in future and start to plan the goals as well as long and short term goals. When setting goals, it’s important that they are achievable and realistic. (Lester 2008 p21)

4.3 Stop thinking about stress

People should stop thinking about stress. People should think more about something completely different instead of trying not to think about stress. One should think about something positive, something very pleasant, one’s goals and dream for the future. (Lester 2008 p40)

4.4 Healthy habits

Another method is to have a healthy habit. In order to develop habits, one has to start now by making a commitment to develop healthier habits. Everyone needs to work out and it is important to enjoy one’s new healthy habits, otherwise it will be difficult to keep up. Do eat less and exercise more. (Lester 2008 p43)

4.5 Laughter

In addition, laugh may help a person to relieve stress. There is more evidence that laughter is very good for health and it is a natural reaction which makes one’s whole body feel better and more positive. One can find out what really makes people laugh and feel happy by expose more to the humor or happiness. It might not be easy but it will be guarantee to help. (Lester 2008 p46)

5.0 Conclusion

In conclusion, everyone will experience stress in daily life but it just depends on how could an individual to handle this stress. The causes of stress are major life changes, work, relationship difficulties, financial problems, being too busy, children and family. There are positive and negative effects of stress usually happen on an individual. Positive stress may help a person feel motivated to complete a task and take up a new job. It is a good thing to achieve something for one’s future. On the other hand, negative effect of stress may affect one’s health and may lead to some disease in the future. Everyone has to handle their own stress problem by using suitable methods and look out for some professional people who are handling stress management if one is facing difficulty on handling stress. Thus, stress is not always a bad thing.

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