Effects Of Chronic Stress On Physical And Mental Health Essay

1958 Words Nov 14th, 2016 8 Pages
Effects of Chronic Stress on Physical and Mental Health Physiological and psychological factors can cause stress and can occur throughout the lifespan. Stress is unavoidable, but how individuals cope with stress can affect both their physical and mental health. In The Oxford Handbook of Stress, Health, and Coping, Folkman (2011) explains, “stress, coping, and health reflect life-long processes that develop of change through all phases of life as a result of biological factors, individuals’ behaviors, and socio-contextual influences” (p. 4). Sanders and Suls (1982) define stressors as life events that “[cause] change in, and [demand] readjustment of, an average person’s normal routine” (p. 4). Similarly, Ciccarelli and White (2015) describe stress as our reaction to internal and external factors that are perceived as a threat or a challenge and the events that cause stress are defined as stressors (p. 420). According to Carolyn Aldwin, the main types of stress are trauma, life events, chronic stress, and daily hassles (Folkman, 2011, pp. 17-18). How one copes with stress, particularly chronic stress, can have an impact on health and wellness. Stress causes the body to release epinephrine, norepinephrine, and corticosteroids that provide “short-term protective effects” (Folkman, 2011, p. 88) that allow the body to quickly “meet the demands of pressing situations” (Folkman, 2011, p. 88). However, when these reactions occur on a chronic basis, they can cause harmful long-term…

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