Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

Start Subscription

What factors influence reactions to stress?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Stress is caused when your body thinks it is in harm’s way.  Originally and in nature, this meant physical nature.  Stress can now be caused by all kinds of non-life-threatening pressures.  Our bodies are designed to respond to short-term stress through our fight or flight response.  In short, when you...

See
This Answer Now

Start your subscription to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your Subscription

Stress is caused when your body thinks it is in harm’s way.  Originally and in nature, this meant physical nature.  Stress can now be caused by all kinds of non-life-threatening pressures.  Our bodies are designed to respond to short-term stress through our fight or flight response.  In short, when you become stressed your body produces adrenaline in order to give you the energy to escape.  Unfortunately, this is only a short-term fix.  In the long term, stress can result in a variety of health problems including elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, headaches, muscle tension, insomnia and irritability.

Stress can be avoided by letting your body know that you are not in immediate danger.  Calm yourself down by taking deep breaths.  Avoid stress by ensuring that you get plenty of exercise and downtime.  Prolonged exposure to stress can be very dangerous.  Learning to cope is the only cure.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team