How stress affects emotions and moods.  How stress affects emotions and moods. Explain.?

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carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The world is a stressful place. People no longer have the luxury of just enjoying life. There are too many stressors waiting on the telephone, at the front door, or in the mail.  The world has become more violent, in part, due to stress.  People become desperate when they lose their jobs or have no money. 

Marriage, divorce, new job, lost job, becoming a parent, no money, losing a parent, and even retirement—these are all filled with stress which can impact the emotional stability of a person.

To determine if a person is experiencing stress, see if he/she is affected by any of these stress related illnesses: irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches, high blood pressure, and diarrhea.

Seldom do people relax and relish their lives anymore.  Pay attention to people who are constantly talking on their cells phones even while they are in a restaurant or texting while they are supposed to be watching a movie.  Heaven forbid if there were a way to tell how many teenagers text while they are driving.

How is this stressful! People never stop! Sometimes the brain needs a rest. Occasionally, the cell phones, the television, and life in general need to stop. A person should sit down with some kind of a drink and let the mind just be.  No stress!

Much of the stress that people live with daily is self-inflicted.  I have a friend who gets up every morning and immediately is late. She never prepares for the next day.  She rummages through her clothes, never gets to eat breakfast, drives like a bat out of hell to get to her job.  The rest of her day is just like that. 

When she began losing her hair and was a nervous wreck, the doctor told her that she had too much stress in her life.  Her whole body was out of “whack.” [That was the doctor’s diagnosis.] He gave her some pills and told her to slow down and smell the roses. Did she change?  For about a week, she laid her clothes out, fixed the bowl of cereal for the next day, and set the clock back.  She even went to bed earlier. Unfortunately, something happened, and she returned stressful morning rush.

People do not help themselves. Oprah Winfrey describes something that she does every day that she refuses to give up.  She has a beautiful tea set, and at a certain time every day, she stops everything and has a cup of tea out of her lavish tea set.  Her words were “I am treating myself and stopping to just sit and be me.”  Everyone needs to follow her lead and treat himself to a special time of just sitting and being. 

Go out in the back yard and yell or whisper:  Stop! Leave me alone. I am doing my best. Get off my back. I am okay. Life is good. I am happy.

To further help, always refer to this thought: Nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth losing your health to. Get rid of any stressful,  or anxious thoughts. Choose to think only positive thoughts. 

Now, go get the drink and sit down and just be for at least fifteen minutes. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stress is a big deal.  If an employee is stressed, he or she may become depressed.  Of course, being depressed can lead to more stress because depressed people are usually less productive so the employee’s work piles up.

 Estimates place the annual price tag of workplace stress in the United States at somewhere between $200 and $300 billion (enotes)

Unfortunately, one of the biggest costs of stress is health costs.  Employees may take sick days or require medical treatment as a result of health conditions that arise from stress.

Stress experienced by the employees in their job has negative impact on their health, performance and their behaviour in the organization. Thus, stress needs to be managed effectively so as to set off these harmful consequences. (

Some people do react well to stress.  They work better under pressure.  Yet prolonged stress is not good for our bodies and therefore not good for our emotions.

Organizations can manage stress by ensuring that employees maintain a healthy live-work ratio and lifestyle.  This might include healthy cafeterias and gyms at work.

jovip18 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the major issues when dealing with stress is that the body does not do a very good job identifying or distinguishing between sources of stress.  As a previous poster mentioned, the body generally begins producing cortisol and storing fat when confronted with any quantity of sustained stress.  This is because from an evolutionary standpoint, most of early man’s stress was associated with a lack of food.


Another issue is that the body has a tendency to create feedback loops in reaction to stress.  For example, if someone becomes agitated in a given situation, their body may react with an increased heart rate.  No big deal.  The problem arises when the body then detects the elevated hear rate and thinks that something major is wrong.  It reacts by then releasing several chemicals into the body, some of which increase the individual’s heart rate even more.  Because an elevated hear rate is both a reaction to stress and an indicator of stress, if the individual cannot force themselves to calm down, sometimes the body just can’t stop itself from escalating the situation until the person is having a full blown panic attack. 

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stress, whether it is work or home related, can easily bring people's moods down or make them feel more negative emotions, such as worry, depression, anger, frustration.  Then people have find ways to channel these emotions.  For some individuals, they internalize their feelings related to stress; they do not want to talk about how they might be having a difficult time, because they do not want to appear weak to others, or make people think that they cannot handle their work situation.  Often times, these people who internalize all of their stress keep it bottled up until they cannot contain or deal with their emotions any more. 

Learning to cope with stress effectively is an important life skill and one of the most valuable lessons that young people should learn today.  Failing to handle life's daily problems in a practical way can lead to depression, anxiety attacks, and other health related problems. 

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a drink holder that reads, "Stress is the urge to choke someone." As a result of forces against which a person cannot fight or control, stress builds and a person does wish to lash out--either verbally or physically, or both--at others in an effort to relieve the pain inside him/her caused by the build-up of adreline and cortisol.

Another drink holder reads, "Reality is the leading cause of stress." Anyone who works and pays taxes understands the meaning of this statement.  With the depressed economic conditions in many states, people are stressed by not having enough money for their bills and other obligations. And, with the weakening of standards of conduct and behavior in the home, at school, and in the workplace, stress has greatly increased as unethical and even criminal behavior is on the rise.  Consequently, there is more fear, more anger, and more agressive behavior among people.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stress tends to heighten any emotions and moods that we are already feeling.  It tends to make those highs and lows more pronounced.  It also makes it much more difficult for us to control the feelings that we are experiencing.  

For example, if we are stressed and something good happens, we can overreact.  Instead of simply being happy, we can become giddy.  More dangerously, if something bad happens, we can also overreact.  We can get violently angry about things that do not warrant that level of anger.

For these reasons, stress can be a dangerous thing for our emotions and for our relationships.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think most people find it impossible to be in a good mood when they feel like they're under more stress than usual. The worry about how to deal with the stressful situation can dominate their minds and alter what might normally be a cheerful, optimistic outlook. That is because stressful situations contain an element of the unknown--we don't know how to solve a problem or what the ultimate effects of the stressor will be.

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stress can induce a flight or fight response, which can cause your emotions and moods to become unstable. Stress increase the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body. These hormones often trigger aggressive and volatile behaviors. In addition, cortisol contributes to weight gain by causing the body to retain dietary fat.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my personal experience, I have found that the more stressed I am, the less patience I have. This can lead to negative feelings and bad moods. Since patience is something that I feel I need to call on every day, having a shortage can be a bit of a problem.

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