Stress: here is a word that we hear and use everyday in our contemporary societies. Indeed, the latter seems to take an increasingly important place in the lives of modern citizens . This issue is particularly highlighted today, in a new world advocating performance and productivity foolproof.
What is stress ? What are the causes and the consequences? How to fight it effectively? We make the point in this article on this growing social phenomenon!
What is stress?
According to US statistics, nearly 80% of medical consultations would be directly , or indirectly , related to stress. This observation is huge! It testifies to the reality and the growing importance of this problem in the field of public health .
For many people, the definition of stress is not clear . Assimilated , by most , to a sense of unease confused, whose intensity varies according to the situation, stress is in fact a process of a biological reaction accurate. So, what is stress?
Stress is a natural reaction of our body to maintain its inner balance in the face of a demand that is made to it . It is, in a way, a means used by our body to defend itself psychically and physically from what it perceives as an external aggression.
Feeling stress is only possible through three elements: the source, the reaction and the attitude . The source is the agent that will trigger the stress. Physical, mental, social or emotional, it represents the external factor that attacks the body. The reaction is the triggering of stress by our brain to counter the source. Finally, the attitude is the perception we have of the source. The latter will influence the intensity of the stress.
The mechanisms of stress, initially called the general syndrome of adaptation, were mainly studied by a Canadian endocrinologist named Hans Selye . The latter is a pioneer of work on stress during the first half of the twentieth century. He is also at the origin of the term in French.
According to Hans Selye, stress is a set of physiological and psychological means implemented by a person to adapt to a given event . This is a reaction , non-specific body , to maintain a state of balance called homeostasis experiencing demand.
Hans Selye also highlights different phases in the stress process: alarm, resistance and exhaustion . The alarm phase is when the organization mobilizes its resources to counter the disruption. The resistance phase is when the organization uses the resources mobilized. Finally, the phase of exhaustion is that which corresponds to the decline in the use of resources. It is the latter that results in various somatic disorders.
Since the 1960s, multiple studies have been conducted on stress and its functioning. It should be noted, however, that even today, researchers do not master all aspects of stress !