Good Essay On A Healthy Lifestyle And Stress Management
The amount of stress an individual has in his or her life has a direct impact on that individual’s health. There is no denying that high levels of stress can cause severe impacts on health and wellness, but when an individual experiences only low levels of stress, there can also be problems in health and general well-being. People are designed to undergo stressful situations, and the sympathetic nervous system is similarly designed to be stimulated; without stimulation, the nervous system becomes depressed, and there can be problems over time.
Stress can come from a variety of different places in an individual’s life, and sometimes stress can reach points where the individual feels as though they cannot handle any more stress in their lives. However, stress is not a bad thing; it is an evolutionary mechanism that people developed as a way to deal with problematic situations (Clark et al.). Today, many people in the western world experience a different kind of stress than the stress that they were designed to feel, however. Instead of running from a predator, people experience the stress that comes with having a desk job, or the stress associated with poor time management; some people experience stress based on financial issues, and others worry about loneliness or competition (Clark et al.). It is impossible for people to truly escape from stressful situations—these situations have just changed form (Clark et al.).
The problem with the newer types of high-stress situations is that the human body has not evolved to deal with the type of stress that comes with a very demanding office job. The human body and mind can only be pushed so far, and current office situations can push the body’s stress response into overdrive, flooding the body with stress hormones and adrenaline so constantly that people begin to feel exhaustion and burnout (Clark et al.).
However, Clark et al. suggest that it is not necessarily those in high-powered jobs who are most at risk from stress; it is those who are in jobs where there is a never-ending, low-level sense of stress that people experience on a daily basis (Clark et al.). This type of stress wears down the sufferer, causing them to experience many different health problems, including high blood pressure and the potential for heart problems (Clark et al.).
Through the use of a practical study, Clark et al. suggest that the type of constant, low-level stress that many employees feel over time can be alleviated through the use of exercise. Lippke et al. used an Internet survey to suggest the same thing—constant, low-level stress has been shown to be particularly bad for the heart and overall health levels, but exercise can help alleviate some of the problems that are commonly associated with constant, low-level stress (Lippke et al.).
Louw et al. suggest that the motivation to control stress is relatively low on the priority list for many individuals who should be considering controlling their stress levels (Louw et al.). This study used a survey of individuals who were already exercising—they were culled from a number of fitness centers—so there were very few individuals in the study who could be considered truly sedentary. However, this study determined that many people were not exercising as much as they needed to, and as a result, were experiencing elevated levels of stress due to work, life, and a variety of other factors (Louw et al.).
Louw et al., Clark et al., and Smith et al. all state that high levels of stress are detrimental to the overall health of an individual, but low levels of stress can mean lethargy and boredom in individuals. People who do not experience any stress will sometimes find themselves unmotivated—this is because the human body is designed to experience spikes in stress levels at various points throughout the human being’s daily activities (Lippke et al.). Thus, low levels of stress can be problematic for the individual, insomuch the same way as high levels of stress can be.
However, there is no doubt that constant stress levels are much more of a health concern than a lack of stress. In today’s world, there are very few people who can get through a single day without any stress at all; there are always sources of stress available in people’s everyday lives. In today’s working world, much is expected of every employee, and people often work very long hours. All this work with so little rest can be extremely problematic for the overall health of workers, and can end up costing companies money in health insurance in the long run (Clark et al.).
One solution to all the health problems that people develop as a result of stress levels is to institute programs within companies that allow employees to exercise more. Louw et al. suggest that there are many reasons given as to why people cannot exercise, but in reality, if given the opportunity, many people would choose to exercise more often. Regular exercise also makes employees more effective and efficient in their work, something that companies should value (Clark et al.).
People develop many unhealthy habits insofar as methods to deal with stress as well, and this is why companies should be more willing to provide help to employees who experience stress in their workday (Smith and Segal). Stress can lead to overeating, smoking, drinking, drug use, and insomnia; all of these problems can be significant health problems for the individual (Smith and Segal). Encouraging employees and individuals as a whole to avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms is in the best interest for a business and society as a whole.
People who experience low levels of stress and are bored as a result may also experience some of these problems, particularly with the consumption of illicit substances. Determining a good balance between lowered stress levels and appropriate engagement in the world is a balance that must be struck within the individual.
Everyone experiences stress differently, and as a result, everyone can handle a different amount of stress. Certain jobs are much more high-stress than other jobs; a person who cannot handle stress has no business taking a job as an emergency room doctor, but someone who thrives in a stressful environment might excel in this profession. It is important to understand the balance between stress and happiness within the individual, because it is such an individual experience. Monitoring one’s own stress levels is fundamentally important to success and management of stress and health problems associated with stress.
Clark, Matthew M. et al. 'Stress Level, Health Behaviors, And Quality Of Life In Employees Joining A Wellness Center'. American Journal of Health Promotion 26.1 (2011): 21-25. Web.
Lippke S, Wienert J, Kuhlmann T, Fink S, Hambrecht R (2015) Perceived Stress, Physical Activity and Motivation: Findings from an Internet Study. Ann Sports Med Res 2(1): 1012.
Louw, A., Van Biljon, A., & Mugandani, S.C. (2012). Exercise motivation and barriers among men and women of different age groups. African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation & Dance, 18(4), 759-768.
Smith, Melinda and Segal, Robert. "Stress Management". Help Guide. 2014. Web. 11 Feb 2015