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Writing About Stress Management

Essay paper writing

Academic writing

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In our modern and fast-changing world, people face stress very often. It affects the behavior of a person, his or her working capacity, health, as well as relationships with others. Moreover, doctors claim that stress can provoke almost any disease. This phenomenon is an object of conflict studies because any conflict can become a stressor. In this regard, we need to learn as much as possible about stressful influences and the ways to prevent or overcome them. If you’ve got such a task, congratulations! Your essay about stress will be very relevant.

Strange as it may seem, stress has some positive functions; for example, it helps our body to adapt to any changes in the environment. So you can start your paper with the following thesis statement about stress: a correct understanding of positive and negative aspects of stress helps in preserving health and creating conditions for the manifestation of creative abilities, as well as fruitful work.

Information for an essay on stress: definition and physiological basis

Let’s review some definitions of stress. First thing first, an interesting fact for essays about stress: in the XVII century, English scientist Robert Hooke used this word to characterize the ratio of an extended created by a load.

In psychology, stress is an emotional state which is characterized by increased physiological and mental activity. Roughly speaking, this is the way our body reacts to certain stressors.

Stress as a non-specific adaptation mechanism was firstly discovered by the Canadian scientist Hans Selye in 1936. He showed that in response to the different strong impulses, a specific set of changes occurs in the body.

An adaptation mechanism means that with the help of stress, the body adapts to various strong influences while maintaining the level of homeostasis necessary for life. However, this adaptation is not that easy.

It’s also worth noting in essays on the stress that the clinical symptomatology revealed acute and chronic types of stress. Moreover, major symptoms were also outlined: insomnia, pressure in the neck, abdomen, back, chest, and eyeballs, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, physical anxiety, feeling of fatigue, knee trembling, etc.

Studies show that some more physiological signs of stress include ulcers, migraine, hypertension, back pain, arthritis, asthma, and heart pain. Psychological manifestations include irritability, loss of appetite, depression, and decreased interest in interpersonal relationships.

essay about stress causes and effects

Material for the “development stages and types of stress” essays

Hans Selye distinguished three stages of stress:

  1. Alarm. This stage is also known as fight or flight response. During this stage, your brain sends an emergency signal to other parts of your body, which lets those parts know that you’re in a dangerous situation. As your body mobilizes itself to react, you can choose between a fight or flight response.
  2. Resistance. After the initial shock of a stressful event and having a fight-or-flight response, the body begins to repair itself. It releases a lower amount of cortisol, and your heart rate and blood pressure begin to normalize. Although your body enters this recovery phase, it remains on high alert for a while. If you overcome stress and the situation is no longer an issue, your body continues to repair itself until your hormone levels, heart rate, and blood pressure reach a pre-stress state.
  3. Exhaustion. If stress lasts for a long time or the stressors involved are extremely intense, the phase of exhaustion inevitably begins. It may cause significant health problems and even lead to death.

Mention in your college stress essay that currently, scientists distinguish eustress (positive stress that mobilizes the body) and distress (negative stress with undesirable harmful effect on the body and mental state). Eustress provokes the activation of cognitive processes, self-awareness, comprehension of reality, and memory enhancement. Distress leads to decreased performance and mental or/and physical problems in the future.

The most common and complete classification which may be presented to the readers of a research paper about stress was proposed by R.T. Wong:

  • Intrapersonal stress. It is commonly known that social sphere affects all other spheres of human life. Since each person has to constantly solve various social issues, the interaction with others has a significant impact on our perception and attitude to events.
  • Family stress. It includes all the difficulties in maintaining family relationships: household duties, marital problems, intergenerational conflicts, illness and death of relatives, alcoholism, or divorce.
  • Work stress. It is usually associated with a heavy workload, lack of control over the results of labor, role uncertainty, and conflicts. Poor security at work, unfair labor conditions, and disruptions can become a source of stress.
  • Public stress. This refers to problems experienced by large groups of people; among the major stressors can be economic decline, poverty, bankruptcy, and racial discrimination.
  • Environmental stress. It is caused by extreme conditions in the surrounding world: air and water pollution, severe weather conditions, overpopulation, etc.
  • Financial stress. The inability to pay the bills, expenditures exceeding income, the emergence of additional expenses – these and other circumstances can cause stress as well.

Provocative factors and signs of a stressful condition for an essay about stress causes and effects

Of course, each person has an individual reaction to stress. You may describe six types of personalities who react to external influences differently in a stress management research paper:

  1. Ambitious type. These are people with a strong need for success. The causes of stress for them are overload, high level of activity, and lack of understanding of themselves. The main symptoms of stress are insomnia, high blood pressure, heart problems, excessive smoking, and alcohol consumption.
  2. Calm type. These are dreamy and inactive people who are characterized by low vulnerability to stress. They maintain the balance between work and home chores. However, other people or work pressure can become the causes of stress.
  3. Conscientious type. This group of people are meticulous, pedantic, dogmatic, stable, and conservative. They believe in authority and obey the rules. For such individuals, the causes of stress are primarily other people who do not follow their plans and behavior patterns.
  4. Controllable type. These are people who seek to please others and avoid any conflicts. Such personalities are afraid of confrontation and problematic relationships because they act as a primary cause of stress.
  5. Life-loving type. They are strong, energetic, impulsive, and risky. The causes of stress for them are routine work and excessive internal pressure.
  6. Anxious type. Such people are highly vulnerable to stress and are worried about possible failures. They are cautious and overly reflective, have high level of anxiety and low self-esteem.

As it was already mentioned, stress can be caused by factors related to work or personal life events. Let’s consider the factors for an essay on stress in the workplace:

  • Overload or low workload. For example, the employee was charged with an exorbitant number of tasks for a certain period of time.
  • A conflict of roles. Such a situation takes place when the employee faces contradictory demands.
  • Uncertainty of roles. Unlike the conflict of roles, the requirements are not contradictory here, but they are vague.
  • Uninteresting work. Some studies show that individuals who have a more interesting job show less anxiety and are less prone to physical ailments than people who don’t like their work.

Let’s also consider personal factors for the research papers on stress. It’s apparent that stress can be caused by both positive and negative impacts. But, in most cases, this phenomenon is closely related to the notion of conflict.

The emergence of a preconflict mood or the perception of the situation as a factor threatening the security of one of the parties is a trigger mechanism for the development of conflict behavior. The situation becomes stressful, and the organisms of the involved parties mobilize the adaptive reserves to overcome distress.

Writing a stress management essay

Stress, especially if it is frequent and prolonged, has a negative impact not only on the mental state but also on the physical health of a person. Therefore, an important factor for a healthy lifestyle is stress resistance.

You can provide the following definition of stress resistance in “how to cope with stress?” essay: the ability to overcome difficulties and suppress emotions by showing self-control and tact. Stress resistance is determined by a combination of personal qualities that allow a person to withstand considerable intellectual, volitional, and emotional pressure.

There are several factors that mitigate the impact of difficult situations on mental and physical health. First of all, it is worth mentioning the role of social support in the stress management paper. It includes all types of assistance provided by the people an individual interacts with.

The researchers found that those people who received significant support from friends and relatives showed a less pronounced emotional reaction to frustration and fewer symptoms of illnesses.

Social support is a good medicine not only for the body but also for the soul. Most studies reveal that in periods of severe stress, it is a buffer that mitigates the negative impact of irritating factors. Include this fact in your coping with stress essay!

Let’s consider other factors that contribute to our ability to resist stress. Persistence is the second important positive factor to mention in “ways to reduce stress” essay. This is a combination of certain personality traits that contribute to high resistance to irritants, namely, responsibility, the desire to overcome difficulties, and an internal locus of control. The internal locus of control is a personality trait characterizing an individual’s faith in the fact that all his or her achievements, successes, and failures are the result of his or her own actions and not external factors, such as fate, chance, or luck.

It is also worth writing about such an important trait as optimism in research paper on stress and health. Defining it as a general tendency to expect a positive outcome, scientists have found a correlation between optimism and good physical state. In the course of subsequent research, they showed that optimists and pessimists deal with stress in different ways.

Optimists are focused on actions and problem analysis. They are more eager to seek social support than pessimists and are more inclined to emphasize positive aspects in their assessment of a difficult situation. Pessimists are more likely to concentrate on negative aspects. You may use the following thesis on stress management: optimism is helpful in combating depressive mood, while pessimism might make a person careless in relation to one’s health and less likely to cope with stress.

research paper about stress

Stress research paper: writing about ways to improve one’s health

You may consider effective ways to improve health and reduce stress in a research paper on stress management among students. Here are some of them!

Relaxation

It is necessary to discuss the benefits of relaxation step-by-step. Relaxation is a method which helps to get rid of physical and mental stress partially or completely. There are various techniques of relaxation, which are quite easy to master. It does not require special education or even natural talent. But there is one indispensable condition – motivation, i.e. person needs to know why he or she wants to master relaxation.

Concentration

Concentration is another useful method for your research paper on stress management. Inability to concentrate is a factor closely associated with stress. For example, the majority of working women have to perform the duties of housewife, wife, and a mother. Each of these functions requires concentration, maximum attention and, naturally, complete dedication. However, each of these three roles diverts the attention of a woman and can cause a stressful situation.

In this case, concentration exercises are indispensable. They can be performed in any place and at any time of the day. To begin with, it is advisable to train at home: early in the morning, before going to work (or university), or in the evening before going to bed.

Breathing exercises

Also, it will be useful to mention the importance of the breathing exercises in papers on stress management. Each person has the ability to consciously control breathing in order to calm down and relieve tension (both muscular and mental). Thus, proper regulation of breathing can be an effective means of combating stress along with relaxation and concentration. By the way, with the help of such a technique, it’s possible to prevent mood swings.

Writing the essay about the effects of stress on health, it’s worth mentioning that breathing of a calm person is significantly different from the breathing of an individual in a state of stress. Thus, according to the rhythm of breathing, one can determine the mental state of a person.

Alteration of the lifestyle

Components of an active and stress-free lifestyle are the right beginning of a working day, healthy diet, sports activity, high quality of rest and sleep, good relationships with people, and much more.

You can consider the following problem in “stress at work” essay: very often when returning home, people overshare their negative emotions with the family. What should be done to get rid of the daytime impressions? How to cross the doorstep of the house and not to spoil the relative’s mood?

According to the stress management research articles, first of all, it is necessary to establish a good tradition: after returning home from work or university, try some relaxation techniques which were described above. Here are some more pleasant activities that will only take only 10 minutes of your time:

  • Sit down in an armchair, relax, and rest calmly.
  • Prepare strong tea or make coffee. Sip it for 10 minutes. Try not to think about anything serious during this period of time.
  • Turn on your favorite music. Enjoy these wonderful moments. Try to completely immerse yourself in music, disconnecting yourself from anxious thoughts.
  • Take a walk in the nearest park or streets.

Self-analysis of stress

Also, you can tell the readers of your paper how to find and explain the reactions of your body to certain stressful situations, i.e. how to determine if you are stressed. It is crucial to understand your own stressors: firstly, distress manifests itself individually for each person; secondly, this way, the you will be able to find the most acceptable way out of the situation that causes it.

The most justified self-analysis method, which is described in almost any good sample research paper on stress management is a stress diary. Within a week (daily, whenever possible), it is necessary to make simple notes: when and under what circumstances the signs of stress were found. It is better to analyze all observations and sensations after work/university or before going to bed when it’s easier to recollect the smallest details.

The analysis of records in the diary helps to determine which events or life situations contribute to stress. After some time, it will be easy to identify repetitive situations that can cause chronic stress or anxiety.

Looking through our own notes and trying to systematize them, you will find that some of the main signs of stress can be seen rather often: irritability, inability to concentrate, muscle tension, a sense of internal pressure, dry mouth, restlessness, fatigue, inexplicable fear, bad mood, frequent headaches, joint pain, and lack of appetite.

After analyzing the notes, it’s possible to determine at what time of the day the stress occurs most often and whether it happens at work or after returning home. State in your stress management essay conclusion that, with the help of such a diary, each individual can find out what hinders him or her from being calm and happy and what causes personal stress.

Autogenic management

You may also discuss in your cause and effect essay about the stress the phenomenon of autogenic management. It is a set of certain principles and methods of management aimed at training and auto-training for maximizing the use of one’s internal potential, i.e. management of stress with the use of psychotherapy.

It should be noted in an essay about the negative effects of stress that autogenic management is still at the initial stage of development in many countries. Before the crisis of 2007-2008, stress management was based on special training and provision of social budget for maintaining the physical health of the employees (for example, workers had the possibility to attend a swimming pool or a gym).  But the world crisis changed everything. Since 2008, the management of each company had to provide ways of reducing the stress of employees in order to boost their morale and increase loyalty.  

Autogenic management is associated with such spheres as management of internal communications, risk management, and conflict management because they exert a stressful influence on the entire staff of the company or some employees.

Among the many techniques, autogenic management seems to be the most effective. Each session is conditionally divided into several modules:

  • relaxation;
  • auto-training;
  • psycho-correction;
  • meditation;
  • motivation.

Thus, autogenic management is an extremely effective technique that can be used in any labor environment. You can even describe it in a research paper on stress management in armed forces.

First aid for acute stress

If we suddenly find ourselves in a stressful situation, it means that we are under acute stress. Writing a short essay about stress management, you may list some tips that can help the reader get out of the difficult state:

  1. Anti-stress breathing techniques. Slowly take a deep breath. At the peak of the inhalation, hold your breath for a moment. Then exhale as slowly as possible.
  2. The concentration of attention. Look around and carefully examine the room in which you are staying. Pay attention to the smallest details, even if you know them well. Try to concentrate completely on this step. Say what you see out loud: ‘Brown table, white curtains, red vase...’ Focusing on each separate object, you will slowly distract yourself. Moreover, it will be easier to direct your attention to the rational perception of the surrounding world.
  3. Change the atmosphere. It is a good idea to stay alone with your thoughts. If circumstances allow, leave the room in which you experienced acute stress. Go to another room or outside.
  4. Engage in some kind of activity: start washing clothes, reading a book, or doing physical exercises. The secret to this method is simple: any actions, especially physical work, help us to distract ourselves from internal tension in a stressful situation.

After completing this simple set of techniques, it will be easy to return to what you have been doing previously.

The main effects of stress

We have already considered the causes of stress and ways to combat it. It’s also worth mentioning the consequences of inattention to this problem if you are going to write the effects of stress essay. The general clinical picture is divided into four main categories: cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral consequences that arise due to dysfunction in the central nervous system and immunity.

Cognitive consequences of stress

Cognitive disorders caused by stressors may result in a reduction in quality of life. It is especially critical for adolescence, as early signs of cognitive decline might lead to the development of serious illnesses in the future. Therefore, if you are considering the stress management of youth in universities and schools, it would be very useful to describe these outcomes in an “effects of stress on college students’ success” essay:

  • Memory impairment. This phenomenon usually affects the way a person remembers figures and mathematical calculations: phone numbers or simple formulas which he or she often used in everyday life might be forgotten.
  • Loss of attention as well as impossibility of even a short-term concentration on any kind of activity.
  • Chronic pessimism and nihilism. A person is inclined to refuse any innovations and changes in his or her activity, including work. Practically everything loses its meaning.
  • Constant anxiety. Even if the patient is able to start thinking positively at some moment, this phenomenon will be very short-lived. You may provide the following example in “causes and effects of stress among college students” essay: even in the end of the semester, when all the exams are passed successfully, many young people can’t relax and enjoy the holidays because they got accustomed to living in constant stress.

Emotional consequences

It should be noted in an essay about the effects of stress on students that disorders of emotional state also significantly worsen the life of the individual. There are the following negative effects of this type which occur due to constant stress:

  • Capriciousness.
  • Increased irritability which often turns into active aggression.
  • Complete lack of incentives for emotional and cognitive relaxation. During chronic stress, such conditions often lead to the development of quite serious psycho-emotional overloads with the transition to mental disorders.
  • A constant feeling of increased fatigue, even after insignificant intellectual or physical labor.
  • A sense of social isolation and development of an inferiority complex.
  • Stable depressive syndrome.

Physical consequences

Next, let’s consider the examples of negative consequences for the effects of stress on health essay:

  • Indigestion that results in food retention in the digestive system, epigastric pain, belching, heartburn, and nausea. These symptoms are characteristic of people suffering from gastritis and peptic ulcer diseases of the stomach and duodenum.
  • Increase in blood sugar level, which is associated with impaired insulin production. Physiologically increased concentrations of free glucose in the blood lead to toxic reactions that aggravate overall symptoms.
  • Disorders in the work of the cardiovascular system such as high/low blood pressure or heart rate, arrhythmia, and extrasystole. The absence of normal regulation often leads to a loss of consciousness due to the incorrect circulation of blood. The reverse pathological effect is a hypertensive crisis and, as a consequence, strokes or heart attacks.
  • Violations of the menstrual cycle in the form of long delays, pain, and so on.

Behavioral consequences

The last group of negative factors for the essay about the effects of stress refers to the behavioral patterns that are deeply rooted in the life of stressful personalities:

  • Disorders of appetite. Acute stress is usually characterized by an increase in appetite. With prolonged exposure to stress factors, there is a gradual decrease and, consequently, a complete lack of appetite.
  • Sleep disturbances also depend on the types and stages of stress factors. In the early period of stress, drowsiness is usually increased but then it decreases. In the case of the lasting impact of stress factors, a constant lack of sleep is observed, which strongly affects the behavior and appearance of a person.
  • Social isolation. Stressed individuals stop keeping in touch even with close friends and relatives.
  • Severe nicotine, alcohol, and drug addiction. People resort to these substances in attempts to reduce the severe perception of stress factors.
  • The emergence of bad habits, for example, nibbling the nails, scratching the skin, and so on.

Stress management research paper outline and essay structure

The first thing you need to do when is to determine the topic of the paper, understand what problem you want to raise, and what idea to disclose. Your main task is to express your own thoughts in such a way that your reader understands you. But experienced writers also advise creating and adhering to the specific outline. The outline for stress management research paper or essay may be the following:

  1. Stress essay introduction. In this part, you have to write about the background of the issue and present the thesis statement.
  2. Main part. It includes your thoughts and reflections (if it’s an essay), and arguments that will confirm your opinion. In order to provide strong argumentation, you need to look for the facts from the scientific literature or think about the examples from real life. If you’re writing a research paper on stress, you should only include the factual information and the analysis of it. Do not add your personal opinion unless you were asked to by your professor, which is a quite rare occurrence.
  3. Conclusion of stress essay. In the final part, you have to present your little logical resume of what was written and make your own brief conclusions on the issue.

Helpful hints

Below you can find some useful tips on how to write a great paper. Writing an essay is not an easy task, but if you follow the guide step by step, you will be rewarded with high-quality work and an excellent mark!

1. First, you should start writing a draft version of an essay about the positive and negative effects of stress. It is quite difficult to compile a good academic paper at once. If you want to create a truly worthwhile work, always start with writing a draft and then edit your text.

2. Do not use too official or scientific language. Remember that essay is not a report: writing this kind of paper, you have all the opportunities for self-expression. Therefore, make the text interesting and easy to read.

3. Re-read your drafts several times because you can come up with new ideas.

4. Take advantage of other people’s experience. Find a quality example essay about stress management (or even a few) and focus on the style of presentation, arguments, and facts that the author used. This way, you might get a few ideas on how to frame your arguments or present the information you have found.

We hope that this article turned out to be useful, and you will get an excellent mark for your academic paper. Good luck!

 

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