Psychological stress. Can it be eliminated?
Psychological stress is non-specific activity on the psychological level; a special mental state, demonstrating the organization and mobilization of the mental activity in certain extreme situation. It has been proved, that psycho-social stress reactions cause biochemical changes in the human body, which are typical of biological stress, and, therefore, may serve as the cause of somatic disorders and other diseases.
Psychological stress can be initiated psychologically without any biological effects. For instance, a man may be influenced by something he has seen or heard, unpleasant or glad news, decision-making, personal experiences or other events and so on.
A person with a strong will, control and self-regulation is capable of volitional activation, inhibition and optimization of one’s psychophysiological conditions. There are three types of people with a different stress tolerance. The first type includes those, who have a passive reaction to stress. In addition, a person can intensify one’s already low efforts only for a short time. In the second case a person has the disruptive, vigorous and even aggressive reaction to stress. The third type of people can work patiently and effectively for a long time, overcoming stress while being stretched to the limits. Psychological stress far more depends on the personality traits than biological stress, and this qualities are less rigidly imposed by the effects of external circumstances.
Psychological stress usually develops in result of:
- objectively difficult, dangerous and extreme situations;
- potentially hazardous extreme situations;
- complex personal situations, exaggerated problems and dangers;
- imaginary extreme situations.
Psychological stress is a special mental state, which is characterized by nonspecific changes in the mental activity of the person, directed towards its organization and mobilization due to the increased requirements, raised in a new situation. These are mainly:
- general increased levels of arousal and mental activity;
- problems with hearing, vision, smell and other sense organs;
- reorientation of mental activity, its concentration on the new situation;
- emotional changes and intensification;
- feeling of mental stress;
- emergence of attitude in overcoming difficulties of the situation.
In general, the effect of psychological stress on the person’s actions and behavior depends on its intensity. As one can see, the course of the psychological stress effects has three stages:
- psychological eustress (positive influence, increased to some maximum rate);
- psychological distress (progressively deteriorating effect, which continues to increase);
- psychological hyperstress (high-intensity mental stress, which exceeds the limits of tolerance).
The constant experience of distress and at least single experience of hyperstress can cause both somatic and mental illnesses: brain disfunction, heart diseases, heart attacks, hypertension, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, endocrine disfunction, decrease in immunity, sleep problems, skin diseases, neuroses and other pathological neuropsychic disorders.
Any objective external circumstances are always individually coloured and transformed, and are evaluated by personality in one’s own way. All this leads to the important conclusion that extreme – is the subjective-objective and individualized phenomenon, which requires a special approach to the treatment of psychological stress.