Adjustive demands and stress

Life would be simple indeed if one’s needs were automatically gratified. Many obstacles, both personal and environmental, prevent this. Such obstacles place adjustive demands on the individual and can lead to the experience of stress. The term stress has typically been used to refer both to the adjustive demands placed on an individual and to the individual’s internal biophysical responses to such demands. Adjustive demands are referred as stressors and to the effects these create within an organism as stress.                      All situations, the positive and negative, that reqire adjustment are stressful. According to Hans Selye, the notion of stress can be broken down further into positive stress ‘eustress’ and negative stress, ‘distress’.           Adjustive demands or stressors stem from a number of sources. There are three basic categories: frustrations, conflicts, and pressures. Frustrations lead to self-devaluation. A wide range of obstacles can lead to frustration. Inflation, prejudice and discrimination, unfulfillment of wish, want, or desire etc. Conflicts: stress results from the simultaneous occurrence of two or more incompatible needs or motives: the requirements of one preclude satisfaction of the other(s). Approach-avoidance conflicts, double apprach conflicts ( two or more desirable goals ) and double-avoidance conflicts ( choice between more or less equally undesirable alternatives.Pressures: pressures to achieve specific goals or to behave in particular ways.Pressures force a person to speed up, intensify effort or change the direction of goal-oriented behaviour. Pressures may originate from external or internal sources. It is apparent that a given situation may involve elements of all three categories of stressors- frustration, conflict, pressure.                                         Factors influencing the severity of stress: the severity of stress depends not only on the nature of the stressor and the individual’s resources but also on how the stressor is perceived and evaluated.The individual’s stress tolerance and resources:1.Perception of threat 2. stress tolerance ( both biologically and psychologically, people vary greatly in overall vulnerability to stressors as well as in the types of stressors to which they are most vulnerable.)3.External resources and support.                  Stresssors patterns are unique and changing: Differences in the way people perceive and interpret similar situations.The term ‘crisis’ is used to refer to times during which the stress situation approaches or exceeds adaptive capacities of the individual or group. From time to time, one experiences periods especially ‘acute'(sudden or intense stress).It is important to note that life changes, even some favourable eustress-like ones, place new demands and thus may be somewhat stressful. The faster such changes come upon one, the greater the stress.                        General principles of reactions to stress: Typically, stress reactions have certain basic characteristics: these are (a) holistic, (b) economical, (c) either automatic or planned, (d) emotional, and (e) task-or defense-oriented. Defense-oriented reaction patterns: These are aimed chiefly at protecting the self from hurt and disorganisation.Psychological damage-repair mechanisms are crying, repetitive talking and mourning. The other is ego-or self-defense mechanisms.These mechanisms, including such responses aa denial and repression, function to relieve tension and anxiety and to protect the self from hurt and devaluation.Besides,there is,always, something to support individual from within one’s self.

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