The impact of life stressors on mood and health


Life pose a significant impact on people’s mood, behavior, sense of well-being, and health. Stress response among young and healthy people is adaptive and does not impose a substantial health burden compared to older and unhealthy people. Living a healthy lifestyle is highly dependent on keeping the internal milieu constant regardless of the changing external environment (Powell & Enright, 2017). Although stress is inevitable due to daily struggles, some strategies can be adopted to manage the situation and reduce the chances of contracting chronic illnesses.
Stressors Related to Family, Occupation, and Health
Nancy, who is now 50 years old, has been smoking since she was 17. Her smoking habit is becoming worse despite her effort to visit a doctor in her bid to stop the behavior. Perhaps there is no improvement because of stressors related to work, family, and health. Her mother moved in since she was terminally ill, and Nancy was supposed to take care of her. Besides, her daughter does not have time to help with household chores since she is rarely at home. Therefore, Nancy has to balance between taking care of her sick mother and going to work every day. She sometimes does not have time to take care of herself. Moreover, eating has become a problem due to loss of appetite. The situation can increase Nancy’s stress levels because she is always thinking about her mothers’ health.
Her stress levels could also increase due to occupation-related factors. Nancy is always busy and has a workload of over 20 cases at every given time. Besides, she does work that does not match her job description whenever a staff calls in sick. The willingness to help explains that she is dedicated to her work. The recent announcement that a company might close to reduce the budget levels might negatively affect her. Therefore, the stress levels might increase since she does not want to lose the job that she loves, and that provides for her and her terminally ill mother.

How to Measure Stress

Stress levels are measured using psychological questionnaires and physiological measurement methods. The questionnaires help in examining the perceived symptoms of stress. However, physiological measurement techniques are used when there is a need for accurate data from a human body (Powell & Enright, 2017). Moreover, the approach is more useful when there is a need to monitor and compare the results of stress levels objectively. The two methods can thus establish the stressors and explain how to manage them

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Coping Resources

Different coping mechanisms can be adapted to manage or reduce stress levels. Many people tend to respond to threats using predominant coping style, whereby they dismiss the feeling or manipulate the situation. Psychological factors of stress arise when people start feeling pressure and strain primarily related to work. According to the diathesis-stress model, the most challenging aspect of coping with psychological stress is the feeling of being unable to change the situation. Practicing mastery or personal control is the best way to deal with stress (Griffin, 2014). The mechanism helps people to go deeper into establishing why emotional responses are felt physically. Moreover, it is essential to get some distractions, such as watching favorite movies, which can lessen the pain.
Biological stress factors, which arise due to genetic predispositions, can be managed by having a sense of self-esteem and optimism. Psychosomatic stress model stipulates that threats increase when the connection between the body and mind is strengthened (Powell & Enright, 2017). For instance, people born with autism might start being depressed when they realize that they are born differently from others. Therefore, they should be encouraged to appreciate themselves by the people around them, such as family members and society at large.
Additionally, social stress can be managed by seeking social support, where people continuously encourage others and express love among themselves. The resource allows people to feel loved, cared for, and considered as part of the social network. The above coping resources can be adopted by people of all ages in society to reduce or manage stress levels and save lives. The use of positive coping mechanism can improve mental and emotional health. However, relying on maladaptive coping methods has higher chances of experiencing anxiety, depression, and mental disorders due to the challenging events.

Problems of Using Tobacco

Nancy is using tobacco as a way of managing stress, which will not help her in the long-run. Although the strategy is useful in abating stress and giving short-term relief, the habit will be non-productive since the cigarettes pose a high risk to her health. Cigarette smoking harms nearly all the body organs. The routine can result in cancer, respiratory diseases, and damage the lungs due to nicotine and other chemicals found in the cigarette. Besides, the practice can damage the heart, blood veins, and vessels, which is a severe health problem. Death, due to the sicknesses, can render her family helpless since her mother depends on her financial support. Nancy should thus stop smoking and find other alternatives to manage her stress levels. For instance, she should consider following the smoking cessation plan given by her doctor. The approach can significantly help in improving her health and reduce the stress affecting her.
How to Prevent Stress-Related Chronic Illnesses
Preventing chronic trauma can help reduce the risk of severe health problems, such as diabetes and obesity. Although it is difficult to erase all the stressful life events due to busy daily schedules, people can change how they respond to them. Adopting stress management techniques help in making people feel better and results in concrete health benefits. Firstly, one should try to focus on the present moment and forget about the external forces. Stress occurs when people concentrate on living in the past or future, especially when worried about what to do next or regrets about the previous events (Griffin, 2014). Therefore, it is essential to focus on what is happening at the moment, which acts as an excellent stress relief method.
Secondly, reframing the stressful situation can help prevent stress-related chronic illnesses. Some instances occur due to natural reaction, and no one can change them. For example, waking up late and traffic jam are bound to make a person late for work. Many people are stressed by such situations, especially if the boss is strict. However, one can take the opportunity to reflect on his or her life since there is no obligation to fulfill at the moment.
Lastly, keeping the surrounding problems in perspective is an excellent way of relieving stress. The affected should focus on the things they are grateful for rather than the stressful events (Powell & Enright, 2017). For instance, when the occupation is the main threat, one should be thankful for the job since many unemployed people wish to have such a position. Moreover, having a family and friends that one can talk to should be enough reason to be appreciative of life.

How to Develop a Healthier Lifestyle

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can be a big blow, and one is bound to experience a range of emotional trauma. However, some strategies can be adapted to manage the feeling and develop a healthier lifestyle. Building a strong support network that one can rely on is an excellent way to manage the disease. Moreover, it is essential to communicate with family and friends about the illness and how they can help during the recovery period (Griffin, 2014). Those with chronic diseases should surround themselves with supportive and positive people, where they can be encouraged to live a healthy life. Nancy should consider following the smoking cessation plan that was given by the doctor since it can help prevent her smoking habit. Additionally, she should start thinking positively and plan for her time alone. For instance, going to the gym is an effective way to relieve stress and can help her stop the smoking habit. The above techniques can be adopted by people with stress-related chronic diseases to live healthy lifestyles.
Professional and Personal Use of Wellness and Illness Concepts
The concept of wellness and illness due to stress can be used in both personal and professional lives. The knowledge gathered helps people understand various life stressors and how to avoid them. Besides, the coping mechanisms can help the affected reduce the chances of developing stress-related chronic illnesses. Professionally, knowledge about life stressors is essential since workers understand how to live peacefully with each other and how to help those in need. The concept is thus useful in both personal and professional lives.

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