Recently, I decided to change my topic from health and fitness to the more relatable topic of stress. Stress is defined to be a mental, emotional, or physical tension brought about by internal or external pressures such as anxiety or overwork (Gale Encylopedia 2014). Over the years, different factors have steadily increased stress within individuals. This tension has become a global issue due to the high standards of modern times and people working themselves past their limits. Individuals all around the world feel the pressure to meet the demands and expectations that others have for them and those of which they have for themselves.
There are a handful of activist groups that involve themselves with the worldwide dispute of whether or not this stress can have a positive impact on one’s life. It is easy to argue that stress is a negative response to environmental demands, and many organizations have invested themselves into this side of the debate.
Employers, for example, view stress as a driving factor for hard work. They argue that, “stress can help you meet daily challenges and motivates you to reach your goals” (ULifeline). Stress is a natural symptom that the body provides to activate the fight or flight response. Employers of large, fast-paced working environments see this symptom as a positive contributor to the hard work and focus that their employees must meet to make a company efficient. With this contribution, workers are more capable of reaching the demands and expectations of their jobs. Employers use these arguments to justify their reasoning behind the positive impacts that stress has on an individual.
There may be multiple factors as to why stress can be beneficial, though other activist groups see stress as more of a negative factor in an individual’s life. A strong argument comes from the viewpoints of doctors and researchers on the effects of stress. In their opinion, stress “can lead to a variety of diseases and disorders” (Gale Encyclopedia 2014). It has been researched that chemical shifts and changes occur within the body during stress. These changes tend to lower one’s immune system which in turn leads to an individual becoming more susceptible of getting sicknesses and becoming weak. The body is easily fatigued when under a lot of stress and demands, and doctors argue that this is a negative contributor to an individual’s health. These are all observations and research that doctors use to support their claim that stress is detrimental to an individual’s life.
Both sides of the debate have strongly opinionated arguments that are backed by observations and research. The opinions of each group collide with one another because the focus of the supporting group is more work based, while the opposing group focuses more on the health and wellness of an individual. Depending on different individuals themselves, it is their own personal thoughts and opinions that would cause them to be in support of one group or the other.
Good Stress, Bad Stress – ULifeline. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2015.
Richman, V. (2014). Stress. In K. L. Lerner & B. W. Lerner (Eds.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Science (5th ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com
Work-Related Stress Can Be Managed [column]. (2015, May 28). Africa News Service. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com