Although so much research has been carried out concerning stress, a concrete definition is yet to be agreed upon (Segerstrom & Miller, 2004). This notwithstanding, stress refers to the reaction of an individual’s body to external conditions (Morrow, 2014). Ostensibly, stress is part of life and can not be ignored. It is a subject that has been widely discussed in the United States and different people present diverse views on their knowledge of stress. For some people, stress is recognized as a feeling such as that of a container that is full of pressure and about to explode. It may also be viewed as an individual’s reaction to changes in his or her surrounding environment. Others consider stress to be a process that involves people being heavily pressed by environmental conditions.
If not managed well, stress can lead to serious health problems such as depression, low energy levels, and insomnia. Based on the findings of different studies undertaken at different times, our health is at risk if we do not take precautionary measures to deal with stressful situations. Despite the fact that our bodies are capable of adapting to stress, people can easily withdraw from others when they are stressed. Sadly, this can lead to negative habits such as addiction to alcohol, smoking, or even drug abuse. From a medical point of view, stress is considered to be one of the factors that cause numerous health problems.
While it is necessary to deal with stress effectively in order to live a happy and fulfilling life, the whole process of stress management is lengthy and requires patience as well as a determination if one is to succeed. However, it is imperative for people to have a good understanding of how best to respond to stressful situations. This paper looks at three different aspects of stressful situations including financial management, work, and family issues. Arguably, people may suffer stress based on how they deal with financial matters, work, and family issues. Each of these aspects is examined in the following subsections.
Stress and Financial Management
Stress as a result of financial management is very common everywhere in the world (Scott, 2014). Ostensibly, this is caused by the fact that many people are not well equipped to effectively manage their finances. As pointed out by Scott (2014), there is a tight link between financial management and health problems. Health problems as a result of poor financial practices include depression and lack of sleep. Unfortunately, some people panic and indulge in unhealthy activities such as excessive drinking which leads to more problems. Medically, worrying can lead to heart disease and asthma. As a result of drastic changes that have taken place over the years, the number of cases as a result of stress from financial problems has increased. As a result, the number of health problems has also increased.
Evaluation: Life in the olden days was less cheap and financial problems were not very common. Stress cases as a result of financial problems were therefore quite minimal at the time. However, life in the present day society is costly and fast paced. Individuals are thus faced with tough economic challenges. Modern financial problems have led to an increase in stressful conditions that later lead to health problems such as asthma. Drawing from a study by Vital Signs (2011), the number of people found to be with asthma grew by nearly 4.3 million between 2001 and 2009.
Clearly, good financial planning is of paramount importance to ensure that people are well prepared to deal with financial challenges that are experienced from time to time. Good financial habits are very critical in helping to reduce financial stress. This is regardless of whether a person has little or more financial resources at his or her disposal. In order to reduce the challenges associated with financial stress, people should learn to operate within their means rather than attempting to live by standards that are beyond them. When this happens, financial stress can be successfully managed. According to Hicks (2011), people with poor financial planning lifestyles end up in debt and this eventually leads to complex health problems.
Stress and Work
To a large extent, heavy demands of life in the modern day society have transformed the way organizations around the world structure work operations. Arguably, work related stress tends to result from inability to plan work effectively. Work related stress may also be experienced when individuals are forced to do more work than they can comfortably handle. When work related stress is not dealt with in good time, affected individuals suffer serious health problems such as migraines. Ostensibly, poor stress management at the work place is the cause of numerous health problems.
Evaluation: We live in a world where work requirements and continually changing. As earlier explained, stress as a result of work is experienced when individuals are compelled to take on increased workloads (Crawford, 2002). For most people, being exposed to increased workloads leads to frequent headaches. Based on research findings by the Migraine Research Foundation, more than 10% of the American population is currently being affected by constant migraines (MRF, 2015). The research further points to the fact that the number of men who suffer from migraines accounts for 18% while that of women accounts for 6% (MRF, 2015). While it is true that pressure can be a source of excitement and energy when dealing with different work related tasks, prolonged pressures can cause so much tension and exhaustion. For this reason, it is helpful for individuals to ensure that a good balance exists to avoid work overloads. While it is prudent for organizations to set targets for employees, this must be done carefully and attempts to overwhelm employees with work must be discouraged.
Stress as a Result of Family Issues
The family setup is very complicated considering that different members of a family are involved. Parenting, for example, is quite demanding and requires time and commitment. Unless a parent creates time to be with his or her children, they may face serious problems as they grow up. However, while it is necessary to do this for children and care for them as they mature, the price that parents have to pay is quite high. Parents are sometimes compelled to go through serious challenges to ensure that their children are well taken care of. Eventually, these demands create stressful moments.
Evaluation: Families are today subjected to heavy demands that lead to anxiety and depression. Apparently, this is due to the fact that one has to deal with so many different people in a family setup with different needs. In an attempt to ensure that everyone is happy, family members may be forced to indulge in situations that can easily cause anxiety and depression (Salleh, 2008). To survive, parents are sometimes compelled to work extra hard for the sake of their children. Regrettably, this leads to financial problems.
Research findings indicate that depression is a major killer in our society today. Approximately 9.5% of the American population is affected by depression related disorders (Murray & Fortinberry, 2005). Apparently, there is a close link between demands on parents and the amount of time they have to spend at work. Drawing from a study by Kahn et al. (2002), the challenge of balancing work and family matters is responsible for stress among most parents. Tactics that have been employed by families to respond to stressful situations include the ability to tolerate uncertainty, empower themselves to gather information, solve problems, and move ahead undeterred.
Based on the discussion presented in this paper, stress is a major problem in the world today. Many countries and many individuals and families are victims of stress related problems. Generally, stress can be found in different areas of our lives on a day to day basis. Stress can be as a result of financial problems, work related matters, or family issues.
In order to be happy and remain productive, it is advisable for people to have a good understanding of how to manage stressful situations. Everyone should be well prepared to deal with stress both at home and at the workplace. As long as an individual can control a situation and think clearly, he or she can overcome any problem and hence avoid stress.
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Hicks, R. (2011). Viral Signs. Web.
Kahn, J.A., Parsons, S.K., Pizzo, P.A., Newburger, J.W. & Homer, C.J. (2002). Work-Family Issues and Perceptions of Stress among Pediatric Faculty and House Staff. Ambulatory Pediatrics, 1(3):141 – 9. Web.
Migraine Research Foundation (MRF). (2015). Migraine Fact Sheet. Web.
Morrow, A. (2014). Stress Definition. Web.
Murray, B. & Fortinberry, A. (2005). Depression Facts and Stats. Web.
Salleh, M. R. (2008). Life Event, Stress and Illness. Web.
Scott, E. (2014). Financial Stress – How It Affects You and What You Can Do. Web.
Segerstrom, S.C. & Miller, G.E. (2004). Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry. Web.
Vital Signs. (2011). Asthma in the US. Web.