Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors

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In a technical sense, the term ‘stress’ is used in reference to the way human bodies respond to various external factors. Stress is perceived to occur when the apparent requirements of a circumstance are more than the individual’s available resources (Russell & Jarvis, 2003). The concerned person tends to feel threatened, and the response of the body is what is referred to as being in a state of stress. The availability of resources (internal and external) to deal with the stressor determines the way different people respond and deal with different stress scenarios. In this paper, I support my agreement with the concept that different people react differently to different stressors.

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Why Different People Respond Differently to Stressors

An event that is stressful for one person is likely to be a normal occurrence to another person. The difference in the impact levels of these stressors seems to be in the way different people perceive different occurrences. Certain studies indicate that individuals’ personality types are integral to the way they view and react to stressors (Stinson, 2010). Certain personality types are more sensitive to stress than others. Infants possess different temperaments that cause some people to be resilient to stressors than others. For instance, people who possess ‘Type A’ personalities are often ambitious, driven, time-observant, and rushed. These personality traits can accentuate a person’s predisposition to stress. People with ‘Type B’ personality, on the other hand, seem to be calm and less driven than those with ‘Type A’ personality (Russell & Jarvis, 2003). A person with ‘Type B’ personality is, therefore, better placed to deal with stressors and is less predisposed to stress than a person with ‘Type B’ personality.

Women and men tend to deal with stressors in different ways (Stinson, 2010). This variance can be attributed to estrogen hormone present in women. The hormonal variance can also be credited for the predisposition of women to depression. Women also seem to have more robust support systems that they can turn to when faced with stress than men. These support systems help individuals handle stress more effectively.

Another factor that determines individual response to stress is social status. Stress levels seem to increase as one goes down the social ladder. People with low economic ability are more likely to face stress than those who are relatively rich. This is probably because they do not have the resources to meet certain demands that cause stress.

Activities that demand more concentration seem more stressful than activities in which one is accustomed or skilled. People who feel that they are good at certain activities are less prone to stress when performing those activities than those who doubt their ability. For instance, a skilled driver is less likely to feel stressed when driving than someone who has little experience with cars.

The meaning attached by a person to a certain activity is also likely to influence the level of anxiety when performing the activity. In addition, individual response to stressors is influenced by the level of anticipatory anxiety relating to certain events or activities. Some people worry about failure than others. Such people are more stressed by failure than others.

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Though everyone faces chronic or acute stress at some point in life, different people react to stressors differently. These differences ought to be taken into account when prescribing treatment to clients who are affected by stress. Understanding the factors underlying the individual’s response to stressors enables psychologists to help clients deal with stressors effectively.


Russell, J. & Jarvis, M. (2003). Angles on applied psychology. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

Stinson, A. (2010). Anxiety and stress: How poor performance and absenteeism affect the workplace. Florida: Universal-Publishers.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 16). Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, May 16). Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors.

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"Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors." PsychologyWriting, 16 May 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors'. 16 May.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors." May 16, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors." May 16, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Stress and Health: How People React to Stressors." May 16, 2022.