Essay On Stress And Health

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INTRODUCTION The concept of stress and its definition is complicated and difficult to define; the term stress is an amorphous complex construct which is difficult to define (Jones & Bright, 2001). Steptoe and Ayers (2005) buttress this point by stating that “stress is complex and multifaceted construct with many component parts”. This makes the concept of ‘stress’ elusive owing to the fact that it is poorly defined, thus, there is no single agreed definition for the term stress. There are a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches in the literature on stress and health relationships; this poses challenges to researches in that stress can be viewed as either a stimulus or a response. It is a concept which has now become a household vocabulary familiar to both the average person and …show more content…

Several studies has provided evidence to support the fact that stress do have health consequences and may affect the immune system, cardiovascular and central nervous systems (Anderson, 1998; Rozanski et al., 2005), however, these studies may only show the association between stress and physical illness but do not really prove the direct causal role of stress on physical health (Steptoe & Ayers, 2005). Similarly, Jones & Bright (2001) argue that although there is evidence from research which purports the contributions of stress to health, these statements are inconclusive as the extent and nature of the relationship between stress and physical health is uncertain. To this end, a critical evaluation of the impact of stress on physical health is vital in understanding the complex relationship between stress and physical health as well as effective ways of preventing or reducing the debilitating symptoms of patients. The aim of this essay is to evaluate the concept of stress, the physiological changes associated with stress, the stress-health models and the potential pathways that links stress to physical health using theoretical and empirical evidence

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