Stress, Mental Health and Spirituality
Stress, Mental Health and Spirituality
As the world is developing, it also gets more complicated. Due to the complication of the society, stress has become a common, and often unavoidable, part of daily life. A lot of people don’t know how to deal with stress and get themselves into very bad mental and physical health. However, it’s not impossible to improve that situation. By getting to know more about stress and finding methods that can deal with it, people can get a better mental and physical health.
If we want to know more about stress, dimension of mental health is an important that we need to discover. Mental health is not just the absence of symptoms of illness; rather, it includes the capacity to respond to challenges, frustrations, joys, and failures in ways that allow continued growth and forward movement in life. Mentally healthy people are individuals that tend to have high self-esteem and feel good about themselves. They respect themselves and others, but they are realistic and don’t expect anyone to be perfect.
They feel competent to accomplish things in their lives; they are also socially competent, demonstrating empathy and good listening skills in their interpersonal relationships. An emotionally intelligent person is also the one that have healthy mentality. They represent for the mentally healthy people. They are people that can recognize, name, and understand their emotions, manage their emotions and control their moods, motivate themselves, recognize and respond to emotions in others, and be socially competent.
They also have the skills in understanding relationships, cooperating, solving problems, resolving conflicts, being assertive at communicating, and being considerate and compassionate. Besides the mentally healthy people, other people have a lot of mental problems that can affect their life and their health a lot. Mental disorders can be treated with psychotherapy or medications or a combination of both. Many different types of therapy are available, but among the most common are psychodynamic, behavioral, and cognitive-behavioral. Many therapists take an eclectic approach.
The symptoms of many mental disorders can be treated with drugs. Psychoses can be treated with a variety of antipsychotics; mood disorders, with antidepressants; and anxiety disorders, with anxiolytics. Drugs treat the symptoms of illness; therapy can help a person change underlying maladaptive patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Stress is the most common problem that everybody has. Stress is an everyday part of our lives, something we experience as our bodies and minds continually adjust to the demands of living. There are things called stressors.
Stressors are events or agents in the environment that cause us stress. Individuals respond differently to stressors, depending on such variables as past experiences, personality traits, and how they perceive or appraise the stressors. Stress can be thought of as a transaction between an individual and an event, mediated by personal variables. If we perceive a stressor as positive, we experience eustress. If we perceive it as negative, we experience distress. During the stress response, our bodies experience physiological changes that prepare us to fight or flee.
The sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system activates the stress response; the parasympathetic branch deactivates it and initiates the relaxation response. The body is equipped to handle acute stress if it doesn’t occur too often; it is not so well equipped to handle chronic stress. Hans Selye developed the General Adaptation Syndrome, a description of the body’s response to stressors over time. He proposed that stress affects the immune system and can lead to illness and disease. Stress also affects the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, and just about every other part of the body and mind.
Some personality patterns seem to place people at greater risk for stress-related illness, including heart disease. Individuals with Type A personality traits, especially anger and hostility, are at greater risk than the more relaxed Type Bs. Such cognitive factors as illogical thinking, unrealistic expectations, and negative beliefs can make events more stressful than they need to be. Major life events are a common source of stress in life, making people more vulnerable to symptoms of illness and disease.
When daily hassles pile up, people also become more vulnerable to illness. Stress is really a problem to everybody. However, there are ways to manage stress. Two effective approaches to reducing stress are learning how to manage your time and maintaining a social support system. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle-eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, avoiding tobacco and drugs, and so on-is a critical aspect of overall stress management. Spiritually is also a very important aspect that related to mental health.
Spirituality can be thought of as a person’s connection to self, significant others, and the community at large, accompanied by a personal belief system or value system that gives meaning and purpose to life. Spirituality provides a feeling of participation in something greater than oneself and a sense of unity with nature and the universe. Positive psychologists have found that happiness involves three components: positive emotion and pleasure, engagement, and meaning. The latter two are especially important in giving people life satisfaction.
People can increase their happiness by practicing gratitude, performing acts of kindness, learning to forgive, and other actions. Building a spiritual life involves self-exploration and self-awareness. Paths to such a state include meditation, the practice of mindfulness, journaling, spiritual retreat, experiencing the arts, living your values, and creating rituals. Having a spiritual life appears to have health benefits, both physical and mental. Interest in the connection between spirituality and health is growing, although the pursuit is not without its skeptics.
Community involvement is another expression of spirituality. Examples include service learning, volunteering, social activism, and connecting with nature and the environment. Death and dying have spiritual significance for people of all cultures and offer opportunities for spiritual growth. For me, my personal beliefs don’t really affect my health so much. Because I don’t have strong beliefs so it doesn’t really have a strong effect on my health. Back to the last quarter, I took 4 classes. At first, I wanted to study fast to graduate so I chose 4 classes.
However, after a week, I started to be tired and had headaches. I realized that I couldn’t handle all the homework and assignments. It was very hard for me to maintain my schedule. I tried to finish all the work but I couldn’t because there were too much. Then I knew that I was having more stress because of that reason and the stressor was having too many classes, so I decided to find a way to reduce the stress. Finally, I went to ask for advices from the advisors. They told me drop one of my classes. I follow their instructions and dropped a class.
It really worked. I felt a lot better after that. I could also be able to finish all my work in the school without having any difficulties. It is not too bad for having stress. Everybody has stress. It is not an incurable disease. If you get a good knowledge about it and know what stress is good for you, you can find your way to deal with it. You can also learn how to manage your distress and turn it into eustress. Knowing all these things, stress will not be a big problem to you and you can get a mentally and physically healthy life.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 20 September 2016
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