Coping with Stress
Stress refers to that quality of experience, produced through a person-environment transaction that, through either over-arousal or under-arousal results in psychological or physiological distress. (Aldwin). It results from the internal factors that subject an individual to the experience also referred to as the strain, the external factors in the environment referred to as the stressors and the experience that arises from the interaction between a person and the environment.
This paper discusses the effects of health and stress outcomes. The research shows that such outcome is broad in scope but there effects are relatively modest. It also explores the differences between avoidant and proactive coping. Avoidant coping strategies are seen to be so appealing even when they can create more problems in the long run but many people prefer them to proactive ones. The focus is on how religion is thought to play a role in coping and the cost associated with such kind of coping.
Aldwin notes that stress have some good effects to human bodies or health. First she points out that stress may increase beta endorphin levels which, may block the experience of pain and allow people to function even when badly injured. Any form of injury causes a lot of pain to individual to the extent that it becomes difficult for the individual to function well or do any work. (Aldwin). The suppressed pain will however allow them to function courtesy of the stress.
Stress also activates the immune system and such activation may prevent a person from becoming ill at a time that calls for increased performance. (Aldwin). She notes that if one is injured, an activated immune system can help to prevent infections and can also assist in repairs. The challenge of contracting an infection, posed by the fact that an injury has occurred is curbed by the stress which accompanies the injury as the stress creates temporary immunity in the body.
Proactive coping refers to in advanced efforts taken in anticipation of a potentially stressful event in order to prevent it or to modify its form before it happens. (Aldwin). It entails resource accumulation, identification of potential stressors, initial approach, initial coping efforts and elicitation and use of feedback. An example of proactive coping is whereby a family tries to deal with the possibility of losing a loved one.
The avoidant coping on the other hand refers to deliberate efforts to discard any stressful situation. A good example is when one makes efforts to run from financial responsibilities. However much the avoidant approach may be appealing the fact is that one just postpones the trouble and in the event that one recovers and comes back to their senses they get the same problems still in place and waiting to be resolved.
Religion helps to make one understanding the role of God in any stressful moment and make them aware of the fact that despite the many stressful moments God is always in control of their lives.