What is stress? Well, there are many kinds of stresses. There is the negative effect pollution has on the ecosystem. There is seismic stress, which is tension on fault lines resulting in earthquakes. But kind of stress we are going to be focusing on is the psychological and physiological aspects of stress. Stress is the uncomfortable feeling you have after a hectic day and it doesn't end there. You have to compete with all the careless drivers on the freeway. Stress can also be described as a way the body and mind deals with multiple tasks at once. Most people are able to cope with everyday stress. But most find it difficult to control it when problems start to escalate faster than they could be solved. The Department of Health considers stress to me a mental health issue because if left untreated in extreme cases, it could make you very sick physically and mentally.
I like the way Hans Selye categorized stress. Hans Selye was a Canadian scientist in 1926 that pioneered in stress research. He began investigating the effects stress has on the body. He noticed that people showed characteristics of fatigue and discomfort following either a physical or an emotional stress. So, he categorized the response to stress in three stages. The first stage he called "the alarm reaction". The alarm reaction stage is associated with the secretion of epinephrine or (adrenalin) secreted from the adrenal glands. It involves complex physiological mechanisms that increase general alertness to prepare you to either deal with a stressful situation or to flee from it. During the alarm reaction stage pulse and respiratory rates speed up and blood pressure rises.
The second being "the resistance stage", the pituitary gland produces hormonal and neural changes throughout the body until the stressful has passed.