Definition of stress.

Essay by krammerUniversity, Bachelor'sD+, October 2005

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The word stress is a collective term and is used widely across many professions yet it is not clearly defined and has no limitations. Stress is the new norm, be you a person, pet, practitioner, old or young, stress dominates life and appears in magazines, on television and in newspapers that promise guaranteed cures. My understanding of stress is that it is negative and can be categorised into two major groups; physical stress and mental stress. Within these categories the word stress is used as a condition, minor irritation, and crisis or even as an outcry. The word stress is derived from the Latin verb stringo meaning to draw tight, graze or pluck (Hayward, 2005) and the meaning of stress is forever being expanded. There is some confusion as to an exact definition of stress but it is natural that different people use language differently and belong to different cultures this is what makes us individuals; the different ideas we have and how they are shaped.

The word stress in the future will embrace both the negative and positive aspects of stress, as more focus is directed into positive stress. Current definitions of stress suggest links between physiology, psychology, and immunology however the definition of stress and associated research is dynamic and open to further research.

The word stress was introduced into the English language in the 14th century (Hayward 2005). Hayward gives a brief account of the early uses of the word stress in her paper, 'Historical Keywords' (2005). "(it began) as a modified form of distress" which referred to the physical environment. The physical meaning was adopted from the Latin word physica, or Greek word, phusika, and referred to hardship and later injury (Hayward, 2005). It wasn't until the 17th century that the word stress was used to...