Stress can be put as any type of change that affects one's physical and mental well-being. Not all types of stress are negative. Several definitions are unclear as to whether or not stress is an effect, a cause or a thought connecting the two. This term shares common sense in both psychological and biological science.
There are a few types of stress:
• Chronic stress makes one find it difficult to escape; never ends e.g. the stress of a job that is taxing too much or bad marriage.
• Acute stress is experienced in normal life such as dealing with a road rage.
• Eustress is stress that is lively; fun and exciting e.g. racing to meet a deadline.
Stress can be mediated through the following ways.
1. Social support. Support from relatives or friends can be useful in managing stressful situations. A gathering of relatives or friends can be useful and relieving for a person having difficulties in coping with stress such as a gathering for a funeral or a wedding.
2. Personality. Personality is the behavioral and emotional response patterns of an individual. Different people respond to stress in different ways. Personality plays a role in the way we see stress. Those with class C character, for example, are determined, rushed and driven. On the contrary, type D personality is more relaxed but driven so they tend to be less stressed. Most studies have also suggested that men and women differ in handling stress, which some scientists attribute to estrogen. This hormone further puts into account the fact that women are more likely to develop stress than men but, unlike men, women turn to stronger social networks during stress.
3. Perception. People’s perception plays a role in stress. People live with the idea that people create their stress, but it is not purely accurate. The way of people’s perception plays a significant part in whether the stressor causes people’s fight response. People suffer stress in different ways since some stressors are more painful and traumatic like the death of a loved one. An individual’s perception is influenced by factors like pessimism or optimism, level of stress resilience and beliefs.
Quite often, we perceive an event to be more frightening than it certainly is as a response to circumstances depends on perception. For stress to appear in an individual, there should be a condition or an event perceived by the mind as threatening. Threat can be a pain in the body, which could be real or imagined. Perception is crucial in determining how we can handle a situation. The key concept in managing stress is for people to realize situations as real then, will be real in their consequences. We can reduce stress by changing distorted perceptions. Distorted thinking gives bad pictures on the events than they appear. This increases stress and changing them will be a useful management tool (Aldwin, Park & Spiro, 2007).
4. Culture. Understanding the relationship between culture, coping and the ability to overcome stress, it is possible to apply economic development to improve happiness. Stress and its coping process can be affected by culture in the following ways. First, the different institutional ways by which one can cope with stress is provided by culture. Second, the choice by which one copies with strategies he utilizes in any given situation is affected by culture. Third, the stressfulness appraisal of any given event is affected by culture. Finally, the nature of stressors than an individual is likely to encounter in any given situation is shaped by the cultural context. Individual beliefs and values, and the reaction of others are influenced by cultural beliefs and values, which affect stress appraisal. Reactions of others, stress appraisal, the resources by which an individual copes with stress and the resources provided by the culture are the factors that determine how one copes with stress. Sub-cultural setting affects the set of stressors that an individual faces.
5.Spirituality. Different people give different meanings to spirituality, but it is thought to be what makes one’s life context not necessarily associated to belief or worship but the total sum of one’s interactions with others, value system and search for the meaning of life. It can be revealed in a variety of ways like religious observance, prayer, family life or nature. Stress can be reduced with spirituality. There are many paths that people use to get to or to find God. Researches have shown that those who believe or are near to God, experience many benefits to their wellbeing and health hence less stress, better health and life. Spirituality offers benefits for mental health and stress relief in the following ways:
• Stretches individual's social support network. An individual may have an improved health and longevity if he or she has a strong social connection.
• Enhances a connection to the world. Even if an individual is alone and feels that he or she has a purpose in the world, he or she will feel less isolated and solitary.
• Give a sense of purpose. One is able to categorize less valuable things in perspective, if it is possible to identify and stay focused on what is truly valuable hence reducing stress.
According to Gregson (2000), stress can be related to daily stress from school. Teenagers tend to get upset as they struggle to pass exams. They always feel they should meet the expectations of their teachers and parents hence causing stress. Teenagers may also suffer stress caused by an after-school work as they work for long hours, a job that is physically demanding. Some repetitive and tedious jobs may also cause stress to teens as they may be required to solve problems and deal with angry customers.