Stress – what is it?
Nervous, worried, overstrained … These words became almost our constant companions. And not by chance.
Mechanization and automation of production, a sharp limitation of motor activity, an increase in the volume of information, an ever-increasing shortage of time – all this contributes to the emergence of a state of tension, which is often not quite accurately called “stress.” It is well known that such a condition is one of the factors provoking the development of a number of diseases. For example, a direct relationship between frequently repeated nerve overloads and cardiovascular diseases has long been revealed. These data are well known, and because some people, believing that you can only maintain health without stress, try to spare and protect themselves from excitement and stress. But here is a paradox. It is they who are helpless even in the face of minor difficulties. The slightest trifle can bring them out of balance, harm health.
So, do we need or not, are stresses beneficial or harmful? There is no definite answer to this question, since the term “stress” itself is not entirely accurate. This term often designates completely different states.
In different situations, different degrees of stress state may occur. Some of them are useful and even necessary, others are dangerous and destructive. Avoiding the benefits is just as wrong as preventing the occurrence of those that are harmful to health.
It is not easy to regulate the degree of the state of tension, since in a given situation it arises involuntarily, at the level of the subconscious and is not subject to our desires or the efforts of the will. This state can only be controlled indirectly. For this, it is necessary to imagine well the mechanism of the development of tension, to know the reasons for one or another degree of it.
The state of tension arises only when a person faces a difficult task, and the means to achieve the goal is not enough. What is the means? First of all experience. skill, skills, knowledge (we denote this by the term information), then the energy required for action to achieve the goal, and, finally, time. If the task is simple – the person easily copes with it with the means at his disposal. If it becomes complicated, a gap may appear between the available information, energy, time and information, energy and time, which are objectively necessary to achieve the set goal.
In this case, the body immediately mobilizes its reserves, which under normal conditions are not used. It is known, for example, that the heart at rest throws out only about 5 liters of blood per minute, and at maximum load it is able to throw out blood and 6 – 7 times more. Wherein. The volume of inhaled air can increase almost 10 times, and the total number of capillaries in which blood circulates will increase almost 100 times in a working muscle.
The state of tension is a form of mobilization of the body’s reserves, a kind of adaptive response aimed at solving a difficult task that has arisen. And it is not uncommon for a person in an extreme situation to multiply strength and he does something that, under normal conditions, is incapable.
Everyone knows, perhaps, such a textbook example: when the mother saw how a heavy tree, having fallen down, crushed the handle of her child, in an instant she jumped to the tree and threw it away. Subsequently, it turned out that only a few lumberjacks could drag this trunk from place to place.
In a state of tension, the body mobilizes not only energy, but also information resources, contributing to more rapid retrieval of necessary information from the “storage rooms of memory”. It can be said that time resources are also increasing, since the reaction rate increases significantly, and each minute is used more productively.
In the most general form, the conditions leading to the occurrence of a state of stress (CH) can be expressed by the formula: CH = C (InEnVn – IsESvs), where Goal is the goal (task); Ying, En, Vn – information, energy and time needed to achieve this goal, and Is, Es, Sun – information, energy and time available. The greater the goal and the greater the shortage of funds (that is, the difference between the necessary and the existing), the greater the magnitude of the SN, that is, the higher the degree of stress.
There are four degrees (or stages) of stress. The first degree (CH – 1) – attention, mobilization, activity (WMA). At the same time, the intellectual and physical capabilities of the organism are significantly increased, the efficiency increases, the functions of organs and systems are activated. This state arises, as a rule, when the task is not stereotyped, for example, in the process of creative work, an exciting, exciting work of the person. This is a very useful reaction, training the body, increasing its resistance to the action of adverse agents. It contributes not only to the achievement of the goal, but also to the preservation of health and high performance. It is clear that such a voltage does not need to be fought, much less to prevent it.
However, the task sometimes turns out to be so difficult that the level of mobilization of reserves characteristic of CH – 1 may not be sufficient.
Then there is a higher degree of tension (CH-II) – sthenic negative emotion (ESR), which is characterized by more pronounced physiological changes, as well as mental changes. The body’s energy resources are mobilized in this case completely. There are dramatic changes in the indicators of vegetative functions – “vegetative storm”. Physiological processes are reorganized in such a way that at any cost to provide the body with the opportunity to solve the problem that has arisen. At the same time, the person literally “boils”, ready to “explode”.
Stenicus negative emotion is a very important reaction to overcome a critical situation. It was formed in the process of evolution (to win in a fight, escape from the enemy), and its physiological nature has not changed. However, the living conditions of modern man differ significantly from those in which this reaction was formed. The difficulties that arise before a person today, most often do not require the mobilization of energy reserves, and yet the changes that have occurred in the body can be normalized only through maximum muscular effort. Unbalanced sthenic emotion can be dangerous to the body. It is fraught with disruption, breakdown of physiological mechanisms, that is, it can lead to disease.
Of course, to “discharge” your emotions on others is unacceptable. The best option is to go out and walk 2 – 3 blocks with a quick step or run. This will not change anything in the situation, but you will appreciate it more calmly, comprehensively and, perhaps, will find a way out of this situation.
But if the situation is almost insurmountable, then a third degree of stress state (CH – III) arises – asthenic negative emotion (ASOE).
Changes that occur in the body with CH – III are often directly opposed to those observed with CH – II. This is no longer mobilization, but oppression: the intellectual and energy resources of the body are sharply reduced, immunological reactions and compensatory processes are inhibited. That is why CH – III with prolonged exposure is extremely harmful to the body. It can open the gates to all sorts of diseases. Asthenic negative emotion cannot be defused by muscular effort. A person in this state. on the contrary, I want to petrify, harden. How to be?
A person who possesses asthenic negative emotion needs support and friendly participation as never before. And above all, he needs to be helped to switch to other things, to get away from the situation that caused CH – III. The change of impressions is useful. It is advisable for a while to refuse altogether from the solution of the problem that caused the strong tension in order to give a break to the nervous system. And it is very important that the dream of this person was complete. If it is broken, as an exception, occasionally, you can take sleeping pills.
If the urgency of the task at hand does not decrease and it requires a solution, then the state of tension can increase even more, reaching the highest, IV degree, which is already a disease – neurosis.
The considered degrees of stress state are not always found in pure form. Intermediate or transitional stages are also observed. For example, in the intermediate stage between CH – II and CH – III, only intellectual functions can be inhibited, with full preservation of energy resources.
As already noted, the effort of will to control the state of tension cannot be, And nevertheless everyone can and should prevent the occurrence of its higher stages.
It is necessary to know that high degrees of the state of stress often arise due to the irrational organization of work, assault work. haste, ill-defined task. At the same time, adequate mobilization (CH – 1), arising at the beginning of the working day, towards the middle or the end is often replaced by sthenic negative emotion (CH – II). Compliance with the daily routine, work schedule, discipline, organization in everything, comradely, respectful relations in a team are the main conditions for fruitful, productive work, mental balance.
Of considerable importance is the physical fitness of the body. In people who are physically trained, even in extreme situations, the highest degrees of stress are rare. They have slower fatigue, as it develops, the degree of nervous tension increases. All available means should try to prevent fatigue, since, reducing the information and energy resources of the body, it increases thereby the shortage of funds necessary to solve the problem.
Whether a person is able to cope with the tasks before him, without prejudice to his health, depends on his ability to organize his activities, to use time efficiently. This helps to increase the time reserves, reduce the likelihood of high degrees of stress. The previous life experience of a person is also important, especially the fact whether he has mastered or not mastered the skills of intensive high-performance labor. It has been noted, for example, that nervous tension in inexperienced, little-informed workers occurs more often than in competent and knowledgeable workers.
In other words, the degree of the state of tension depends on the resources that the body has, and these resources are necessary