What is Stress?

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Updated: May 12, 2020
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What is Stress? essay


Unfortunately, as humans, we waste a lot of time worrying about things that are not even similar. We still go through the same amount of stress, which is not limited to the moment. However, in some cases, we get more stress beforehand and even afterward on items unrelated to the initial worry. Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain that can lead to physical or psychological problems. It is an adverse reaction to a perceived threat, whether real or imagined. Robert Sapolsky explains that humans and other animals have evolved responses to stressful situations based on their brain chemistry. He asserts that t is not that zebras do not get stressed – it is just that they respond differently to stress than humans do. He argues that zebras can cope with stressful situations by releasing a hormone called cortisol into their bloodstream, which helps them get through the situation without getting overwhelmed.

Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain that can lead to physical or psychological problems. It is an adverse reaction to a perceived threat, whether real or imagined. Stress can be caused by several factors, such as work-related stress, family-related stress, financial stress, and health-related stress. Knowing the causes of a person’s stress is essential to help them deal with it effectively. According to Yaribeygi (2017), stressful events can lead to feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, and anxiety. When this happens, taking time out and relaxing before taking on more tasks or responsibilities is essential. We should pay attention to our bodies and learn about stressors on the human body and mind. Stress teaches us about how we can improve how we are and its effects on our physical alignment.

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Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Evening with Robert Sapolsky

After watching the video, I had a long talk with myself. I realized that I was putting pressure on myself and stressing too much. I looked deeply at myself and how I fit into this habit of constantly worrying as if I were that zebra running from a lion (Mrtp, 2015). There are always things changing in your life, which is normal. But it is feeling out of place, or like something has changed that needs to be investigated further. Seeing something that does not seem too right can sometimes lead the way to an issue you may have in the future. When we are in a stressful situation, things that are not always helpful happen inside our bodies. A significant part is increased breathing rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. We can remedy this quickly by caring for ourselves – hydrating our bodies properly and sleeping well. The zebra’s ability to ignore stress factors is one of the aspects that makes them different from other animal species (O’DRISCOLL, 2021). The way humans hold onto stress for long periods and do not release it helps some people to feel more comfortable but has detrimental effects on the body and psyche.

Humans do have times when they become tense or stressed. Sometimes, it can happen for an emotional reason or a legitimate reason. Workplace tension and stress may not just affect your work but impact other aspects of your life. One bad situation should not make your day fall apart, but it can. Our bodies will begin to show some signs of stress if our work is stressful enough, and we will become more susceptible to illness. Over the years, I have noticed a trend where many people are becoming inattentive to their present and future selves. They are afraid of what will happen if they focus on the current moment, thinking that it is impossible to change anything or that it will not be worth the effort because there will be irreversible damage in the long run, even though this can be true.

Our thoughts and mental well-being directly determine our happiness and how healthy we are. We must trust in God, who can take care of us as we trust in him. Every day, you must stop to find a moment when your mind can wind down from what has happened during the day. According to Susan and Patricia (2021), letting go of the past is important because it does not mean that you did anything wrong or bad; it simply means you cannot change it. It also allows for peace in your life and finding gratitude for what you have and supports you daily. Remember the happy moments I praise God, the difficult moments I seek God, and the quiet moments I worship Him. Even though there are disappointing memories, the memories themselves are never frustrating. Whenever I remember something wrong happening to me or people who have passed from this world, my mind would bring up a verse of scripture to keep my thoughts on a higher level.

Long-term stressors wreak havoc on the body, causing it to face more significant damage than the stress right off the bat. It is because the body’s natural lower levels of cortisol are unable to keep up with these higher amounts of stress hormones (long-term source), so it reacts by damaging our bodies and endocrine system. My husband is a pastor, so he is under stress. It is such a stressful job, with such intense pressure on him, and it is difficult for him to deal with the pressures of his role. At age 23, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which caused quite a financial strain on us. There are a few different types of stress responses the body experiences, and one of them is a spike in blood sugar that helps to provide it with energy. If a person has this reaction often, their blood sugar can also get too high, leading to diabetes.

In conclusion, people must know how best to channel their energy to maximize their performance to continue successfully. When we are in danger, our bodies react much like the zebra when it senses a physical threat and releases the energy needed to protect us from possible harm. Our reaction is often seen even if there is no physical danger–our body reacts to just about anything–including mistakes or frustrations. Consciously aware of the benefits of sitting in silence can help destress by boosting energy and imagination. The research from Sapolsky shows several benefits from sitting in silence, including higher energy and ambient mood levels. It shows that sitting in silence separates one from stress and increases your outlook, energy levels, and imagination. Thus we should destress from stress.


  1. Mrtp (2015) Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Evening with Robert Sapolsky. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r6MFIZmrgU.
  2. O’DRISCOLL, T. (2021) ‘Want Peace and Tranquility? Be Like a Zebra!’, Training, (4), p. 54. Available at: https://search-ebscohost-com.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsu&AN=153623189&site=eds-live&scope=site.
  3. Susan, L., W., and Patricia, R. (2021) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Protocol, Practice, and Teaching Skills. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. Available at: https://search-ebscohost-com.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=2576253&site=eds-live&scope=site
  4. Yaribeygi, H. et al. (2017) “The impact of stress on body function: A review,” EXCLI journal, 16, pp. 1057–1072. doi: 10.17179/excli2017-480.

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What is Stress?. (2020, May 12). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/what-is-stress/