Module 1: Individual stress
Stress and its negative outcomes
Stress is understood today as an imbalance between demands on a person and his / her coping abilities. Stress means that a person, at the moment of such demands, does not feel able to handle them. These demands or expectations may come from the exterior environment or from the person themself.
But stress can be provoked not only because of some outer factors. It may also occur if our demands to ourselves are too high. In sport, for example, or in any other activities we can demand from ourselves better and better results. We may even set goals which cannot be reached. This provokes feelings of stress and pressure. To avoid this stress, sports will be given up again. In this case, expectations were too high. Not to trap in such pitfall, stress reducing activities shouldn’t be done under any kind of pressure. In contrast, while relaxing we shall distract from daily life and stock up on strength and energy.
Parents can face inner and outer demands at the same time. To be with children and to care for them can be a very demanding obligation, which can periodically be very strenuous. And parents often get stressed when they have very high expectations of themselves. High expectations may reveal themselves in such phrases as: "I should be always here for my children!", "I must not show weakness!", “I will spend more time with my children!”, “Everything must be perfect!“.
And an interrelated factor of stress can be that parents have too high
or too low expectations of their children.
When we are under stress we react to situations in an irritated, nervous, aggressive and unfriendly manner. The same stress can be easily transferred to other people. If one of the family members is stressed it often has the same effect on the other members of the family. If the father, after a strenuous working day, comes home and reacts nervously to his son's untidy room it will hardly contribute to solving this controversial point. Quite the opposite, it is possible that a conflict will arise out of such a trifling matter that might otherwise have been avoided.
Stress can have negative physical
effects. While some stress at a definite level may give you some energy (eustress),
long lasting and / or very severe stress may lead to physical disorders (distress).
Headaches, sleep disorders, intestine disorders are three examples. Stress
also has negative effects besides on the general health condition. It may
lead to depression, dissatisfaction, fear, and burn-out syndrome. In the
case of a burn-out syndrome a person feels that they cannot handle any
tasks at all. Such a person is tired and has no energy, loses any interest
in work. Generally people who suffer from it do not see any sense for