Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stress: Homeostatic & Medical Approach

In the last byte, we looked at the various approaches towards understanding stress. In today's byte, we look at the homeostatic/medical approach towards understanding stress.

Walter B Cannon discovered stress but had called it "the emergency response" or "the militaristic response"; this indicates the reason why the definition of stress uses - "the fighting emotion" as a root.

As humans, we love to be in a steady state - where everything is predictable, expected, sure; however this is far from reality. This "state of steadiness" that we are most comfortable with, is disturbed by external or environmental demands. The steady state balance or equilibrium is called "homeostasis". [Defn: A steady state of bodily functioning and equilibrium.] Cannon believed that, the body was designed with natural defense mechanisms to keep it in equilibrium/homeostasis.

Cannon's research going further explored the role of sympathetic nervous systems and how this would affect an individual's stressful condition.

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