Social Support Networks: A Way to Cope with Stress

Subject: Mental Health
Type: Personal Narrative Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 865
Topics: Stress, Health


Stress affects most people when they are faced with stressful situations, and the body responds typically in a three-way, and this includes physical, emotional and psychological responses. Two years ago, I found myself in a very challenging situation where I was torn between quitting my job and staying but work in a highly pressured environment. The process of making a decision was stressful; however, the choice of remaining at work was more stressful. I had to take time contemplating whether to leave or stay. Resigning from the job was not a right decision at the money since I had no job ready for me. I had to ponder on the issue for a long time, before settling on staying. The process sickened me by experiencing sleeping problems and cases of blood pressure. Stress cause body discomfort and psychological dislodge, which results in low performance and low-quality output. On the other hand, tress is attributed to physical weakness, which in most cases is an indicator of emotional restlessness. It is attestable that when one is stressed, the emotional response is reflected in the physical appearance. At that time, I would not have adequate time for sleeping because I could be occupied almost all the day and night. This caused me emotional responses, which sometimes were characterized by anger, rudeness, and sadness among others (Brehm, 2014). In essence, when making a hard decision affecting one’s life in all aspects of life, which includes socially and economically, they cause depression, and the body can respond emotionally, physically and psychologically. 

Were you surprised to read about the effects that stress could have on health? Do you think that people, in general, are not aware of the greater effect stress has on their health?

I was surprised when I learned that there are numerous effects that stress has on our health, which range from chronic pain, sadness, body weakness, blood pressure and nausea among others. Most of the people like myself assume some conditions on their health as usual and do not try to relate them to the stress that they undergo. It is attestable that, if people were more enlightened on the effects of stress and the attributed symptoms, they would be in a position to try to prevent depression in early stages by avoiding stressful situations. On the other hand, most physicians do not make the much-needed in-depth inquiry about the patient’s working conditions or current milieu whenever the patients indicate the mentioned effects, and this makes most people believe that they are suffering from such circumstances as natural illness. It is until the patient suffers from chronic conditions that the physicians begin inquiring the history of the patient and the attributed or immediate surroundings. This situation has left numerous people ignorant of the effects of stress (Brehm, 2014).

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Do social support networks help individuals to cope with stress or not? Does it depend on the person or the circumstance?

I am a firm supporter of friends’ networks in coping up with stress. This is in line with what a stressed individual would need as urgent as possible. An answer is a person for a talk. Stress is because of accumulated feelings about something unpleasant. It is always necessary that the affected individual find a close and trusted friend to pour out the hard feelings about what he/she is undergoing. By doing this, the affected person would have lessened the burden of the stressing or pressing issue. In essence, social networks of close and trusted friends play a fundamental role in helping out stressed persons depending off course on the circumstance. This implies that not in all situations the network of friends can help the stressed individuals.  

How does deep breathing exercise and listing to music help in relieving stress?

The power of music is a reliable and quick stress-managing instrument of stress. Listening to music influences the psychological stress system. When the victim is listening to music before a standardized stressor commonly affects the autonomic nervous system and to some lesser extent, the endocrine and psychological stress responds thus agitating for a quick recovery from stress. It is attestable that the use of listening to music in curing stress is a cheap, non-invasive and immensely accepted intervention of managing stress among the victims. Music is assumed to be influencing some stress-related cognitive processes, which in turn trigger the psychological responses, which reduce stress and create coping potential (Thoma et al. 2013).

On the other hand, the deep breathing exercise triggers the cognitive and psychological potential of the victims thus causing faster stress management and creation of the ability to cope. Besides, the relaxation response from a deep breath is a physical state of deep rest, which fluctuates with the physical and emotional responses to stress. In essence, the in-depth breathing help in reducing stress through the decreased heart rate, level of blood pressure, the extent of muscle tension and the rate of breathing (Kipfer, 2014). These two techniques for managing stress are readily available, can be embraced anywhere because they do not require any financial implication. The methods are rarely attributed to adverse effects after application. They are natural and can be recommended for even kids.

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  1. Brehm, B. (2014). Psychology of Health and Fitness. Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis
  2. Kipfer, B. A. (2014). Breath Perception: A Daily Guide to Stress Relief, Mindfulness, and Inner Peace. New York: Helios Press.
  3. Thoma, Myriam V, La Marca, Roberto, Brönnimann, Rebecca, Finkel, Linda, Ehlert, Ulrike, & Nater, Urs M. (2013). The effect of music on the human stress response. (info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0070156.) Public Library of Science (PLoS).
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