Stages of Stress


According to the book, Payne points out to three stages of stress; alarm, resistance and exhaustion. This essay will discuss the stages and analyze the stages and their health impacts. The essay will give the changes at and mental risks associated with each stage. We will also discuss ways people can manage and overcome stressful situation. Finally we will tackle the issue of "the fast-growing slow movement" and how such trends lead to a happier life.

Stages of stress

When a person is under stress, s/he experiences and passes through three stages;


The body's response is triggered by stressors and a psychological response known as 'fight or flight' happens in the nervous system.  Symptoms include; increased heart rate and high blood pressure, slowed digestion and decreased blood flow. The stress response is to temporarily improve a person's chances to survive a physical threat but is actually dangerous to health if for prolonged periods (Cleveland clinic).

Some of the troubles that activates the stress experiences include; death, attitudes, illness, conflicts and divorce. Surprisingly some positive events like marriage, birth of a child, starting a new job or even buying a home trigger the stress response. (Cleveland clinic)


This second phase happens when stressors affects our ability to cope with stress. In this case our beliefs, values and attitudes determine how we interpret and react to stress. If our interpretations to the situation as threats, demands, pressures or catastrophes, we will compromise our ability to cope. That feeling of helplessness sets us up for unpleasant responses to the stress. (Cleveland clinic)


This is the last phase and here the reaction to stress might create or worsen our physical or emotional behavior symptoms especially if the 'flight or fight' response is chronically activated over time. Physically the person has a high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, strokes, rashes, migraine, headaches or irritable bowel. Emotionally there are a lot of anxiety, anger and panic attacks. The person's behavior results to overeating, poor appetite, drug abuse, excessive drinking or smoking and social withdrawal. Research indicates that depression and stress especially at this stage affect the immune system and reduced immunity makes the body more susceptible to diseases (Cleveland clinic)

Managing stress


This phase has some things one can do to decrease the impact of stress. They include earlier problem solving to prevent recurrent of a stressful experience. It is also essential to manage time better in order to reduce stress and try creating a balance between pleasurable, difficult and stressful experiences Canada mental Health Association).


It is quiet important to be aware of the stressful situations and also the thoughts and attitudes when you feel stressed. Being aware placed on the situation; one becomes able to develop ways to re-evaluate the situation(s) to make it less threatening and less manageable.


To improve physical, emotional and behavioral response to stress, relaxation techniques, leisure and nutritional awareness should be insisted. Increasing physical resistance to stress and learning how to relax can reduce vulnerability to stressful events. Patients should also develop social supports and adopt self-care habits to buffer against stresses of life Canada mental Health Association).

Managing stress through:

Physical stress management: this involves meeting one's basic needs like sleep, exercise and nutrition.

Environmental stress management: taking into considerations of such things like noise level, amount of light and aesthetic space.

Social aspect in stress management: making time for fun and playing and exercising in laughter.

Psychological aspects of stress management: coping with stress by using variety of cognitive and psychological strategies e.g. deep sleeping.

Cognitive aspects of stress management: managing time effectively helps one to feel in control and having the sense of accomplishment (Payne, W. 2011).

The Fast-Growing Slow Movement and happier lives

According to Payne, there are merits of finding a balance in our lives and calming, being careful, patient and reflective. Being slower in this case is better as it leads to healthier relationships, work and family. This is because usually doing things slowly can lead to faster results as one is more careful and takes time to do things well. Examples in life of the doing slow things are like doing yoga (Payne, W. 2011).